We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit – Aristotle
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut not making the progress in the personal development that you wanted? There are a couple of things you can do to break that pattern (Creatures of patterns).
The one that works best for me is blocking time for my morning and evening routines. But how can having and doing a morning and evening routine help me be more focused, less stressed and more successful?
It insures the very important things get done. In general, it’s very hard to control what’s going on during the day but we can control how we begin and end our day. Take advantage of this fact by incorporating your most important tasks, actions or behaviors in your morning and evening routines.
Many of the most successful people refuse to check their emails first thing in the morning. Instead their morning routine consist of waking up, getting dressed and spending an hour working on their most important task of the day even before they get into the office. This insures they accomplish their task before the chaos and interruptions of the work they get in the way.
Blocking time in your day gives you time to moonlight. Moonlight and hustle in your spare time until your dream job is a truly viable option. The best time to do it is in the mornings and evenings before your current job.
Willpower charge bar
Reduces decision fatigue. We all have finite amount of willpower (Willpower and Motivation charge bar) that we can expand during the day. Mental energy is depleted by every decision, no matter big or small, that we have to make. In our crazy hectic modern life, we are making hundreds of choices. Should I check my emails, or make that phone call, should I do this report or go to a meeting, should I clean the house or go for a run, do I scroll Facebook or watch Netflix. You get the idea. By the end of the day our willpower reserve is running on empty which results is us being mentally tired, making poor decisions and taking the easiest route (Easy route).
We are given the choice between going to the gym and drinking a beer on the couch. We are probably going to choose couch because that’s what we link pleasure with. It’s possible to increase the amount of willpower we have at our disposal. But what’s works even better is to manage our mental energy more efficiently during the day. One way we can do it is by making positive behaviors and important tasks routine parts of our day. When something becomes a habit we no longer have to think about it. It’s set on autopilot, instead of using our willpower to decide whether you’ll work out that day, you simply work out. It’s part of your routine. The less you have think about something the more you’ll actually do it. That’s the power of routines.
It doesn’t matter how crazy things will get during the day, it’s comforting to know exactly what will have at the beginning and end of the day.
How to create My dream routines?
What habits do you need?
Take a look at your most important goals. Are there any habits or behaviors needed to instill in yourself to achieve those goals? Make those behaviors or habits part of your morning or evening routine. Maybe your goal is to write a book this year. Make writing for 30 minutes your obligation every evening. If you want to lose 10 kg, make exercising or running the first thing you do every morning.
Reflect on your day.
While your designed habits will vary depending on your goal, I suggest one habit to be included in yours. Every evening review the day’s work and plan your day for tomorrow. In the morning review your schedule and your long- and short-term goals. I promise if you do these two things you will find yourself more focused, more effective and you will achieve a lot more during the day.
Write it down.
Make your routine firm by writing it down. Morning and evening routines lose all their power if they’re kept vague. Your routine must be firmly set in place and time. You’ve got to know exactly what activities you’re going to do during your routines, in what order you will do them in and how much time you’ll spend on each of them. Then it’s necessary to write it down.
Change your identity (Identity shift)
Adapt your routines as your life’s changes. Your routines are going to change and evolve as you go through different seasons in your life. Your routines change when you graduate, when we go to different job or when we start having kids. One side note here. Once we start having kids our morning and evening routines are going to become more vital, just because we have much more responsibilities and a lot less time. Be flexible and adapt but keep set routines in your life.
Morning and evening routines lay the ground work for our success.
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