With the rush, rush, rush everyone seems to be in, it is hard to find that “me” time we all crave for, those minutes that make us happy. But you know what? It is not the Holy Grail. There are plenty of people who not only get their stuff done, but also manage to find the time to do the things that they plan to do – could be anything from watching that movie, coffee with a friend, curling up in that cozy sofa and reading that book. You won’t hear them whining about the “too much to do – too little time”.
Each one of us has the same 24 hours in a day – we enjoy a guaranteed credit of $86,400 every day .
How do some people manage their time so well?
The secret is – setting a routine and following it.
I know there are people who scorn routine and classify it as “boring”. They think it kills spontaneity. Truth is, routine is an important ingredient of time management and facilitates it. I’ve learned this several times over. When I carry out our daily and weekly routines, it frees up time while ensuring regular tasks are executed automatically. My mind becomes free, helping me work efficiently.
For example, I now have a routine that involves waking up at 5.30 am, getting the coffee going and then, getting started on preparing breakfast, lunch and planning dinner. Since there is just the three of us, I plan this the day before – I have to, or else how would I have what I need to make everything? I enjoy cramming the cooking into the three hours I have in the morning before everyone leaves at 8 – and this frees up the morning for me to work without interruption. If I allow myself to think that I can tackle the cooking later, it eats into my work time and my entire schedule suffers.
The benefits of having a routine cannot be denied. Routines are known to:
- Contribute to our mental health – simply by lowering our stress levels.
- Give our days the foundation we need, so we can plan around them.
- Help us stay focused which means productive
Of course, it is important to be flexible so that any unexpected change can be handled with ease.
Incidentally, I would be the first to agree that some routines may not be beneficial – so sitting back and assessing them is necessary. What we do must be healthy, rewarding and meaningful. Why waste time on things that do not serve a purpose?
The whole idea behind a routine is to help us function smoothly so we don’t miss out on something important even as we make good use of our day.
I am a list person and I begin my day with the list I prepared last night. I try to allocate time to them by prioritizing everything. I try to figure out if I have to do it all myself – or can I outsource?
And I love my routine! If, at the end of the day, when I go to bed, I am satisfied with how the day went and find myself smiling, I am happy!
I know each one of us is different. So I’d like to ask:
Do you have a routine?
Do you enjoy it?
Do you find yourself catching up on missed things often?