Building Effective Routines that Work For You

Routines are the building blocks that keep our lives running smoothly, Without them we are more susceptible to distractions and are more likely to end up in chaos rather than the calm we might be seeking. The good news is that building effective routines is not as hard as it might seem.

Building effective routines into your days will make them run more smoothly.

By building effective routines that work for you, you'll be able to move through your days smoothly and efficiently.
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Building Effective Routines is SUper Easy

Building an effective routine does not have to be hard. In a lot of ways, it is no different than setting a goal. Think about what you need your routine to do. Break it down by tasks that need to get done. And then follow through with it. Test it out, see if how it works, and make tweaks and changes along the way.

I’ll walk you through how I build my routines.

Define the Purpose of the Routine

What function does this routine serve in your life?  

Is it to make sure you start the day in the way that works best for you?

Maybe you want to make cleaning your home quicker and easier?

Perhaps you’re wanting to make part of your work more manageable?  

Take some time to really think about the routine you’re building or changing and what function it serves. Make notes or write out a mission statement for the routine, much like you would for a goal you want to reach.

Knowing what you need the routine for and what you want to accomplish with the routine will help you make sure you’re building an effective routine. It will also make maintaining that routine a little easier because you know that there is a purpose to the actions you are taking.

Clear the Clutter From Your Routine

Just like you clear clutter from your home and spaces you can also clear the clutter from your routines.  Streamlining where possible to make them as effective as they can. Now that you know what you want from your routines you can trim away anything from it that doesn’t work towards the goal you set for it.

I tend to make my routines much more complicated than they need to be. Especially when I’m building new ones. This step really helps to whittle out the excess and make the routine as effective as it can be.

For example, my evening routine used to be really cluttered. I was trying to navigate dinner time and subsequent cleanup, prep for the following day, catch up whatever got missed during the day, plus extra household and family stuff. It was a mess, and it was more headache and chaos than a routine. Once I set a purpose for the routine, which is to end the day with a clean kitchen and a calm evening, I was able to identify what tasks didn’t need to be there. I no longer use evenings to catch up, unless I want too. Extra household and family stuff got assigned to a new time. By taking out the stuff I didn’t need, I was able to streamline it and make it much more effective. Plus, I am able to enjoy time with my family which is always a great way to end the day.

So take a look at your routines and see if there are any tasks that don’t really fit and remove them from that routine.

Make Them Flow

Routines should either be guideposts that help your day move smoothly or crafted to make certain things as efficient as they can be for you.

If possible, group like tasks together to make things more efficient.  For example, if part of your morning routine is giving the bathroom a quick clean, maybe do that right after you finish your personal grooming.  If you typically unload the dishwasher in the morning, maybe do it while you’re waiting for the coffee to brew or while the kids are eating breakfast.

Tying like tasks together will not only make things run more smoothly, but it’ll help save you time as well.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different

Just because there is a conventional way to do something, doesn’t mean it is the best way for you to do it.  Think outside the box when it comes to building effective routines that will work for you.

Back before we homeschooled I wasted a lot of time trying to keep our entryway table clear until I stopped and took stock of what items always ended up on it.  My solution was to make a home for those things on the table. This meant that my son’s hairbrush and hair gel had a home on that table, instead of in the bathroom that was four steps away. We always fixed his hair in the hall before heading out the door to school. Rather than fight against that natural flow of our mornings I embraced it.

If there is something that works well for you, but makes no sense to anyone else, that’s ok.  The easier you make it for yourself the better. Your routines should work for you, not the other way around.

Building effective routines is not about having a checklist of tasks that you do one after the other.  Effective routines are the routines that help make your day run smoothly. They make maintaining your home and organizing various areas of your life easier.  An effective routine means you can go into auto-pilot mode to get it done.

I’d Love to Hear From You

What routines do you have that are working really well for you?  Are there any you feel could be working better? Drop me a line in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going.

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