Having a daily routine isn’t about creating some perfect schedule that ideally would get everything done in the perfect, film-montage kind of way. Having a routine is about figuring out the best way for you to be happy, healthy and fulfilled, as well as productive. This means dedicating to the things you truly care about and building habits that help support who you are and wish to be. It’s about making the most of your time and avoiding accidentally neglecting a hobby or a relationship, losing your work-life balance or going through the motions every day without really connecting with anything. A good routine includes time for fun, for freedom from routine, it leaves room for change, for emotions, for spontaneity and empowers you to get in the driver’s seat of your own life. How do you find the best daily routine for a healthy life? You need to plan your routine around you. Let’s talk about it.
“You’re never happy if your main focus in life is that you want to be happy. Then you’re always thinking about whether you’re happy. You have to find some other thing that isn’t happiness that makes you happy that you focus on.” – Hank Green
What are your peak concentration hours?
Your energy changes and fluctuates throughout the day so it’s important to plan your day, as much as you can, to make the most of those changes. Schedule your most challenging and demanding mental tasks for when you work best. Schedule your workout for when you have a lot of energy. Plan little energy boosts throughout your day, like meals, walks, breaks, etc, to help you keep your energy up throughout the day.
Also, look at the types of energy you have throughout the day. When are you most creative? When do you have the most physical energy? When are you good at knuckling down and focussing? If you don’t know these things about yourself, experiment and try different timings out until you find what fits.
What does this look like? Here’s my general routine, based on my energy throughout the day.
- I’m a morning person and I get a lot of motivation from how I spend my morning. I like to have a nice morning routine including things I enjoy like walking my dog and getting some reading done to ease me into the day.
- I know I’m at my best and most creative in the morning, so I get up early and schedule my most demanding, creation-based work for the beginning of the day until lunch.
- In the hours after lunch until mid-afternoon, I tend to do any work I’m not particularly excited about in the period whilst I have the energy to really knuckle down.
- I tend to get hit with a big concentration drop around mid-afternoon, so this is when I get out to walk my dog for an hour as a refresh.
- When I get back, I usually have a lot of energy so I tend to do more hands-on chores around the house, prepare dinner and if it’s a heavy workday, get stuck into some more work.
- I eat dinner early and jump back into some of my personal projects like the blog and YouTube for however long I need to when I get another energy boost after dinner. This boost isn’t quite as bright as my morning one, so the work I put here is mainly planning focussed, brainstorming, coming up with the skeletons for ideas I’ll work on the following morning.
- I usually finish up by eight and allow myself the rest of the evening to relax – I know I’m not good at concentrating at night so I allow this to be my free time to enjoy myself and refresh before the following day.
Do you procrastinate?
Honestly and openly, are you a procrastinator? If so, try to come up with some ways to beat your procrastination and help you concentrate. Procrastination can be tricky to spot and even more tricky to recognise whilst you’re doing it. Figure out where and how you best concentrate. Maybe you need music or complete silence. Maybe it’s the library or home or a busy coffee shop. Maybe you need to study solo, maybe you’re more productive with friends. If you’re not sure, try different things and see what works best.
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Do you tend to overwork/underwork? What are your ideal working hours?
This is really important! In order to achieve a good work-life balance, and be productive in both, it’s important to know your tendencies for over/underworking. Underworking can leave you feeling unfulfilled, stressed by impending deadlines and not achieving very much, whereas overworking can see you burning out, being overwhelmed and neglecting your home life. Figure out your ideal working hours with this, combined with your productive hours we discussed earlier, to find a schedule you can stick to – eg. no working after 6pm.
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What habits do you want to commit to?
This is where things get fun! What do you want to add to your life? Coming up with new work or lifestyle habits to invest in yourself and have fun with your daily life can be both refreshing and rewarding. Find new hobbies, start healthy habits, and add something new to your routines. Including habits in your daily routine is a fun way to achieve your goals and do the things you really care for every day.
So go, create a life you love, that will leave you with the truly best daily routine for a healthy life. Fill it with people and actions and things that you truly, deeply love and those you enjoy fleetingly, those that challenge you and those that show you something you haven’t seen before.
Love, Ella-Rose xx