WE ALL have routines in our lives, and they are a great way to be efficient, even to complete the most mundane of tasks.
For example, I have an evening routine (apologies for being boring) that goes like this:
• I put my apartment key in the drawer by the door. I then always know where it is, rather than have to search my pockets.
• I empty out my pockets into one place in my drawer. This way I know that when I am heading out of the door the next day, I am not going to forget something.
• I then take the suit I wore yesterday off the pants presser and hang it up. I then put today’s suit on the pants presser, so it will look in decent shape when I next wear it.
It is a simple little routine that saves me time and means I am less likely to leave home without something important.
The poet William Blake had a routine too: “Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
We can use this same technique in our work lives to be efficient. Here are 10 little routines you could easily build into your life:
The daily check
Did you get everything done that you planned to do today?
Make sure unfinished items are carried over to the next “to do” list. Capture any notes you might have missed during the day. Identify any e-mail or tasks that still need to be accomplished.
The end-of-week check
Update “to do” lists. Send “thank you” notes. List people whom you are due to follow up with. Add to the reading pile (interesting articles or reports that have come in).
The quarterly check
Review annual goals and record your progress against them. Adjust plans accordingly.
The monthly contact update
Add to your “mailer lists”, “holiday card list” and so on. Add anyone new whom you met this month.
The monthly health check
Review your exercise programme and weight against targets. Adjust plan as necessary.
The weekly calendar review
Ensure all-important meetings are scheduled in. Look out for several weeks to ensure you are ready for upcoming meetings, travel and so on. Take advantage of advance travel pricing and any spare time in the calendar.
Annual goal setting
Review results from last year against goals. Set new targets for this year. Adjust plan based on lessons learnt.
The special events review (monthly perhaps)
Ensure you are aware of upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and special days for people in your life — family, friends, colleagues, clients and so on.
The training review
You should do this twice yearly at least.
What training have you done? What do you need or want? What is available in the coming months? What do you need to do to get on the training?
The report cycle
If you do a weekly/monthly/quarterly report for your boss, then you should build that into your routine.
How to apply
Decide which routines work for you — maybe some or all of those I listed. Maybe you can come up with some of your own.
Create a calendar entry for each of them. Identify how long you will need.
For example, you might need 15 minutes for the daily check.
Create a 15-minute meeting with yourself every workday (either morning or evening).
Set a reminder feature to remind yourself 10 minutes ahead of time. Do the same thing for each of your routines throughout the year.
Now, remember that each of those meetings is important. You must have them, although it is okay to reschedule them when you need to.
You now have a system that will help you to be efficient. Work with it, add to it, adjust it to meet your own needs and enjoy the positive benefits of building conscious routines!
Article by Kevin Dee, chief executive officer of Eagle, one of Canada’s largest professional staffing companies. For details, read his blog at www.eagleonline.com/blog. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kevin_Dee