[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Designing a daily routine you love will help ensure every day has something special to look forward to and is continuously working towards your goals.
I am writing this article while sitting in my favorite coffee shop after being stuck in a long 30-minute traffic jam. And that’s not how I want to start my Monday morning.
Think about the last time you had a bad day. One thing that I believe is that every day you should wake up happy (and excited) for the day ahead. Well, some days will be better than others, but chances are good that something happened in the early hours of your day to impact your mood. Your morning routine and how you start your day make a difference.
After writing about my daily habits, I got questions on Twitter about how I actually design my daily routine as a freelancer; how I plan for my job, personal life, and family events. Well, habits are powerful, but they’re not easy to form. And since I work for myself and have a few different tasks going on, every day looks different. That’s why I’ve created a daily routine where I can increase my productivity and form daily disciplines.
Creating a plan/schedule for your daily tasks that you’re able to stick to will help you break bad habits for a happier life and help you (and me) reach goals! Setting up an organized daily routine is a little bit of art and science; the science to figuring out what you need to get done, while the art is figuring out when to do it.
Personally, my morning routine sets the stage for the day to come, so if you don’t like how it currently feels, it’s time to design this important part of your day. This is to make sure your before-work daily routine either works for you or against you.
Why do you need a daily routine?
Being a freelancer sounds like a great opportunity and I’m not going to lie about that. In fact, I love everything about freelancing. Working from a home office is both a freedom and a challenge because it takes a lot of discipline and motivation. While I do have the flexibility to create my own daily routine and be my own boss, it pays to be organized and savvy with your time.
As someone with day-to-day tasks, routine create structure in my life and make me more productive. These routines become habits and allow me to get more things done in less time. I think without routine, we would all make up for feeling a little lost. Imagine every day there was no routine? It would get old pretty quick.
Creating a daily routine will help my mind to focus and function at certain times of the day, and reduce anxiety because I know what I’m going to do and when. And the biggest reason why routines are so important is that they give me the power to shape my future.
The things we do every single day can put us on the path to success and living the life we’ve always wanted. Now, every morning and before sleep, I make sure to watch inspiring people who organized their own lives and it’s seriously life-changing!
After maintaining a daily routine, I manage to spend less money in a week and put the rest of the money into my savings and sinking funds envelope. Before that, I tended to spend more in a week and could barely save up. These habits are (actually) easy to do, but just as easy not to do. It’s all about creating daily disciplines for yourself that can truly shape your life. Now, I can save every week and work toward my goal – go to travel in 2023!
So here are steps to create a daily routine you love!
Make a list
Okay, here is the first step on how to create a daily routine.
Write down every single thing you need to get done daily, both in your personal life, family, home, finance, and work. Don’t worry about how you organize this list; I call this a brain dump – focus on brainstorming rather than organizing. You can take 15-30 minutes with a notebook to jot down everything you do each day.
Remember to include everyday tasks like making breakfast, doing dishes, or laundry. In the beginning, no task is too small – if you want to work “wash face” into your routine, put it on the list. If you feel like it’s too hard to remember all the tasks in one sitting, I recommend taking notes throughout the day.
Once you have your (master) list, go through it and identify your daily priorities. Consider using a highlighter to prioritize your personal, work, and family. For example, highlight daily work in purple, personal life in orange, and your family in brown. Do this for your full list of tasks.
Create your daily structure
Do you work more efficiently early in the morning or later in the day?
Everyone is different when it comes to productivity, some find it’s usually best to reserve the mornings for tasks while others prefer to do heavy tasks later in the day. Early birds get things done before lunchtime, while night owls tend to get their creative burst of energy in the evenings.
I always like to get my most “important” tasks done in the morning because I feel like I have the most energy. I like to define importance by things like due dates. If I have a translation task due three days and also want to write an article for my blog, I will make sure to do both, but work on my translation task first.
Think about when you work best, and group your tasks into the time of day that makes the most sense for when you will best finish them. Some people like to use “morning, “noon”, and “evening” rather than an hour-by-hour plan. I use both strategies for my personal and work life. Once you figure out your most productive times, you can create the ideal daily routine you love!
Create a weekly schedule
Instead of a daily schedule, I start with filling up my weekly schedule with daily and weekly personal and work needs. Find out where it makes sense to complete tasks that recur weekly like publishing a blog post to keep your schedule as open as possible.
For example, I publish my posts on Mon-Wed-Fri and usually I focus on producing content on those days, so I schedule a task like updating old posts and blogging maintenance on the weekends.
Schedule for flexibility
Balance your life and work is not easy. There might be times when you need to accompany your mom to go to a doctor’s appointment during your work hours, or your morning is taken up by a family gathering. Life gets in the way of even the most detailed routines and a daily routine will keep things flowing smoothly.
Other than that, get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s painting, baking, dome home DIYs, creating a new canva design (my current hobby), or anything else you love to do. This can enhance your overall well-being, make you more energetic, and productive, and boost your mood.
Do you love creating content? You should consider starting a blog. Are you bilingual and love helping people? Consider starting your career as an interpreter. If your work is in the creative field, try something else that gets your brain working in a different way.
Try out your daily routine
Try your schedule for a week or a month and revise it as needed. How does it feel? Do you need to adjust things? Are you comfortable with your new routine?
Change anything that is not working on a daily basis, and then try that out after 30 days to see how your routine is working for you. It might take a few weeks for you to establish a daily routine you love, that meets your needs, so be patient. Remember to allow for some flexibility every day since unexpected tasks come at unexpected times.
Creating a daily routine seems daunting at first, but I promise you will soon reap the rewards when your productivity soars, and you find you actually have a lot of free time throughout the day or week. And if your daily routine doesn’t work perfectly at first, simply make some changes until you find the ideal daily routine.
How do you design your own daily routine? Is it similar to mine or do you have suggestions to add here? I would love to hear your opinion below.