If you want to stick to your work routine, then you need to be prepared to make some adjustments. While you know what you need to do to be successful on the job, little changes may make it hard to follow your routine, thus lowering your productivity and increasing your frustration.
I recently received a reminder of how a change can disrupt your routine. It came in the form of back pain.
As someone who talks to audiences for 60 to 90 minutes, I know the job comes with physical demands. It’s a performance that features a lot of movement. To pull it off, I need to do a certain amount of daily exercise and stretching.
I have a routine that works but what happened when life threw some unexpected curveballs at me?
- An allergy attack limited my exercise for a few days;
- While at events, I spent more time than usual sitting in uncomfortable chairs;
- At home, I took on an unplanned yard work project;
- And during busy days, I either didn’t stretch much or not at all.
As a result, my back muscles tightened and suddenly I’m moving around like an old man.
I’m lucky that I understand this problem and know how to fix it. The sad thing is that I know how to prevent it but let little things distract me from my positive routine.
In your world, are your routines vulnerable to the unexpected? Something suddenly requires your time and makes you unable to perform a task as you normally would. This results in work not getting done, done below your standards, or performed after hours, cutting into your personal life.
In my case, I know I can create exercise and stretching reminders, set alarms to make sure I’m executing my plan, and be more mindful of negative situations, like sitting on uncomfortable chairs.
Your game plan to stick to your work routine could include these tips:
Define the Routine
Think about the tasks you do, which are the most important, and which can wait until another time. This can help you rearrange your day when suddenly 30% of your time is needed on something unexpected.
Get Creative with Solutions
If you know something is important to do, find a way to sneak it back into your day. I know a manager who likes to walk during his lunch hour, as a way to reenergize his mind. Sometimes, lunch meetings remove the ability to take that walk.
In these cases, he’ll walk later but review phone and email messages during that time. Normally, he’d just be sitting at a desk while doing these things. His routine is honored but in a different way.
Have a Reset Plan
There will be times when it’s impossible to follow your routine. The danger is not going back to it, when things calm down.
There will be days when my exercise and stretching routines won’t fit into my day. But what happens is that I often take too long, after those busy times, before I return to these positive activities.
Make sure you stay committed to the positive habits that make you successful. Stick to your work routine!