From sleeping at a set timing every night to doing some exercises every week – I love my daily routine because it helps me be more effective throughout the day. While not perfect, I’ve gone through some trial and error to discover what caused me to be unable to stick to my daily routine and to see how I can best stick to them.
In this article, I will share the common reasons that caused me to be unable to stick to my daily routine and 9 ideas I’ve tried and found to be effective to keep to my daily routine.
The inability to stick to a daily routine is often caused by 3 main reasons – unbelief, procrastination, and unnecessary routine tasks.
|Reason||A quick definitation|
|Unbelief||Not seeing/believing in the positive outcome that could happen if you actually stuck to the routine|
|Procrastination||Being distracted and doing everything except what needs to be done|
|Unnecessary routine tasks||When anything in the routine doesn’t help make a day more effective|
To beat unbelief, procrastination and eliminate unnecessary routine tasks so that I can stick to my daily routine, one of the most effective things I’ve found has helped me is to reset my day, every day.
1) Stick To Daily Routine: Reset The Day
Resetting my day helps me stick to my morning routine and helps prevent procrastination because I don’t bring any task that I didn’t do today to the next day. I start each day on a clean sheet – making my new day feel “light” and unencumbered by failures of the past.
To reset my day, at the end of every day, I make sure that I empty up my to-do list including any routine tasks that I may have failed to do for the day and then plan out my next day.
However your system to-do list and routines works, you can do the same – empty your to-do list and start your next day on an empty slate.
2) Stick To Daily Routine: Review Routine
Reviewing my daily routine periodically weeds out unnecessary routine tasks and helps me keep to my daily routine by making sure that every item on my routine to-do list serves a purpose.
Reviewing a daily routine is simple – I open up my routine to-do list and on each item, I ask 2 questions:
- Do I do this item regularly?
- Does this item actually make my day more effective?
As I tend to be idealistic, the first question forces me to look at the facts – If I have the item in my list but yet don’t do it regularly it can only mean 1 of 2 things.
Either the item is too unsustainable to be done daily or the item doesn’t serve its intended objective so I chose to skip it entirely. Either way, if I do not do the item regularly, there is a good chance that it is not making my day more effective and so, I remove or replace it.
3) Stick To Daily Routine: Access Good Info
Being exposed to uplifting information helps with unbelief as it replaces the negative information in my mind with positive information.
In today’s information age, it is not difficult to gain access to uplifting information. This can come in the form of books, podcasts or videos.
If you prefer reading but you’re unsure about how to let the reading habit take root, read this article.
If you would like to be exposed to uplifting information by engaging in activities other than reading, read this article.
4) Stick To Daily Routine: Simple Tasks
Keeping my routine tasks simple helped me to dramatically increase the odds that I will stick to my daily routine by making it easier for me to get started on tasks.
Because it’s easier for me to get started on tasks, I’ve found that I don’t procrastinate as much too.
Take caution though, as simple can mean different things to different people – simple for you may mean doing 50 push-ups as part of your daily routine but simple for me may mean doing 5 push-ups as part of my daily routine.
If you’re unable to stick to your daily routine, simplifying your routine tasks can be a key to increasing your odds of keeping to it daily.
5) Stick To Daily Routine: Change Routine
I’ve often found that when days become too routine, things start becoming mundane and I start to drift through the day without intentionality. When this happens to me, I know that procrastination is not far away.
To prevent complacency like this from happening, when I realise that things are getting a little mundane, I shake things up a bit but at the same time, be careful that I don’t change things up so much that I become unable to keep to my daily routine.
Here are some things I’ve done to change things up:
- Go to a different place for breakfast
- Change a working environment
- Eat something different for your meals
- Go to where you need to go via a different route
- Wake up earlier
- Go to bed later
6) Stick To Daily Routine: Picture Outcome
Envisioning the positive means that before my daily routine, I think about the most positive outcomes that can happen if I stick to my routine before I act on it.
When I envision the positive, I find that I am able to keep unbelief and procrastination at bay. While it doesn’t work every time in helping me stick to my daily routine, it certainly pumps me up and gives me a burst of fresh energy to work with.
Envisioning the positive just takes 1 minute to do:
Your routine > doing push-ups > imagine your changed body as a result of doing those push-ups
Your routine > reading > imagine the improvements you can make to your work as a result of reading
Your routine > meditation > imagine the results you can achieve as a result of a calmer mind
7) Stick To Daily Routine: Avoid Bad Info
Bad information is any information that causes unbelief, distraction and/or procrastination.
I’ve found that cutting out bad information tackles the root cause of unbelief but is no easy feat to do considering how connected everyone is to the internet today.
Although I’ve been unable to completely cut out all bad information, I’ve been able to drastically reduce my exposure to them by identifying the channels of information to avoid and setting up some precautions to avoid them.
Here are some channels of information on the internet that has caused me to not stick to my daily routine:
- Social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.)
- Messaging applications (WhatsApp, Telegram etc.)
- News websites
Here are some precautions that has helped prevent me from slipping into the influence of bad information:
- Silencing all notifications on my phone
- Setting up parental control as an additional barrier to block off undesirable websites
- Deleting all gaming apps on my phone and computer
8) Stick To Daily Routine: Mindfulness
Throughout the day, I have many routines that I have to stick to, one good way I’ve found to transition from 1 set of routine to another is to practice mindfulness – it gives me an opportunity to do a quick reset at any time during my day, shaking me out of procrastination.
To practice mindfulness, all I need to do is to draw my attention to my breath for 1 – 5 minutes. Feel the air as I am inhaling/exhaling and filling up/emptying my lungs.
Try it, and you may be pleasantly surprised at the results you will get out of this simple practice.
9) Stick To Daily Routine: Pause Routine
Similar to practicing mindfulness throughout the day, dropping my routine for a day helps me reset and shakes me out of procrastination but in a more drastic way.
When things get too hectic and I find myself unable to bring myself to focus anymore, I do a hard reset for myself – dropping all responsibilities and routines for a day.
Often, this comes automatically. I go through my day and halfway through, realise that I haven’t been keeping to any of my routines. It is almost as if my body is forcing myself to take a break.
Other times, I know that I am near my limit and so I intentionally plan a day to unwind and drop all forms of routine for a day.
Intentional or not, I find that taking a day off from time to time is essential to ensure that I have enough energy to carry me through the long haul.