Reaching goals with Routines: what works, what doesn’t and why it matters.
There are four major types of daily routine the majority of people follow and I will talk briefly about each routine.
Your daily routine will determine your success, happiness and bank account balance. I can tell a lot about a person by just looking at their daily routine. I can tell you with confidence that over 90% of super successful people have some sort of routine and system to manage their task.
Flow Routine – The yes person
Let’s start with the least effective method. Going with the flow! In this method, you do not plan your day at all. You don’t have a specific wake up time, no specific lunch / dinner time, no specific time to carry out essential tasks required within your life / work, and no specific time for activities such as sports.
I know some highly successful people who implement this method (mainly artists), but the majority of people fail to have a fulfilling lifestyle following the Flow Routine.
In the Flow Routine, you are more likely to say “yes” to upcoming requests from friends, family and co-workers, as you don’t have a set goals for the day. You will most likely leave tasks to the last minute and you will probably just about get away with doing so until one day you realise you have two close deadlines or something similar, and you will fail on both tasks. This can eventually cause loss of job in extreme cases.
Even though the Flow Routine seems like a great relaxed and chilled approach to life, it will turn out to be the opposite, as described above. This is because Flow Routine people are hooked on instant gratification, and they fail to look at the bigger picture. These type of people also have less confidence, fewer ambitions and in general have a lower health and fitness level.
Let’s take a minute to think about it. If you have no structure in your life, it is
An organised person, with a routine, makes sure they have sufficient food supplies to meet their dietary requirements for the week, as a result, eats less junk food and has a better lifestyle. Also, they have a specific time put aside for exercising during the day, which means they can schedule their food intake appropriately to have sufficient energy levels during the workout, and not have a full stomach while exercising.
The Flow Routine person is less likely to achieve their goals in life (if any set).
To-Do list with or without A, B, C priority
I know many people who use To-Do lists, and they, in general, seem to be at least 50% more successful in life than the Flow Routine people (We are measuring success according to number of goals achieved in life).
These people start working through their list through the day and hope to finish it once the day is over.
There are many different varieties of a To-Do list and many tools that help you manage a To-Do list.
A simple To-Do list can be something like a shopping list. Most effective way to do your shopping is probably using a To-Do list. However, in day-to-day life, a simple To-Do list doesn’t give us enough information.
Then comes the Priority List, which you prioritise tasks into importance. E.g. A: Very Important, B: Important, C: Maybe / Good to do. You can also add deadline dates to each task.
My favourite tool for a To-Do list is ASANA. It’s free and truly easy to use, also connects to your Google account. It’s more of a project management tool, which I use to “project manage” my life.
As you can see, I’ve got a list of current projects I am working on at the left side, and under each project there are several tasks with deadlines and comments etc once you click on them.
Can you imagine the prime minister of the UK running around with a To-Do-list in her hand?
I don’t think so. The trouble with To-Do lists by themselves is that because there isn’t a time block allocated to carrying out the task, you are prone to getting distracted and underestimating how long the task is truly going to take. This is where the Task Scheduling model comes in.
Task Scheduling Model
In this model, we use a calendar, e.g. Google calendar, to schedule each task.
This is the most effective method for goal settings and managing tasks.
Basically, we are setting an appointment to each task. This can also include time for, breakfast, shower, lunch, gym, relaxing, watching YouTube videos, spending time with family, reading a book, etc.
When you start using the above model, you will soon realise how limited time you have throughout the day, and you will stop saying yes to everything and everyone, and will hopefully use your time more wisely.
It is important you strictly stick to your schedule. Of course interruptions will occur, and if this happens, you just re-adjust your calendar accordingly. Remember, if a task is not on the calendar then it won’t happen!
I made my first six figure sum when I started using this approach. At the beginning, you might find this frustrating but you will adjust as you go along and will soon find it rather liberating knowing what your plans are for the next week or so, and will experience rapid growth.
Visit the Download section to download some templates of what I actually use.
I use a combination of ASANA (Free version), Google Calendar and Google Spreadsheets to manage all my goals. Every day I spend at least 30 minutes reflecting on my previous day, and re-planning the day if necessary.
I will publish a more in-depth guide about this method soon.