Routines can be challenging to create and maintain, but when you consider the amount of time, anxiety, stress, and frustration they battle, putting the energy into creating and maintaining your routines makes much more sense. Let’s talk about how to build strong and lasting business routines!If you’ve been around Calyx and Corolla for awhile, you’ll know that I’m a
big fan, ahem, a bit obsessive about my routines, but that’s because they help me to be so much more efficient and effective, which leaves more time for my projects, fun, and family time!
Let’s look at how to build strong and lasting business routines.
How to Build Strong and Lasting Business Routines
We’re specifically talking about business routines, but when you work at home, the lines between your business role and your other roles blur. In addition, most of us don’t work in a vacuum: we run upstairs to switch the wet laundry to the dryer in the five minutes we have before our conference call starts; we deal with a couple of to-do’s before the kids get up and ready for school, etc. These tips will work better for you if you include all of your roles.
I’m sharing 6 steps in this how-to. You may find that you require fewer or additional steps. As I always say, make this work for you!
#1 Realize That You Need Routines
Perhaps you’re wondering why routines even matter. You’re getting your work done. All is well.
But what if you could have more time for your passion projects or your family? That’s what routines are all about!
Here are 2 BIG things you gain by having strong and lasting business routines in place:
- More time – routines help you to be more efficient which equals more time for other things.
- Less resistance – routines help you do what must be done without the internal fighting that creates so much stress, frustration, and wasted energy.
Now, that you’re convinced that routines will make your life much easier, enjoyable, and productive, let’s talk about how to actually create those routines!
And if you want to learn more about routines, check out these posts: 6 Things To Do on Sunday for the Best Work Week Ever and 5 Essential Morning Routine Elements!
#2 List All of Your Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks
Start by listing all of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Include everything from all roles of your life: business, family, home, mother, etc.
I have a printable available to make this job a little more organized.
Now, set a timer and get busy listing those tasks. 15 minutes is a good amount of time. Write as fast as you can until the timer goes off. Depending on your commitments, you may want to repeat these steps more than once.
Learn more about how I used my timer to break free from distractions in THIS post!
#3 Lay Out a Basic Schedule
Now, lay out a basic schedule. You can do this daily or weekly, whichever feels more natural for you.
And because I love sharing helpful printables with you, here are a couple more. 🙂
Here’s a weekly printable that’s perfect for laying out your basic weekly schedule.
And here’s a daily printable to use when designing your basic daily schedule.
I like to start by adding my “non-negotiables” first. These are tasks that will help me honor my top priorities and make progress on my top goals. Stephen Covey calls these tasks/intentions the “big rocks” in the jar. Nurturing blocks for me like my yoga and goal review time and family time, like time in the afternoon to talk to my kids about their day, have an afternoon snack, and get them started on homework are among those first items added to my schedule.
Then, I fill in time-dependent tasks like having breakfast, getting the kids to or from school, or making dinner.
My kids are teenagers, so they’re fairly independent with most things, but I still schedule those time blocks, so that I have intentional time to connect with my family throughout the day.
Once my basic daily schedule is filled in, I then transfer that information to my weekly schedule.
For more information on creating a functional and intentional schedule, check out 5 Things I Learned by Making Over My Mornings and
#4 Plug Remaining Tasks Into Schedule
Let’s start plugging those remaining tasks into the basic schedule we now have in front of us. I like to prioritize the remaining tasks first, then decide if those tasks are truly daily or weekly tasks. If I find monthly or less regular tasks on my list, I star them for use later.
A trick that I’ve find found incredibly helpful is to overestimate time required for tasks by at least 15 minutes, if not more. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending the time to create a routine, then have it blown when the first task of the week runs over by 30 minutes.
Overestimate! You’ll be glad you did.
Another important consideration is your regular energy flow. Are you energized and more creative in the mornings? Try to schedule creative tasks during this time. Are you tired and lethargic in the afternoon after lunch? Schedule more routine, monotonous tasks that don’t require your full attention during this time block.
#5 Follow Your Routine
As much as possible.
For at least a month.
Some days you may only get through your first block of time before the day is through. That’s okay.
Other days may run like clockwork. That’s awesome!
Tweak it as needed. Expand or shrink time blocks as dictated by tasks, move tasks around, give yourself a longer break for lunch, etc. If you don’t make this routine work for you and your unique preferences and energy flow, you’ll desert it before a week has elapsed.
After a couple of months you’ll have a workable daily or weekly routine that makes you more efficient, decreases your stress and frustration, and frees up time for passion projects, fun things, and family time!
#6 Remember That Life Happens
As a dedicated followers of routines, I’ve learned (sometimes painfully) that life happens.
It’s frustrating to spend the time creating and maintaining your weekly routine, then have to put the kibosh on it one day several months in.
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that life happens. Tomorrow morning or next week is a new start, a clean slate. You can make adjustments and try again.
And that, my friends, is how to build strong and lasting business routines!
This is an ongoing project, and it will take a little tweaking. Stick with it, and you’ll see the benefits of it!
Don’t forget to pin it!
If you found today’s post helpful, you might also enjoy these related posts:
- 3 Essential Business Routines for Home Office Organization
- Add Hours to Your Day with One Simple Tool
- How to Write a Better To-Do List and Actually Get Your To-Do’s Done!
- Organize Business Receipts in 4 Simple Steps
- Create a Custom Calendar in Word
Thanks for joining me today!