A unique set of circumstances created an extraordinary situation, and there was no routine. After experiencing an ice storm in 2011, I’ve never had a greater appreciation for routine in my life, and electricity is up there as well. The storm that hit us came early in the year when the leaves were still on the trees. The heavy wet snow falling on branches full of leaves caused branch after branch to crack, break and fall. It was so eerie hearing the constant cracking sounds, and it was dangerous just being outside as it was literally raining tree branches. The aftermath looked like a tornado struck with huge trees laying across roads entangled with electrical wire; many were still blocking roads 6 days after the storm hit.
At the same time, I had my laptop and cell phone, I could hold my coaching calls (an hour of pleasurable distraction). I was moving from the hotel lobby to our room, trying to find a comfortable location. By the end of the day, I was exhausted and wonder what the hell did I even accomplish today?
My husband and I were some of the lucky ones; we found a hotel an hour away from our home. While our electricity at home was supposed to be restored by Sunday at midnight, I was doubtful because all the wires connecting our home were down. I knew it would be a bit longer. So day by day, I woke up in a hotel and tried to create some semblance of normalcy. While I was warm and well-fed and could charge my phone and computer, I found myself getting more agitated.
While that situation was extreme, it only highlights the importance of a routine and daily schedule. Many female financial advisors I coach find the day running them.
They start with a schedule that allows the seemingly important/urgent issues to sidetrack and interrupt their plans for a productive day. I realize even the best routine can be disrupted, and it’s how quickly you can get back into your routine to continue to create the most productive and efficient environment.
Take some time, look at ALL the routines in your day; from the moment you wake, notice your morning routine, you don’t even have to think about it! When you enter the office, is your routine as seamless and effortless as you want it to be?
If you haven’t been good at staying with a routine, start small, just put structure into the first 2-3 hours of your day, get that down, and make it stick. Then you can begin adding more systems, routines, and structure to other parts of your day.
Creating and sticking to a routine isn’t an option if you plan to reach the level of success you really want.