Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get things done? That you have little time if any to do the things you truly enjoy? Are you struggling to juggle work and family?
Well, these are common issues that many of my clients face. And my first recommendation is almost always to adopt a routine schedule where they assign a time and day in their week for all the activities that are important to them, whether it is driven by a professional target or by a personal aspiration.
Truth be told, this recommendation is quite often received with a lot of resistance. Many tell me that it is impossible to put predictability into their schedule, that there is no way that they can operate within so much structure, that it will alienate their freedom, etc.
But within typically a month of adopting a routine schedule, most report the following benefits:
- An increased efficiency at home and at work
- A greater sense of accomplishment
- Being more present and connected to what they do
- Reduced stress levels which make them happier and more productive
- Feeling more control of their schedule with a greater ability to make well-thought-out decisions on how they spend their time
- Higher energy levels to complete their high-priority tasks
- Certainty that they’re living a more balanced life.
And why is that so? Because with a routine schedule, you separate the decision from the action. Instead of spending a fair amount of time deciding what you are going to be doing next or procrastinating on things you don’t enjoy doing, you just do them. As a result, your focus switches on improving your efficiency.
Let me give you an example from my own professional life. Every week I need to do a number of administrative tasks which include updating a few databases, backing up my work files, transferring contact details from name cards of people I’ve met onto my contact databases, etc.
At first, I was updating these databases on an ad-hoc basis and quite often didn’t back up because I was under the impression that it was very time-consuming. But the risk of forgetting and losing some information was making me quite nervous and eventually led me to dedicate a time in my schedule to complete these tasks.
I started listing down all the tasks I had to do and that made sense grouping together. I felt Friday was a good day to update databases so that I could easily recollect what has happened during the past week. It was also a good way to conclude the work week before moving onto things a bit more enjoyable. I ended up allocating one hour to these tasks on Fridays from 5-6pm.
The instant benefits were that it freed me of my worries and I felt a great sense of accomplishment which made me enjoy my weekend more. But the benefits didn’t stop there as I very quickly realised I could backup my work files in parallel to some of my other administrative tasks. Instead of one hour, I now spend 30 minutes on these tasks.
Hopefully, this post has convinced you of the benefits of adopting a routine schedule. If so, watch this space as I will tell you how to create a routine schedule in a subsequent post. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to make a head start at establishing your routine schedule or check out my Time Management Coaching programme.
Get organised and make room for life!
This blog post was first published on Executive Lifestyle.