If you're feeling overwhelmed and unproductive, it's time to get yourself on a schedule. You're not alone—many people have trouble committing to a routine or can't figure out what their best fit is. But if you follow this guide, I promise that clarity will come to your life in no time!
Get in writing what you want to be doing.
Write down what you want to be doing. How much time do you want to spend on it? What are the benefits of doing it, and what are the costs of not doing it?
For example, if you want to work out more often, start by writing down how much time per week or month that would take up in your schedule. Then list some of the benefits of exercising (better energy levels, weight loss). Then write down some reasons why exercise isn't a priority right now (no time, money is tight).
Get in writing how much time you want to spend doing it.
The next step is to get in writing how much time you want to spend doing it.
You can’t control how much time you spend on something, but you can control how much time you spend on something that serves your goals and purpose. You need to be realistic about how much time you have available, and how much time you want to spend. In other words: think about what routine will get the job done most effectively within the constraints of your schedule and availability—and then write it down!
If writing out a plan doesn't work for your life right now (say, if writing is an extra task), try using a tool like 20minutelifecoaching's "What Do I Want?" template instead—it has similar benefits: putting your goals into words makes them more concrete, which helps give them meaning so that they're easier for us as human beings to internalize at a deeper level..
Put your plan on paper.
Writing your goals and tasks down creates a physical manifestation of what you're working towards. It also helps you to visualize the process of achieving those goals, and can help keep you on track.
Write down your goals and tasks in a notebook or planner (the former is preferable because it doesn't have an artificial time limit). If you know how much time each task takes to complete, write that next to the task itself.* Write down your schedule for each day/week.* Prioritize what needs to be done first, second, third etc.* Put habits on paper so they are more likely to stick in your brain!
Find a way to hold yourself accountable.
To make sure you're making progress on your goals, find a way to hold yourself accountable. Use a calendar or app to track your progress or set up weekly check-in calls with friends and family who are interested in your success. You can also use a journal or blog to reflect on how far you've come by writing down what's working for you and what isn't. Having someone else hold us accountable when we're trying something new is always helpful, whether it's an accountability partner who will meet with us frequently or simply telling our friends about the change we want to make in our lives.
Focus on clearing more space in your mind and schedule, not filling it up with more stuff.
Instead of focusing on filling up your schedule with more stuff, focus on clearing more space in your mind and schedule. Focus on doing less, not more. Focus on the things that are important to you and make you feel good.
Consistency is key.
Consistency is key. If you want to achieve a routine and gain clarity, consistency is the only way to do it. How can you stick to your routine? By setting your alarm clock to a specific time every morning, and then going right back to sleep if it goes off too early! This technique has been proven by psychologists around the world, and some even go so far as saying it's the only way anyone could ever get anything done in life.
How did this work for me? Well I set my alarm clock for 5:30am every morning (because I'm an early riser), but then when my alarm went off at 5:29 am instead of getting up immediately like I usually would have done in previous years (I always wake up at 8am), I just went back to sleep because I didn't really feel like getting out of bed yet anyway...
Clarity comes from having routines that are consistent, frequent, and simple
A routine is a series of actions that you perform regularly, in the same order and at the same place. For example, you can have a routine for eating breakfast, working out, showering and getting dressed before you leave for work.
Routines are important because they help you to be more consistent and organized. They give us a sense of control over our lives by making sure we stick to our plans even when we’re busy or stressed out.
When it comes down to it though, routines aren’t just about organization – they also provide an excellent opportunity for reflection and clarity on what’s most important in your life right now (and what isn’t). By performing the same activities each day at roughly the same times throughout our lives, we build up habits which become deeply ingrained within us – both good ones like gratitude practices or negative ones like self-criticism or procrastination. In essence: routines help us develop self-awareness so that we can make informed choices about how we spend our time and energy each day!
You don’t need a huge list of things to do. You just need to make sure you keep doing the things that are most important to you and have those be the things that are going to make your life better, rather than worse. So pick one or two things that matter most right now and use these tips to help you get started on your way to more clarity.