Routines are important to getting things done. It may seem like they squash your creativity and free spirit, but really, if you know exactly what you need to do and when, you’ll find yourself doing it without much thought. Apartment Therapy.com has tips for getting those routines down to a science.
Begin by keeping track of what you’re doing now. What order do you do things in from the time you get up to the time you leave for work? What do you do in the evening after work? When do you do other chores like going to the store or paying bills? Take a few weeks to just be aware of what you’re currently doing.
How much time do these things take? If you allot an hour to get out of the house in the mornings, but your routine takes an hour and a half, you need to do something to avoid being late. On the other hand, if you only take 30 minutes to get ready, you’ve got an extra half hour to play with.
Now, make a list of things that you wish you had time for, but don’t currently. Also, write down your routines so you know what they are. Now, look at the two lists and see where you can streamline your process and make time for those “wish list” items. Move things around and try shaking up your same old routines to see if a new order works better for you.
A couple of great tips for staying on task are to not be distracted by surprises that don’t fit into your routine. An email, phone call or other interruption can throw off your routine. Let that call go to voice mail or don’t read that email it until it’s time for reviewing those things. Also, time yourself. If you set a timer for 30 minutes, your 45 minute getting ready routine will most likely only take 30 minutes, racing the timer is just too tempting. So now you’ve bought yourself 15 extra minutes to do with what you will! Keep periodically reviewing your routines and don’t be afraid to try something new.