How to use daily routines to get more done and improve your life
Do you ever wonder how you can get more things done and feel less stressed out all the time? I have something to help you! It’s your daily routines. Every day, we are doing habitual things. We are getting ready in the morning, cooking, taking the kids to school, doing laundry, and checking emails. These things are so habitual, that we’re not even thinking about them when we’re doing them. Well, I’m here to change that up! I want you to start being aware of your environment, and thinking about how you can be more efficient in that routine.
For the purpose of illustrating my point, I am going to use a sample morning routine and activities. Here we go!
Morning routine workflow
Waking up in the morning is the triggering event for this routine. What happens immediately after you wake up? You probably have the same habit every time. Maybe you check your phone, maybe you take a sip of water, maybe you hop out of bed right away and use the restroom. Waking up is the triggering event that activates the workflow of your morning routine.
Here are some other things that might happen:
• Wake up
• Take a sip of water
• Use the restroom
• Wash your face
•Brush your teeth
• Comb your hair
• Say a prayer
• Put makeup on
• Get dressed
• Check your phone
• Turn on the coffee maker
• Crack eggs into a bowl
• Turn on the news
Look at how many action steps are happening! They are just so routine and ritual that you don’t even notice them anymore. I want you to start noticing them again. If you bring awareness to what’s happening in the workflow, that’s where you can detect opportunities to make change. You will start noticing where you are when you’re doing certain things, what energy level you have, and what else you could tack on to make effective use of overhead.
Let’s take a further look at the morning workflow and attach some awareness pieces to each event:
• Wake up (how do you wake up? Is it your alarm, your toddler wakes you, or your watch buzzes? Are you waking at a consistent time? How do you feel?)
• Take a sip of water (do you have water on your nightstand? Does it go there every night the night before? Do you wish you had water by you, but you always forget? How can you make it easier to remind yourself?)
• Use the restroom (you’re now in the bathroom. What else can you do in here? Can you check the trash can and see if it needs to be taken out? Clean the toilet quickly? Can you do everything you need to do in the bathroom to get ready for the day so that you don’t have to keep coming back several times?)
• Wash your face (what products are you using? Can you simplify them or use an alternative that costs less money? Do you need to buy more of what you’re using? Can you punch that into your phone on your digital shopping list so that you remember the next time you’re at the store?)
• Brush your teeth (do you need a new toothbrush head? Add it to the list. Does your toothbrush need to be cleaned? Do you have your dentist visit reminders on your calendar every 6mos?)
• Comb your hair (when you’re done combing your hair, can you clean out your brush really quick, and tidy up the drawer that it’s going back into?)
• Say a prayer (are you trying to practice more mindfulness and integrate it throughout your day? Where can you hitch this? Combing your hair might be the perfect opportunity)
• Put makeup on (do you need new makeup? Add it to the phone list. Probably a good idea to have your phone nearby while you’re in the bathroom, huh? Have you cleaned your makeup brushes recently? Can you toss any products directly into the trash that are expired or no longer serving you?)
• Get dressed (was it easy to pick out an outfit? Did you pick it out the night before? Do you see any other clothes in your closet right now that you don’t like? Toss them on the closet floor, and use that as your visual reminder to get a basket or bin for your closet floor to discard things)
• Check your emails (do you have set times in the day when you check emails? Would that help you to streamline things? Do you have 2 email addresses – one for fluff, one for business? Can you take action right away when you’re looking at emails and swipe a bunch to trash or archive?)
• Turn on the coffee maker (can you tee this up the night before? Put the filter and grounds in, fill the water up, and set the time on your machine? Have you descaled your coffee maker recently? It helps improve the flavor of your coffee – trust me, I’ve compared.)
• Crack eggs into a bowl (can you premake breakfast for the week? Can you make a large batch of eggs now, so that you don’t have to crack eggs every morning? Do you have young kids and you want to teach them the skill of cracking eggs? Can they help you when you’re doing this?)
• Turn on the news (is this helping you or hindering you? Can you turn music on instead? Can you keep things silent? Maybe this is time to pray, when you’re eating your eggs?)
See what I’m doing? I am looking at what’s going on when I’m doing something. Where am I? What else can I do right now while I’m here? Do I have some way to document things as I think of them? I don’t want you to go through all of those listed questions every day, but if you can think about them maybe you improve one process each day or you clean/clear one thing that morning, and that is a win!
I have a google nest in our kitchen, and I constantly tell it to add reminders to my calendar. I’m cooking, and I ran out of a spice. Something randomly pops into my head. You name it. As a busy mom of 2, I have a lot of things going on in my head, and I need a place to put them! So, have your phone by you. Have a notepad on your nightstand. Get an Alexa or a Nest. Build in those systems.
I believe that by tacking on a little more to our current habits each day, we can feel more productive and more calm, confident, and in control at home. After all, that is the goal here at J. Ryan Solutions. To empower you to create systems in your home that free up time and headspace so you can focus more on what brings you joy.
Thank you for reading!