I’m usually against adopting strict, boring routines in my lifestyle, unless they can really improve the quality of my life. But even yet, I don’t like boring things at all, so I just prefer to stick with the ones that are both exciting and that can make a big difference.
In this post I’m going to list some of those routines that are part of the latter category. I’m going to talk about daily, weekly and monthly routines that have made noticeable difference in my lifestyle.
The following are things that I do on a daily basis:
- Organize for the day ahead. The first thing that I do when I wake up is not checking my email or facebook, instead I check my calendar to see if there’s anything important that I have to do, then I make a list of what I want to accomplish today. After that I assign a priority letter (A means must complete today, B means must complete soon, and C means something else) to each task on my list so that I always know what to do and in which order.
- Have a list of things to check before going out. This tip can save you a lot of time. Every time that I’m about to leave my apartment, I check if there’s anything that I have to buy like water, salad, etc. This way it’s less likely that I run out of water or food. You can also use this method to check for other vital things that you need to check frequently.
- Exercise. This is something that you must do. I don’t care if you think that you don’t have the time, you have to exercise daily. You can start by walking 10-15 minutes every morning (or evening), then you can move to something more serious like joining a gym or exercising at home if you know how.
- Wash the dishes as soon as you finish eating. This is something that I’m still practicing myself. Seriously, this is just a silly example, but don’t let things pile up, especially those that you don’t like, do them as soon as possible and move on.
- Plan you next day’s meals. Maybe you’ve already done this occasionally. Planning your meals is a good things to do because you don’t have to spend time each day thinking about what to eat when you’re already hungry. Planning in advance also helps because you can make more conscious decisions. I like to plan either the night before or early in the morning. Give it a try.
- Fill up the tank of your car in advance. I don’t own a car anymore, but one thing that I can remember perfectly is the hassle of having to refill the tank in the morning when I was already late. The solution? Do it the evening before or do it during the weekend when you have more time. Don’t wait until the last minute.
- Clear your inbox. During the day, I often write down things to do that come to mind in a small notebook. Each evening I make sure that I process each item on such list, so that everything is organized. I also like to clear my email inbox as soon as I can.
- Before going to bed. Make something that’ll make tomorrow easier. This include things like washing your dishes, writing an email, or preparing the clothes that you’ll wear in the morning.
These were just some examples of things that you can do daily, now let’s move to the weekly list.
These are the things that I do on a weekly basis:
- Weekly review. What have you accomplished in the last week? Is there something that you can improve or automate in order to have more free time? What would you do differently? Try to answer these questions at the end of each week.
- Plan your goals for the week ahead. What are you going to accomplish in the next week? Write down your goals on paper and look at them every day. Take in consideration your weekly review when you do this.
- Check your budgets. I like to have budgets for managing my money, for example I keep one for food. Here in Madrid I can eat with less than 100 euros per month (approximately 130 dollars), and every week I make sure that I’m spending accordingly to my budget.
I don’t have many monthly routines, but those that I have are very important:
- Check your goals. Are your goals still relevant? Are you working toward achieving your dreams? I like to revisit my goals every month to make sure that I’m still on track with my long term expectations.
- Throw $100 in your saving accounts. I recently opened a bank account where I put some money each month. The amount of money that you can save is up to you, but in my case I’m fine with a bit more than $100 dollars per month. Saving something each month is something little, but the long term benefits are well worth it.
How to keep track of all these routines
To keep track of all these routines, write them down in a small notebook, one category per page. For example you can write in one page all the daily routines that you want to follow, and in the next page your weekly routines and so on. Make sure that you constantly look at your list so that you never forget about them.
What are your routines? I’d love to learn about them in the comments.