3 Big Reasons Why Weekly Routines Are Important
Dear, Entreprenistas. Getting into a routine at work and at home may seem like a no-duh topic. "Of course, a routine is essential," you might say. Most of us know that working to create positive daily habits makes life just a little bit easier and work more manageable from week to week, but why?
The science behind why daily routines work, and why you might have struggled with putting a routine in place in the past is super interesting--this is the type of stuff I totally geek out on. 😉
Instead of drilling you with a scientific analysis (if you want more of that read on here and here), I’d like to share with you the 3 big reasons I have found weekly routines at work, and home make sense and will make you, well a superior human, all around.
One: Say Goodbye To Last Minute Planning
Wait, what? Doesn’t putting a routine in place take a whole s*%tload of planning? Well yes, my pessimistic friend, it does take some planning--at first. But then you can sit back, show up and reap the benefits of your super-amazing life choices. I know, I know, a lot of us out there don’t like to plan ahead. 😭 In fact, I’ve noticed a growing trend in women, where it’s almost like ‘uncool’ if you plan things in advance. But I’m here to say, be the uncool woman (or man) in the room. Let your colleagues and friends waste time every day planning out what they are going to do at work and at home. While you get that extra time to do whatever you might want! Let me explain. A common organizational concept in strategic planning--a subject of which I am an expert--is to take a few hours at the end of each month or business quarter to plan for the next cycle. The strategy behind this tactic, is that if you spend a chunk of time upfront planning for a specific work cycle, you will actually save time, be more strategic, act in a forward-thinking manner (instead of being reactionary), and give yourself more time to execute higher-level tasks and projects, instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off. 🐔 See my point?
When I am managing social media accounts, for example, I plan all the content and write all the posts in a four-hour chunk of time, once a month. Then it's just a drag and drop process each day to get the content posted. The point? In life, if you can sit down and plan out your weekly schedule in advance--when you will work out, clean, buy groceries, do specific office tasks and so on, you’ll free up a ton of extra time to do stuff you love, and the things you must do with ease. You can then segment out sub-tasks and goals. Maybe at work, you have a daily schedule, that feeds into your personal agenda at home. The planning for this gets done once a week or once a month, and that’s it! 👊 (See the end of this post for a schedule example.)
Note: This doesn’t mean that your schedule is set in stone. It also doesn’t say that you’ll stick to your plan Every. Single. Day. But, it does give you an idea and a checklist. If you don’t wake up for your workout one day, then do it another day that week, so you get it done. But, if you’re loosey-goosey about the whole thing, you may find that suddenly you've gone a month, or two or six without working out, or you've missed a deadline. Or, you now have no groceries in the fridge and must go to the store on your lunch break because you didn’t plan a time to do it that works with your schedule.
Two: Say Hello To Gratification and Freedom
There was a time in my life when I got extreme happiness out of being free, without constraints or time schedules. But then life kept getting busier and more complex--I got married, we had our first kid, I launched a company. And at some point, I realized that I was finishing each day with the feeling that I hadn’t accomplished one task in its entirety, and worse, no task was being done well. More importantly, I was neglecting the things I was most passionate about. My kids weren’t getting enough attention from me because I was working at night. My body was suffering because I didn’t get in enough workouts. My husband was annoyed by the constant fires I was putting out at work. Our house was dirty, we were eating takeout every night, and the list goes on. It was around this time that I realized I had to put a routine in place at home and at work to stay sane.
At its inception, my weekly routine wasn’t supposed to serve any purpose but to create a sense of sanity in our house and allow me to actually get all the things done, and keep my business afloat. But very quickly I realized, that the routine I put in place was doing so much more than just maintaining my life--it was making me super happy! Every time I got a workout in on the day I had planned, I felt so accomplished. Each time I met a client deadline on time, due to better monthly planning, I made more money. And, things I didn’t think I had time to do suddenly became possible. I started having weekly one-on-one meetings with each of my team members to check in and make sure they were happy and on track. I was able to train for a half-marathon, and actually run the race! My kiddos were able to have my undivided attention at home, and I was actually ready to start volunteering in my daughter’s class! The routine itself, and checking off the weekly items on my ‘routine-list’ brought me an immense sense of gratification, and more importantly, FREEDOM.
Three: Say Goodbye To Anxiety & Stress
Granted, I am coming from a place of being a type-A, obsessive, over-organizer, but nothing causes me more anxiety than operating without some sort of plan. I don’t mean, “what are we going to do on Saturday” kind of policy, but more of a program like an example below. If I go too long without some sort of weekly roadmap, I start to turn into the Wicked Witch Of The West. Either I can’t stop doing stuff to stay busy, or I turn into a lethargic mess that just watches as the tasks grow, laundry piles up, and groceries disappear from the fridge.
Meanwhile, I’m immobilized by the lack of knowing where to start. On those weeks I realize my roadmap has been metaphorically crumpled and thrown into the trash and must be fished out, dusted off and put back in place. For my own sanity and most importantly, for my family’s well being.
Additionally, if you can put all of the stuff you need to do and want to do onto a list, it frees your brain up to think about other more positive and more meaningful things. As I mentioned in the first section, if every day is spent trying to figure out what needs to get done, your brain will always be working in overdrive, causing you to be stressed out instead of happy and productive. But, once your weekly routine and roadmap are planned out, you can let it go. Breathe a sigh of relief. And get sh*t done! Because you know your list is in place. You just have to do the things on it and reap the benefits. I know, I know, it may seem more stressful to plan out your week, but I promise it’s not. Besides, it holds you accountable to yourself--which is the way to actually accomplish those large and small goals you’ve been putting off. 👏
Note: Below I’ve given an example of a high-level weekly roadmap. You can get as granular as you want with your weekly routine, or keep it high-level. I find I am more successful if I don’t put too much detail into each bucket. This allows me to have some flexibility and freedom day-to-day. But your call!
Example Weekly Roadmap:
Organize tasks and projects for the week
Get little tasks done
Start on one big task
Take kiddo to an after-school activity
Make easy dinner (tacos or salad)
Hang with the Hubs
Dig into a weekly project
Each lunch at my desk so I can leave early
Family dinner and game night (bigger and longer meal so leftovers are included)
Do one load of laundry (the bane of my existence. It. Never. Gets. Done!)
Finish one of the top-three weekly projects on my list
Get caught up on small tasks that have piled up
Lunch meeting (networking)
Kiddo after school activity
Dinner (leftovers) OR out with friends
Walk with kiddos and pup
Meetings (If possible try to schedule all meetings on 2 days a week. This way you have days to work and relax a bit more.)
Finish the second top-three project
Straighten up house/wipe down bathrooms (lunch)
Dinner (date night with the Hubs) OR takeout
No workout (or freebie day)
Closeout loose ends from the week
Lunch with a friend or at my desk to get off work early
Pick up kiddos early
Go to the playground or pool
Dinner (movie night or have friends over)
Weekend (I like to lump the weekend into one so I can switch up stuff)
Meal planning & grocery shopping (usually early on Saturday to get it done)
Workouts (1 outside, 1 studio)
Friend event (either a kiddo birthday party, adult-friend party or family dinner with the in-laws)
Note: It’s good to set aside time for these things in advance so it doesn’t put a kink in your weekend.
One Easy morning (wake up late. Let the kids sleep in)
Cleaning house & other household stuff
Get it all on on whichever day I don’t grocery shop and meal plan
Forgive yourself if none of your weekend plans take place (like if you’re on a trip), and disperse the tasks throughout the next week.
Hey, friends! 🙋Did this post help you in some way plan out your week better? Tell us in the comments!
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