How to Create Intentional Daily Routines
Some people think routines are boring and they prefer to just wing it. I disagree. I think that routines are wonderful. Routines help me figure out what activities work best for me and allow me to repeat those activities and just go with the flow, without having to think too much about it. They help me clear my mind and focus on other things instead of what I need to be doing at a certain point in the day.
Whether we know it or not, many of us are in need of some sort of routine in life. Adding structure to our days helps us accomplish more, instead of having messy and unproductive days. I know that’s true for me anyways! I crave routine and purpose with my days. The key to creating a successful routine is to make sure that you’re being intentional about it and creating a routine that works for you.
I know that a lot of blog posts, books, and podcasts tell you what activities you should be adding to your morning and nightly routines, but if you follow that advice and it doesn’t work for you then you’re just making things worse. That’s why intentional daily routines that you customize into what you need are the answer.
If you’re convinced that you need to create intentional daily routines, that’s great! Here are my best tips for making that happen.
Figure out what routine(s) you need.
Decide if you want to create a morning routine, an afternoon routine, a nightly routine, or something else. My most important routine is my morning routine because mornings are the worst for me. I need structure in the morning or the rest of the day is a struggle. But maybe you love mornings and you need a nightly routine because you have trouble sleeping. Or you could need a daily routine because you work from home and just can’t quite figure out how to be productive. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s all up to you.
Analyze what you’re currently doing.
It’s good to grab a piece of paper and a pen now. Now that you know what type of routine you’re trying to create, it’s time to think about what you’re currently doing at this time of day. Draw a line down the middle of the paper and on one side, write down what you’d like to continue doing during this time and on the other side, write down what you’d like to stop doing. For example, are you spending an hour on Instagram every morning and you’d like to stop? Are you washing your face every night and you’d like to continue doing that?
Brainstorm what you need/want to start doing.
You might need another piece of paper for this. This is where you need to figure out what works for you. Don’t think about what the internet tells you to add into your routine; make it intentional. What would benefit you? Think about things that would nourish your mind, body, and/or soul. Here are a few examples to get your juices flowing:
- Writing your to-do list
- Sipping tea/coffee/water
- Eating breakfast/lunch/dinner
- Taking a shower/bath
- Spending time with family
- Taking a walk
Make an actual plan.
You might need yet another piece of paper for this part! It’s time to actually write down what you want your routine to look like. Combine the things that you have to do and the things that you want to do. Keep in mind the amount of time that you have to realistically do these things and try to keep it manageable.
Test it out, tweak it, make it happen.
Now that you have a plan, start trying to stick to your intentional routine. You might have to tweak it a bit and try it again, but eventually you should have it figured out. Don’t give up because I promise that it will help you be so much more productive and clear-headed in the long run!
What does your intentional routine look like?