Whether you intend to or not, you most likely have a daily routine. Even the most spontaneous and carefree individuals have a baseline routine for their lives simply because they are human, and this is how humans operate best. However, sometimes a routine can be unhelpful. If you find that your days feel overwhelming or unproductive, chances are a change of routine could do a world of good. Here are a few changes you could make that will help improve your routine and, therefore, your lifestyle.
Concentrate on Better Sleep
Although it isn’t always on most people’s minds, sleep is the core of a strong and healthy routine. Everyone is different when it comes to preferred bedtimes and when they like to wake up, but it isn’t about doing what the majority does. The important part is to keep it consistent. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, you need to figure out how many hours of sleep recharges you to the point where you no longer nod off during meetings or crave a lunchtime nap.
Have a Structured Morning
Try to wake up at the same time every day and check off the first few items on your to-do list in a structured pattern. This might mean getting up, using the bathroom, and making breakfast. Even if you have to do these tasks on autopilot, avoid deviating from the structure until you are fed and refreshed. This gives you a better chance at successfully facing the challenges of a new day.
Limit Your Device Use
Although you are probably hearing it everywhere, and there have only been a few studies to back it up, limiting your device use can be hugely beneficial to your productivity and happiness. Gadgets such as smartphones and tablets are designed to keep your attention, meaning that they are experts at distracting you from what you truly want to be doing. Get into the habit of only checking your devices at certain times and for pre-determined lengths of time. This takes discipline and patience, but with time any bad habit can be broken.
Adopt a Pet
Inviting an animal friend into your home can enforce structure upon your routine since you now have another living creature depending on your care and attention. For example, dogs require regular walks, and every pet needs to be fed and played with, meaning you must dedicate time to look after it. Look for vets in Estero who can help you keep your pet healthy and happy. When your pet imposes structure upon your life with their routine, your routine can fall into place around it.
Avoid Caffeine Reliance
If you find that nothing seems to wake you up properly in the morning unless you’ve had some caffeine, it might sound unreasonable to suggest avoiding it. However, if you can wean yourself onto more healthy drinks, such as fruit juice or water, your body will slowly stop relying on caffeine to keep it alert. Instead, you will be able to stay awake all day on your own.
Divide Your Time Smartly
When faced with a long day of tasks, it can be difficult to decide where exactly you need to start. Sometimes this overwhelming feeling can prevent you from even managing to write down a to-do list. Instead of letting work get on top of you, look at each task and allocate specific times for it to be completed. Time blocking is a great method of structuring your day and getting jobs done.
Notice Your Distractions
Since distractions offer an escape from the mundane, it’s understandable why some people refuse to acknowledge theirs. However, if you want to get ahead and feel more in control of your daily life, be honest with yourself about what distracts you and when it happens the most. For example, do you get home from work and spend most of the evening watching TV instead of cooking, tidying, or getting on with that personal project? It isn’t easy, but identifying your distractions is the first step to reducing them.
Give Yourself Deadlines
Tasks tend to fill the time allocated for them. This means that if you have a deadline at the end of the week, you are unlikely to try and complete the task until the last moment. To combat this, give yourself deadlines for tasks you don’t want to do, such as the laundry or dishes. Tell yourself that you have ten minutes and notice how you work at a pace that gets the job done in the allocated time. If you find that this trick doesn’t work for you, use rewards to encourage yourself to finish boring jobs.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Multitasking is an unhelpful myth that only serves to make you feel inadequate for not being able to concentrate on multiple jobs at once. Instead of falling into the trap of trying to do it all, give your full attention to one task at a time. You will feel calmer, and each job will be completed to a higher standard since you won’t be distracted by another task.
Prepare for Tomorrow
Getting ready for the next day is the best way to set yourself up for success. At the end of each day, write a list of tasks you need to finish tomorrow in order of urgency. If you need to leave the house, pick out what you want to wear so that you don’t waste time in the morning. Avoid eating before you go to bed, as this can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Figure out a bedtime routine that lowers your heart rate and helps you relax, such as reading a book or listening to gentle music. Keep devices out of reach so you aren’t tempted to ruin your sleep by looking at the blue light.
Managing your life can sometimes feel like a battle between what you want to do in the moment and what you know you should do to help out your future self. The perfect daily routine finds a balance between these two desires.