The term “routine” connotes a boring existence, but this just isn’t true. The real meaning of the term is a structure within which to accomplish more with less stress. Having a routine also helps to establish a work-life balance so you avoid burnout.
Understand your personal work preferences
Circadian rhythms, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, “are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.” Basically, they’re your biological clock that dictates when you sleep, eat, and when you are most productive at work. Are you a morning person or someone who does better later on in the day and is capable of working late into the night?
Are you a to-do list kind of person? This doesn’t work for everyone. But jotting down the big things you must accomplish may help you to better understand how you need to allot your time throughout the day.
Parts of your day
In creating a routine, build in the time for the things that keep you well-balanced while attending to business needs. Obviously, besides sleep, the bulk of time is spent plying your trade or selling your goods and services.
Fundera reported that more than 70% of owners worked more than 40 hours a week, with 19% working more than 60 hours per week, while the national average for all workers is 38.6 hours per week. In crafting your routine, include time to:
- Exercise. Many business owners do this before commencing their workday while others choose to do this as a mid-day break or after work.
- Eat right. Don’t overlook good nutrition and the time it takes to manage this. A good breakfast, even just a protein shake, beats a donut on the run.
- Mediate, practice mindfulness, or pray. This activity, whichever one you prefer, helps you to focus so you can tackle the tasks of the day.
- Communicate with others. These may mean time to reach out to customers you haven’t talked to in a while, new vendors you’re considering, and employees with problems that you may be able to address, as well as family members and friends.
- Perform basic business activities. Make it part of your routine to regularly review your financials, monitor cash flow, and make sure that bills are being timely paid.
A routine is not a rut. It’s not a strict schedule that precludes any deviation. Just like you need a cushion in your budget, you need to have the ability to manage your time as the events of the day dictate. For small business owners, problems continually arise and they may require immediate attention so be sure to have the time for this.
English poet William Blake may have oversimplified things when he said “Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
Nonetheless, you should create a routine that works for you so you can effectively run your business and have a life.
Consider the 33 daily habits practiced by successful entrepreneurs and executives listed by Inc.
How many are helpful for you to incorporate into your daily routine?