Having a daily routine is a great way to keep up with everything. The longer you follow it, the more tasks become a habit, and the less motivation you'll need to keep going. The hardest part is developing a routine that you can follow every day. Start with small changes if you have discipline issues and find ways to improve over time.
Method 1 of 2: Creating a Daily Routine
Step 1. Remember everything you need to do during the day
Write it all down in a calendar, notebook or mobile app. Write down the time you spend on each activity, no matter how fast. At the end, you will have a detailed list of your daily tasks.
If today isn't a typical day in your life, make the list another day, or try making a list for each day of the week
Step 2. Reduce unwanted activities from your day
The goal is to adjust your schedule to create a new routine, rather than trying to come up with a completely new plan. Look at your daily activities. Decide which ones you would like to spend less time on. Cross some of them off the list.
Step 3. List your most productive activities. After cutting out some activities in the previous Step, count how much time you saved
Think of tasks you could do in this extra time, like studying, working, cleaning and so on.
Step 4. Organize your day
Considering your schedule and the changes you would like to make, create a routine that you can follow. Try to reorganize your activities, but don't change the amount of time you spend on each one. If you need 30 minutes for breakfast today, it will be the same tomorrow.
When adding new activities, allow a third more time than anticipated
Step 5. Allow enough time for sleep
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to stay alert and highly functional. Children and teenagers need 9 hours or more. Set a time to sleep and wake up, or your daily routine will not be sustainable.
Step 6. Take time for breaks and interruptions
If your daily routine covers every moment of your day, you are likely to be overwhelmed or in trouble if something unexpected happens. Adjust your new schedule to have a 30- to 60-minute break and, if possible, multiple rest periods of five to 15 minutes.
Step 7. Try the routine for a day
Test drive your new schedule. Follow your plan to the letter. If not, note any changes.
Step 8. Change your schedule based on your experience
At the end of the day, take time to review your schedule. If any of your estimates turn out to be unrealistic, allow more time for a particular activity or cut something less important. If you finished something more than 20 minutes earlier than scheduled, make this time available in your schedule. Finally, if the order of your business seems inconvenient in any way, make the necessary adjustments.
Step 9. Repeat this Step until you are able to adjust your routine
Make changes as needed. Even if you're having some problems, keep trying. If you need help following the routine, read the advice below.
Method 2 of 2: Motivating Yourself to Follow Your Routine
Step 1. Adjust your schedule to your natural pace
Every person's body has a different biological clock, which helps determine when someone is tired or awake. Try to create a routine that takes this into account, including more strenuous activities during your most productive hours, and rest and relaxation times when you feel most tired.
For advice on finding or adjusting your biological clock, talk to a doctor or visit the online survey site
Step 2. Find a way to start your day right
If your mornings seem too rushed or confusing, this could be the weak point in your daily routine. Try different options until you get a more specific and organized way to spend your mornings:
- Start the day with a glass of water to wake up and hydrate yourself, followed by coffee or tea if you prefer.
- Do some stretches to feel more awake. Sun salutation is a popular yoga exercise that you can try.
- Prepare the same breakfast every morning, or choose what you're going to eat the day before.
Step 3. Think about your routine twice a day
Take a minimum of ten minutes each morning to think about what you need to do. If you have an extra task today, a temporary source of stress in your life, or anything else unusual, decide what activities you can skip today if you need to skip one. At the end of the day, look back and think about whether you made the best decision possible, or whether you should do something to improve your routine.
Step 4. Find activities that make you feel refreshed
You should have a minimum of two five- to 15-minute breaks in your day to relax and prepare for what's next. If you start to feel stressed during these breaks, or find that they have taken up more time than they should, find another activity to do in this time. Some suggestions include:
- Light exercise, such as walking or jogging, can increase your energy.
- Fun activities with a well-defined time limit are also great options. For example, watch a 15-minute podcast, or read a chapter from a book.
- If you are exhausted, lie down with your eyes closed or meditate to regain your strength. Prepare an alarm clock, just in case.
Step 5. Use sound to motivate yourself
If you often lose track of time, set an alarm on your cell phone or watch. Music is often a nice option; prepare a playlist based on the type of task you are performing. For example:
- Choose a song with a steady beat in case you need to concentrate.
- Listen to quiet music when relaxing, or working on personal projects.
- If you need a boost, put on loud, upbeat music.
Step 6. Avoid procrastination.
Get rid of the distractions of your work environment. If you work at your computer and spend time on the internet, block sites you frequently visit.
Step 7. Use electronic productivity tools
There are all kinds of tools that can motivate you, update you, and even reward you for staying productive. Try HabitRPG, if games motivate you, the Daily Routine app, for iOS devices, or any other apps that help you remember your next task.
Step 8. Avoid interruptions in your sleep time
The bluish light produced by some electronic devices can prevent your body from releasing sleep hormones. Minimize the use of computer, cell phone and television at night, or install stream and change the color of your screen at this time. Caffeine, alcohol or other drugs can also prevent you from getting a restful night's sleep.
- Copy or print your daily routine, and draw a checkbox next to each activity. Every day, check off everything you've managed to do so you don't forget anything.
- You may need a routine for each day of the week if you have variable assignments or classes.