Having a routine is the best way to keep the pace of the tasks to be accomplished during the day, which are often repetitive. This organization will become natural if you persevere over time and gradually deploy less energy. Setting up this routine on a daily basis remains the most complicated. If you're having trouble staying the course, start with small changes in your schedule, then analyze what is wrong.
Part 1 of 2: Create a Daily Routine
Step 1. Write down your different activities over a day
Use, for example, a paper or electronic diary. Enter the start and end times for each of these activities, regardless of the duration. You will get an accurate list of everything you have been able to do.
If finally this day does not seem representative of a classic day, go to the next day and apply the same method described above. You could add a few more days to refine your result to get a standard day
Step 2. Cut down on unwanted daily activities
The objective is to make the planning obtained coincide as well as possible with the real time schedule which will serve as a basis for creating your routine. You won't arrange your new schedule based on what activities you want to do now. Take a look at this newly established list, then identify which activities are taking up too much space on your current schedule.
Step 3. Write down the essential activities you want to appear
Keep track of the extra time you get from the activities you suppressed. Write down which ones you want to see in your daily schedule such as working, studying, cleaning, etc.
Step 4. Plan your day according to a well-defined schedule
Use the real agenda, the list of desired activities, then develop your new schedule. You can organize your daily activities as you wish without modifying the duration. If you need 30 minutes for your breakfast today, repeat this rhythm the next day.
For new activities, first imagine the duration of each of them and possibly tolerate a third more than what you have planned
Step 5. Give yourself plenty of time for your night's sleep
Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep to get restful sleep. The youngest should have a night of at least 9 hours. Plan your bedtime and wake-up time based on this quota of hours needed. Otherwise, you won't be able to stick to your schedule for long.
Step 6. Leave room for interruptions and pauses
If your schedule is full of activities, from morning to night, you will quickly saturate or you will no longer control your agenda. Give yourself at least 30 to 60 minutes in total over a day and 5 to 15 minutes between each task.
Step 7. Test your new schedule
Try out your new planner. Are you following this program as planned? If not, identify what is wrong, then try to analyze why.
Step 8. Modify your schedule based on your first experience
Take a moment, after your day is over, to review your activities. If you misjudged the duration of a task, increase the time for it by reducing another activity deemed less important. If you finish a task at least 20 minutes earlier, readjust the time. If the order in which you've placed your activities doesn't seem right, change it by organizing them differently.
Step 9. Test your program until it looks satisfactory
Practice your schedule and feel free to change and start over. If you don't feel comfortable, continue to readjust and test again. If you are unable to stick to your program, continue to the next point.
Part 2 of 2: motivate yourself to keep the routine in place
Step 1. Adapt your program at your own pace
Each individual has his own biological rhythm called circadian rhythm allowing to know the moments of low energy. Try to set up a routine based on these cues, especially when doing activities that require physical or mental strain. Give yourself moments of relaxation corresponding to these drops in diet.
Speak to your doctor if you are looking for advice on making readjustments. You can get a rough idea with an online survey
Step 2. Find a way to start the day right
If you are not in good shape in the morning, this part of the day is probably not for you. Organize yourself by taking this situation into account to get your day started in the best conditions.
- Start your day by drinking a full glass of water to wake up and rehydrate yourself. You can continue by consuming tea or coffee.
- Wake up to a few low-intensity exercises such as stretching. Sun salutation is a fairly well-known yoga pose that you can do when you get up in bed.
- Have your breakfast ready each morning or think about what it is the night before.
Step 3. Take a moment, twice a day to take stock of your routine
Go over the day's schedule for 10 minutes. If you have an unforeseen event, a stressful event, or another unexpected circumstance, choose the activity to delete this time. At the end of the day, take stock of the progress of the day's program and judge whether it is satisfactory or not, then improve the schedule for the next day if necessary.
Step 4. Find lighter activities alternating with more demanding tasks
You should always allow 5 to 15 minutes break between each activity, even if your days are busy. This will change your mind and stay operational throughout the day. If your breaks aren't stress relieving or if they drag on and on, find a different activity. Here are some suggestions:
- some light exercise, such as walking or jogging, can help you ventilate and regain energy,
- a relaxing activity with a clear time limit will allow you not to spill over into the rest of the program. You can tune in to an episode of a podcast or read a chapter,
- if you wish, lie down with your eyes closed and meditate in order to recover. Set yourself an alarm if the next task is essential.
Step 5. Use audible cues to maintain the routine
If you can't keep up, set an alarm on your mobile phone to be alerted when activity changes. You can replace this signal with a more pleasant musical atmosphere. Create a playlist that you can adapt according to the tasks at hand. Here are a few examples:
- select a regular musical rhythm for activities requiring concentration,
- do you play more calming music if you want to relax or work on a lighter personal project,
- put on loud, dynamic music to energize you, especially if you're feeling tired.
Step 6. Watch out for the risks of procrastination
Keep distractions away from your workspace. If you use your computer for work, block sites you visit too often.
Step 7. Use electronic tools to measure or monitor the success of your routine
There are tools that will help you stick to your schedule with scheduled reminders and stay motivated with virtual rewards. Check out the HabitRPG website if you're a gamer or want to schedule a reminder for your next activity.
Step 8. Don't disturb your sleep
The bluish reflection of screens can interfere with the production of sleep hormones. Reduce late night computer, phone and TV use or change screen color at night with F.Lux software. Alcohol, drugs and caffeine will not promote restful nights.
- Print or copy your daily routine and check off the activity you just completed each time. Thus, you will be sure not to forget the different tasks of the day.
- If your days are different depending on the day of the week, prepare several schedules. Indeed, your week is often different from the weekend.