Implementing routines into your everyday life is essential to your productivity. Even though I haven’t implemented too many routines (yet), and even though I don’t live by these every day, it still helps me get the things done, that I just need to have finished by the end of the day.
It hasn’t always been like that; when I was younger, I got up quite early, I went to school, I went to work afterwards, I did my homework, hung out with friends and went to bed. Even though a day like that seems filled out, I still got things done. The difference between then and now though is, that at that time, I didn’t really need to get anything else done than what I was up to; my school, my job, my friends. Looking retrospectively that seems quite easy – and somewhat dull.
As of now I am currently studying my masters in art history. From January I will be doing my thesis and by June I can call myself ‘mag.art.’ as it is called in Denmark when you graduate from your master in art history. Suddenly I’m an academic – more than I am now.
Besides doing my masters I have involved myself in quite a project; my own. Yes, it is my own fault that I am so busy and so hung up at the moment. But I have come to the acknowledgement that when you do something that you love and have huge passion for, it doesn’t matter how busy you are, because you love it so much. You get lost in time, in InDesign (yes, I’m doing a book), you get up to a cup of coffee and loads of emails to reply and your best friend is your computer (at least in my case).
Does it sound lonely? I assure you it is not! Maybe I’m a different case than the social girls, due to the fact that I love my own company so freakin’ much that it almost scares my boyfriend..
What I want to conclude on is, that management of your time is not always as easy as it sounds. Suddenly it’s a stressor that I have to cook dinner (and honestly, I LOVE to cook, bake, slice fruit, you name it, if it’s in a kitchen, I love it!), do the groceries, clean our home (again, I love to clean, maybe I am, in theory, the perfect housewife), do the laundry (I like when our clothes are clean and neat) and the list goes on. Suddenly I needed to manage my time better. So, a few years ago I started to get interested in the ‘how‘. I searched the internet, got smarter, but didn’t really do anything. Until I discovered a set of books, which was the thing that got me going. I’ll let you in on them below.
The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod
Hal Elrod basicly describes what you can get out of your morning if you turn yourself into a morning person. He describes “6 habits that will transform your life” and how to peak your productivity before 8 AM. This book is really a life changer. It made me see my life in a different perspective; how I could optimise my mornings, my routines and even my entire days. Today I keep a to-do-list and I jot down everything I need to do the night before. Do it! It will help you more than you know. Following this my book project became a reality; today I am working on three different books which all help you keep an overview of your life, your to-do’s and your habits. I also keep a mantra for every to-do-list I do every night: I have an “MIT” to fill in; this is my “Most Important Task” of the day, which I try to get done before 8 AM and if I sleep a little longer; before 9 AM! What I am trying to say is, that my MIT is what I do as the first thing in the morning, you know, after my morning coffee…
The Greatness Guide, Robin Sharma
If you haven’t heard of The Greatness Guide yet, you need to pay attention. This book is a game changer; Robin Sharma guides you, based on his own experiences, on how to not only become more productive, but too on how to achieve what you want in your life. His book contains “101 lessons for making what’s good at work and in life even better”, and I must say that it does it quite well. As I said the ‘lessons’ are based on his own experiences and through the way you get to know Robin Sharma a bit; he has implemented short anecdotes in which he himself has been in a particular situation where he made use of the concerned lesson. It is a very rewarding book to read and you will find yourself a lot smarter, nor only on the work-life balance but also on yourself, as you reflect upon your dreams and choices during the reading.
9 Thing Successful people do Differently, Heidi Grant Halvorson
Heidi Grant focuses on.. tadaa… The 9 essential things successful people do differently from other, or ordinary, people. It is a book I have made great use of myself, given that it focuses a great deal on goals and how to achieve them This is not a book about building up routines, but merely a book that tells you, quite directly and in short form, what to do if you want to achieve what you have set your mind up to. Don’t juggle around with 10 things at once, focus on one thing at a time and you will start to experience how much you actually get done. The 9 “rules” Heidi Grant has set up are: #1 Get Specific, #2 Seize the Moment to Act on Your Goals, #3 Know Exactly how far You have Left to Go, #4 Be a Realistic Optimist, #5 Focus on Getting Better, Rather than Being Good, #6 Have Grit, #7 Build Your Willpower Muscle, #8Don’t Tempt Fate, #9 Focus on What You Will Do, Not What You Won’t Do. The book is a pocket size which is easy to squeeze into a handbag when on the run. I tend to keep this book as well as The Greatness Guide beside me wherever I go, that way it is easy to have a quick look if you need a shot of inspiration or just need to keep yourself in the right mindset.