Daily routines are a necessity during times like this. All of us have had our normal routines thrown out the window and now we have a new normal to adjust to. When you’re at home all day, it can be hard to find the motivations to not only be productive and keep your mind and body active but to stay that way. Here are some ways to make a daily routine and stick to it.
1. Make a list
Lists are great because instead of trying to remember all the things you need to do, you have them all right in front of you in an organized fashion. Also, who doesn’t love checking or crossing things off a list? Your lists can be a to-do list, a list of things you need to buy, a chore list, a goal list, reminders for upcoming events or even a bucket list. You can write your lists in an old-school fashion with pen and paper, keep them on your phone in a notes section, or both so you have one on the go and one that’s tangible.
Make sure you keep this list in a place where you not only won’t lose it but where you will see it every day. Hang it up on your bathroom mirror, put it on your bedside table, have the notes app open on your phone all day, and so on. Lists will help you organize all your tasks and remind you where you are at as far as completing them.
2. Get a calendar
If you don’t have a calendar already, get one. Get a pretty one that you like, because this will be your own personal calendar that you can write on and keep track of your own goals. You can use the calendar on your phone as well so you can keep track of everything on the go, but I like to have an actual calendar to write on and so I can see it every day. A calendar will allow you to manage your time and sort out your priorities.
With that, write down all the tasks you have for each day and a time frame for how long you think you’ll spend doing that. These tasks can be everything from work, to chores, to spending time with loved ones. For example, you can write on one day “workout 7am-8am, work 9-5pm, movie night with the fam 6-8pm.” It sounds intense, but this is just so you can see how you spend your time and help you have a balance between doing too much or not having enough time for yourself or fun things. Your time is precious so get the most out of it.
3. Take some breaks
Yes, it is okay to take a breather in-between or even during your daily routine. You’re not a human doing, you’re a human being. We all get tired, overwhelmed, hungry, bored and so on. So, in-between a task, step away, go outside, get a snack, or play on your phone and just take a break. If you’re at work or somewhere doing something you can’t necessarily take a break, at least stop what you’re doing for a moment and take a couple deep breaths.
Now, these breaks are meant to help you stay productive by handling your routine in chunks. Brains love chunks, it allows them to focus on a certain amount of things or a certain amount of time. With that, you don’t want to abuse the breaks by getting distracted, taking to long of a pause, and then giving up completely. Be strong, set an amount of time for your break and then get back to it.
4. Tell someone about your routine
Once you come up with a routine, tell someone about it. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people, but just the ones who will hold you accountable but still be supportive. When we let other people know what we are doing, it silently motivates us to do better and try harder, because now we’ve involved others. If you want to take it to the next level, make a bet with someone about how and when you’ll complete your task or routine. There’s nothing like a competition to motivate you to complete as a task.
Social media can also be a great tool to help motivate you. Document yourself going through your daily routine by posting on your story, tweeting, or uploading a picture. This can make your daily routine more fun and now a lot of people are aware of you doing it.
5. Make positive reminders
When we make reminders, whether on our phones or written down, they are usually just quick and to the point. At the very least, we will see the reminder and do the task or not do the task, but we are often left in a sour mood, dread, anxiety, overwhelmedness and so on. Instead, make these reminders positive, uplifting and supportive. Your daily routine is just that, it is yours. So you have to motivate you and be there for you during the day.
When you create reminders on your phone, follow up the task reminder with a positive note. For example, you can write, “Project due at 11pm! You can do this!” You can also write handwritten notes and place them around your room, house, or workspace with motivational quotes or uplifting messages for yourself.
6. Change up your routine
If you have been doing the same daily routine for a long period of time, it might be time to change it up. If you like the repition and are getting a lot of things done, then this might not be for you. However, if you notice that you’re getting lazy with your routine, not looking forward to it anymore, or are just going through the motions than you probably have mastered this daily routine and it’s time to change it up.
This can mean getting up earlier, doing your tasks in a different order, adding some new things in between, or doing them in a different location. For example, if you usually get up at 9am, get up at 8am. If you do yoga in your basement, try to do it outside. If you eat breakfast before you do anything, try eating after you’ve worked out. Change doesn’t have to be scary, it is a chance to keep things fresh for your daily routine.