Want to achieve more by doing less?
Don't we all?
There’s four practices I’ve been testing out - Morning Routine, Workday Startup Routine, Workday Shutdown Routine and Evening Routine. These are baked into one of my 2021 planners and has been interesting to explore. When I started this practice it was clunky at first. Ya know, like riding a bike. I needed practice. I needed to get my balance. But now that I’m a novice rider, I can go through these routines with ease and not too much wobble.
Each of these buckets encapsulate a set of actions that build on the previous. To define your morning routine, think of what you typically do. Write it all out – include the time you wake up and how long each task takes. This can also be a great place to start a new habit, like meditation. If you want to be a person who meditates regularly, build it into your morning routine (after you brush your teeth and before you workout, for instance) and before long that will be part of your natural rhythm. Write the steps down in order, add up the time it takes for each and BAM that’s your morning ritual.
The others work similarly, but perhaps have less steps. An easy workday startup ritual could look like this… review calendar, empty email inbox, post to social media and answer any messages, review goals for the day. Give yourself a realistic time frame to achieve this (30 mins to an hour?) and then when that cycle completes, you dig into your work day.
The Workday Shutdown is similar. Think about the things you need to do to make yourself feel calm, caught up and set up for success the following day. The thing to remember here is that you need to back into this. So if you plan to shut down by 5pm and your routine takes 45 mins, you need to start at 4:15. Not rocket science, but setting a calendar reminder can help here too.
The Evening Ritual might be as simple as washing your face, getting into bed at X time and reading your book for 30 mins. Again it's all about making yourself feel centered and aligned with what your ideal self wants you to do.
Will you get these perfect every day? Probably not.
But hey, give them (or one of them) a try for a couple weeks. See if they help. Notice if you feel different (less stressed, more organized, more calm) or maybe if your days sort of fit together more intentionally and you have more control over your time.
Sound daunting? Here’s a worksheet that mirrors the one I use. It will help you keep track of these rituals on your own.