Routine is a word not many people like. Maybe it's because the word is mostly associated with working a 9-5 job or a relationship that's become boring but in business, routining can be a way to consistently see results.
When employed or studying, our routines are more or less handed to us. We're told when to work and when to stop, what to wear, when to take breaks, etc. Personalised routines hardly exist and even when you get back home from a busy work/school day you still need to do your post-work routines.
When working for yourself, making a healthy routine is an enormous challenge. For me it definitely was. Finding out the optimal times my body would work, what foods contributed to my focus the most and where I can fit in time for friends and family was a gradual realisation and was found through a lot of trial and error.
Routines make sure things get done. The whole reason you start and finish work at a set time is because if it was left up to choice, you'd probably never go. Keeping it the same, programs your mind to get into the work zone when necessary. I hate applying full-time work principals to entrepreneurship but this one is important.
I only started to see results when I started to implement routines. Why? Because they built consistency into my life. Instead of going hard for 4 days at 10 hours a day and then being too burnt out the next 2-3 weeks, I'd work 4 hour weekdays at a set time period. I started to realise that full-time work routines are there for a reason and at the end of the day, they're focussed on getting people to do work that achieve goals. Isn't this the same thing we are trying to achieve also? Yes it is.
I now work, eat, nap, play at set times. Give or take an hour here or there, everything more or less happens at a time my body has adjusted to.
I've experimented with a tonne of different things from polyphasic sleeping patters to working 10 hours straight and have found a routine that works the best for me. Something that allows me to achieve my personal, sports, work and relationship goals.
I remember when first starting entrepreneurship I had no idea when to do what and each day would be different. Every day I'd make sure I would get something done but exactly how much work was I doing? What doesn't get measured doesn't improve and if you don't know the analytics and numbers of your work contribution during the day then it will be difficult to figure out what's working for you and what isn't.
I've cut back my 8-10 hour work days to a small 4 hours. Four of the most productive and distraction free hours I can possibly put in. I start to zone out after doing that much work and have realised it's better to focus my attention else where. Unless I'm really in my element and am in the middle of something I can feel I can work through, I'll stop at 4 hours of work.
Then I'll nap, prepare my meals for the rest of the day and for breakfast the next day and go to the boxing gym around 5-7.
Having this routine I've been able to improve in the areas of life I want to at a consistent and steady pace.
If you don't have a routine in your life, I would suggest you get one. it can be as simple as working half an hour on your part-time business at a set time during the day. Even something so small can be effective when applied consistently.
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