I’ve written so many articles about routines and I thought well, many of us at this moment is working from home. Just like myself where my office is one foot away from the kitchen, traffic zone…ugh. I wanted to share how to get into a routine that you can integrate easily into your mornings. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you in the office when you have a lot of distractions going on around you. After all the distractions you lose focus. The tips I will be sharing with help with the balance of your work-life versus home life.
Work, work, work
Entrepreneurs need a business routine because you don’t have someone telling you what to do or when to punch in or out. Many of you might have already started working from home as your own business. A Lot of entrepreneurs start from home until they are able to afford an office.
Do you own a brick and mortar business? or have an online shop boutique?
A business owner or someone thinking about getting into business and would like to know what keeps us on top of things. A Business Routine is one of the best things to develop as a business owner or entrepreneur. The benefits include increased productivity and building consistency, which I think is the hardest of the two. We are going to discuss how to develop a routine in our professional life.
How do you feel about a Routine?
It wasn’t until I realized I’ve wasted a whole day and didn’t get anything done. When I felt like I needed to really put more focus on my time management. To be able to accomplish and complete tasks with ease starting with a habitual routine. Something your mind and body will be accustomed to so that it will eventually be second nature. When things become second nature, they are done quickly! The Secret to Productivity is Routines!
My Personal Routines versus Business
You’ve probably read my Morning Routine and my Bedtime Routine but those are what I do personally for my self-care. When creating a business routine the basis is the same mainly on productivity but the tasks are different. Most of the things you will be doing will help you stay consistent in managing your everyday work to-dos.
So what are the Things to include in your Routine?
Everyone’s work-life has different responsibilities but after a while, you should have an idea of what you need to do. Structure your day according to your lifestyle. Do you have children that need to be dropped off in school and picked up? Then when starting your routine you have certain time slots in which you can start to focus on work. Are you more productive at night versus the day? Dedicate most of the easier task for the morning and later in the day the ones that require the most energy.
Do you have a full-time job and want to use the routine in a side hustle? Dedicate a set number of hours you want to have for your routine for the week. Try not to overdo it to prevent burnout. After you have established and worked on your routine, you can decide if you want to add additional time to your side job.
Let’s get organized
To get everything sorted out we need to first create a list. Grab a notebook or pieces of paper and at the top label columns: Daily Weekly, Monthly. I’ve also attached a printout or you can save the image below.
In the daily section write down all the stuff you have to do daily. The daily task should take more than 10-15 minutes and should be more like a habit. A daily habit could be to check emails, review your calendar. Think of a habit that you can do each day to maximize your productivity for your business. If it takes more than 15 minutes to do a task this should be more of a Weekly task.
The daily habits of successful entrepreneurs
- They hardly do Multi-tasking
Batch working is the new technique I do to build Productivity
2. Stick to a set Routine
I have a Morning Routine and a Bedtime Routine you can check out below to get some ideas!
3. Get seriously Organized
4. Balance your personal and work time
5. Take breaks
6. Reflect and plan for tomorrow at the end of the day
7. Workout and Maintain a healthy diet
8. Mediate for 20 minutes
9. Start with the hardest task first
10. Continue to learn and educate yourself
Breaking down the organization process
The Weekly sections are things that can take up to an hour to do but probably takes the most focus. The weekly task is more of when the actual work gets done. In your business you might have to engage with your clients, order supplies, these are best for weekly. Lastly in the Monthly sections, this could be either a task that takes all day or maybe something quick like a review. Monthly can go either way but is not as urgent as a daily or weekly task. Most of my monthly tasks are reviews or something that would take up my whole day. You can also add appointments, conference calls, or anything that is irregular for the month in the monthly column. These tasks might now happen daily or weekly but it has a date and should be put on the monthly schedule.
Making a color-coding system
In the beginning, over every month I go through this sorting process because of somethings change. After doing this several times you realized most of all the tasks are related to each other in some way. I’m a big fan of color-coding because it makes me see visuals of how my day is used. Think about all the tasks you have to do, can be simplified in some way so that you can code them as such.
I will an example since I’m a blogger there are many tasks that involved me in writing, some are drafting emails, creating blog posts, making captions. All are related to writing in some way but can be done weekly or daily and so forth. So all my tasks that are in writing are one color. See what task you have in your columns that are base related, it is paperwork, speaking, writing. Color code them the same color based on relation.
Timing things out
The next step to sorting is estimating how much time it takes to do each task. I want you to be very generous in the area, especially if this is your first time organizing your day. Allow time for distractions even though we are trying to do the opposite. When you practice do the task a few times you can be more realistic about the time frames. Go through your list and write next to each task down how much time it will take to do each one.
Order of Importance
The last step to sorting is organizing each column by priority. At first when we wrote down everything we were just funneling them out of our minds. Generally, when writing down the task they are not sorted this way. My best approach to the order of importance is numbering them, use a pencil or something you can erase during this process. I can easily tell you how many times I thought one thing should be first then ended up crossing it out for another. Go through the daily columns only and number 1, 2, and so on. One, meaning very important, and to the next task would be Two.
In the weekly column write down the day next to each task. You want to write Mon, for tasks that should be down at the beginning of the week versus Friday for the ending of the week. When I’m sorting my weekly tasks I always give myself two days off. Everyone deserves a break and plus you have a life to live. Give yourself some breathing room, allow yourself two days off no matter what, no excuses.
The Monthly column is easy, this one you want to write the day of the month you should complete the task. Right next to each to do write down the day number, like the 10th, the 15th, or the 30th. Think about which one should be done in the beginning verses like a recap that should be done at the end of the month. Most of the tasks that can be done in the beginning can be brainstorming, a creative session, organizing your office, just to give a few.
After everything is sorted
You got your list together now, for daily, weekly, and monthly. Everything is color-coded, timed for estimation or work, and sorted by priority. We are finally ready to plug in our schedule. A planner is best for getting everything together. What you can do for the time being is use my simple printouts for Monthly, Weekly, and Daily. Print out one Monthly, four weekly, and 30 dailies. If you purchased a planner everything is already made for you but these are easy to highlight and simple enough for your routine.
The daily has time slots so you can put your tasks in by order of importance and color them in based on the time slots. Weekly is divided by day so you can write down on the weekly sheets your task for each day. Remember the daily is more like a routine, more like repetitive than the others. Weekly and monthly will sometimes intertwine on some of those days. Make sure you allow enough time to plug these in on those days you need to get it done. If you need to cross some stuff off your daily list to make room for an hour monthly task or week task you can do this. For your mind’s sake, always give yourself enough time.
Don’t forget to number your calendar dates, weekly days, and writing the complete date on the daily.
Use resources that are easy for you to Manage
Some people are just not into the paper in pen and prefer something digital. You might be someone that always have their phone with them and prefer to use your phone’s calendar. The same format we went over above can be used in your Google Calendar or iPhone calendar. I prefer Google calendar because you can easily sync other calendars to have them all in one place. I use the color-coding system on my google calendar and note the time from start to finish. You can also set reminders for the Monthly tasks to not overwhelm your notifications with the weekly. Google calendar makes it easy to change and switch tasks if something pops up that was not already on the schedule.
Remember you can always make changes
In order for you to have mastered your routine, you have to try and test it. As you do each habit you will find out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to make changes as you go. Once you figure out what works best for you it will be a great routine to help manage your business! Good luck with the progress.
Did you start making your list yet? Need help on what to put down in the columns? You can always email me @firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on any of my social media channels. I’m still here to help!