Establishing a routine is one of the most powerful weapons you have at your disposal. It allows you to plan out your day to the letter. It forces you to prioritize your tasks. You won’t forget important appointments. Your productivity will skyrocket. Best of all…it’s free to implement! Everyone knows the old saying “time is money.” Let’s assume this is true for a minute (It’s more accurate to the other way around but I digress).
Would you live your life without a financial budget? Of course not.
So why are you living your life without a budget for an infinitely more valuable commodity, your time ?
I’ll wait patiently while you think of an excuse…
No I won’t! Then you’d be wasting my time!
The ugly truth is most people lack the discipline to establish a daily routine and stick to it. Sure, 99% of us has a pretty good idea of what will be going on the next day…
- Wake up
- Go to work
- Come home
- Eat dinner
- Go to bed
…but how many of us plan out the whole day so nothing gets pushed aside?
How many times are the plans of great men laid to waste by getting sucked into the latest episode of The Walking Dead or Dancing With the Stars?
I have recently discovered the power of having a daily routine. Life has become less hectic. I’m more organized and productive.
Let’s look at my daily routine…
- 5:00AM – Wake up
- 5:00 – 5:30AM – Finish my daily chores around the house
- 5:30 – 5:40AM – Read my daily Bible verses
- 5:40 – 6:00AM – Cook lunch for later
- 6:00 – 6:20AM – Get dressed, get groomed, and get out the door to work
- 7:00 – 12:00PM – Kick butt and take names
- 12:00 – 1:00PM – Walk
- 1:00 – 4:00PM – Kick more butt and take names
- 4:45 – 6:30PM – Get home, feed the kiddos and eat dinner
- 6:30 – 8:00PM – Put the kiddos to bed and do my workout
- 8:00 – 9:00PM – Take cold shower/shave/etc, read/write, make tomorrow’s To-Do list, lay out work clothes
- 9:00PM – In bed counting sheep
Do the specifics of my routine matter? No.
Here’s the big takeaways from me sharing my normal routine:
Wake up early
By waking up at 5:00AM, I am gaining an extra hour and forty uninterrupted minutes. What you do with the extra time is up to you. You can get in a morning workout, do your chores, catch up on some reading, whatever! I personally don’t have the energy for a rough workout in the morning so I use my time finishing my chores for the day and getting a healthy lunch prepared (today is liver & onions with a side of eggs).
Since this is a website about competing, you should be using this extra time to get a morning workout in. If you absolutely can’t find the energy to work out in the morning (I feel your pain), then get everything out of the way that would suck up your time in the afternoon.
Budget out the entire day
Write down everything you want to accomplish for the day and allot a specific time period to get it done. Saying “Oh I’ll just do my workout sometime this evening when I get home.” means you won’t get it done. Giving it a time frame makes you accountable and helps avoid procrastination. Be detailed.
Leave the fun for last
If you immediately come home, plop on the couch, and turn on the TV, you’ll be there until it’s time for bed. Get home, get your training and to-do list out of the way, then relax.
Prepare for tomorrow
Write down the next day’s to-do list. Lay out your clothes. Prepare your meals (unless you plan to cook them in the morning). Have the coffee pot programmed for 4:55AM. Have everything ready so you are not rushing around the next day trying to find your keys. I can’t overstate what this has done for managing my stress levels.
Give it a shot. Start tonight by writing down tomorrow’s to-do list. When the alarm goes off at 5AM, jump out of bed. Don’t hit the snooze. Chug down a cup of joe and start killing your list with a vengeance. Rinse and repeat.
And now I leave you with a few quotes…
“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” -W.H. Auden
“Routine is liberating, it makes you feel in control.” -Carol Shields
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” -Benjamin Franklin
“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.” –Benjamin Franklin