You know how pediatricians emphasize the importance of structure, like a soothing and consistent bedtime routine, in order to bring a sense of comfort, safety, and peace for your little one? Sometimes I feel like an “adult toddler”: while I love adventure and those fun, unexpected moments, I thrive when they are supported by strong habits that keep me grounded and purposeful!
I’ve written often about my morning practice – what I do upon waking – so you can find a refresher here. After that, as well as breakfast and morning chats with my kiddos, I have several routines that keep me feeling strong and purposeful at work. A few in particular:
1. 5-Point Scan.
At the front of my planner sits one page with five important components: My Vision Statement, Purpose Statement, Guiding Principles, Values, and Bold Goals. Each day, I take a moment to review those items. They remind me who I am, what I feel put on this planet to do, and why I’m about to work as hard as I do.
2. Morning Block: Daily Top 3.
Ideally, I set aside the first hour of the day to complete – or at least make headway on – my Daily Top 3: My top priorities for the day regardless of whether anything else goes according to plan. I establish my Top 3 the evening before so I don’t waste any time wondering what to do or where to start (my energy is highest in the morning, so this is important). I silence my phone, turn off any messaging, and often utilize the Pomodoro Technique to increase my focus.
3. Lunch Break.
The operative word here is “break.” It doesn’t always fall during lunch time, but I like to set aside 30 minutes somewhere in my day for a complete change of focus. It might involve eating lunch, taking a walk, meeting a friend for coffee, reading my latest nonfiction fave, or sitting in the sun and writing. I come back to the work refreshed and refocused.
4. Chart Update.
Since I set three Bold Goals each year, I need to break them down into small, manageable pieces – then track my actions and results. I create charts for these, then spend a minute or two each day updating my progress. Since discovering the wonderful world of bullet journaling, this has become a creative outlet as well!
5. Prep For Tomorrow, Today.
When my kids were little, we used to watch a show on PBS called “The Big Comfy Couch.” At the end of each episode, the main character would engage the 10-second tidy – a super-quick cleanup of her space before she went to bed. If I enter my office in the morning with piles of paper and unfinished work, I feel behind before I even begin. So I conduct my own 10-second tidy and also set up my Daily Top 3 for tomorrow.
If you think routines will stifle your flow or make you feel stuck, I argue the opposite. My routines anchor my day with purpose and intention, so when the unexpected arises (as it does almost daily ;-)), I can confidently flow with it instead of swirl in last-minute panic. Interestingly, it’s the days when I don’t honor my practices that I feel most off!
Want to know more? Join us for Spark – click here to enroll!
What daily routine helps you feel inspired, purposeful, and on track? Share your thoughts below, or on Instagram or Facebook!