FIRST let me say that I often talk about the danger of being in a rut … but don’t think I am changing my tune here. Any routine that you develop needs to be revisited every now and then to make sure it is still serving you.
Having said that …
You know what it is like when you get thrown off your usual schedule … you end up wearing two different coloured socks, you forget your office keys at home, you head off to the airport and realise you should be going to the train station!
We are built that way … but people who have very flexible lifestyles cope pretty well with the constant change. The big issue comes to those who usually don’t travel, or have their schedule changed infrequently.
So what? You can use that “innate love of routine” to your advantage.
Here is what you do …
Think about the regular activities that you do … and see if you can “clump them”. If you are a salesperson and “cold (or warm) calling” is something that you do (or should do) regularly then this is perfect.
Set up specific times in your calendar for that activity. Make it a meeting with yourself with a very high priority (meaning you cannot move it unless something higher priority comes along) and use that time to make your calls. It could be several meetings a week to break it up … it could even be some time each day (Mondays 9-10am; Tuesday 2-3pm); Thursdays 8-9am etc).
You can do this for all kinds of regular activities …
Personnel review meetings;
Prep for regular meetings;
Data entry of client notes etc.
Once you build routines that work for you you are less likely to forget these tasks, or put them off … making you more efficient!!
The only thing to remember is to review your routines every now and then (perhaps even routinely!!!) to make sure (a) that they are as efficient as possible; (b) that they are needed; (c) ask yourself if anything else could be packaged into a routine!
Lately I have developed “start of day” routines for every day, “end of week” routines and “end of month” routines. I have them in my calendar and the FIRST thing I do every day (before looking at email) is open the routines for that day and plug the ‘To Dos” into my notebook. (You do have a notebook right? With the day and date at the start of every day, tracking all of your activity!!!)
“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” John Irving
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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