Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you like to work out in the morning or need two cups of coffee before speaking to anyone? No matter what works for you make sure to embrace a routine that lets you be successful. While everyone’s routine is different, here are my tips for coming up with the perfect one!
Choose your outfit and pack your bags before you go to bed: This is a great way to start your day off feeling ready for success. By getting everything prepared the night before, you can allow yourself to still be waking up while getting ready in the morning without sacrificing wearing socks that don’t match or forgetting an important folder. Also, by having everything packed up the night before you can allow yourself to sleep in longer (and who doesn’t love an extra 10 minutes of rest?).
Have a breakfast you look forward to enjoying: For most, the word coffee or tea comes to mind when they think about mornings. However, whatever it is that you enjoy having for breakfast, (be it coffee, eggs or a bagel) make sure you promise yourself you can have it if you get up on time. This way you will have something you look forward to when waking up (because who doesn’t love good food?). Having a healthy breakfast is a key way to starting your day off strong and giving your brain an early boost before taking on all the responsibilities and tasks the day has in store.
Set aside work time: Whether that means waking up before the sun rises or staying up after it goes down, picking a time to just sit down and knock out your work is important to include in your daily routine. Also, making sure to minimize distractions during this time is necessary to allow for true productivity.
Set aside free time: Did any other Type A out there just raise an eyebrow? Yes, I just mentioned the mysterious word “free time”. While it can seem like an unknown concept at times, it is important to make a conscious effort to give yourself time away from work. Allowing yourself even an hour a day to sit back, relax, and do something to help you reset is important for keeping yourself healthy. I tend to find that making phone calls with friends and family, or taking a break and designing mind maps of cool ideas, goals, and how to accomplish them (yes, I’m a nerd for organization.. what’s new? haha) are ways that can give your mind a break and recharge.
Have time set aside to take care of the little things: You can’t plan for everything. There is always something that comes up unexpected, whether it’s a quick fix or a real issue. Therefore, setting aside time in advance each day to work on these little things can be a great way of managing them without letting the rest of your life fall behind. If setting aside a half-hour to an hour doesn’t naturally fit into your schedule try working in bits and pieces during the time between events. This could be answering a message while waiting for class to start or calling to set up your dentist appointment while walking to a meeting. Finding small blocks of time to get these tasks done can be a great way of keeping yourself flexible and on top of your life.
Make sure you get enough sleep: Sleep is incredibly important for your general health and happiness. However, it tends to be what gets cut when life gets busy. While many say eight hours of sleep is what is needed for the average person, it is important to figure out how much time is specific to your needs. Some people swear they can get by with less than seven (not recommended for everyone though). Others may need a little more than the standard eight. Whatever your amount is, start with eight and adjust your sleep schedule from there. Once you know how much sleep you need, try to make that amount of time a constant in your life. This way, you can start each day off refreshed and improve your overall health.
Set aside time to talk to your people: People need people. The amount of time you need to be social is also dependant on your personality type (extrovert or introvert). Taking time to meet up with friends or talk to a family member can be a great way of keeping yourself connected with those closest to you and brighten your day. Especially in college, it’s important to strike a balance between your home life and college life. I find a great way to do this is by setting aside time to grab dinner with friends on campus and then balance finding time to call or facetime friends and family back at home. I see a lot of students (including myself) taking time to call friends and family on their walks to and from classes or extracurriculars in order to balance work life and social life.
Add in a block of time to respond to emails: Emails are college’s cousin. Whether they are from professors, administrators, housing staff, or that clothing store (that is nowhere near your campus that emails you about every sale imaginable), emails begin to pile up if you don’t take time every day to sort through them. Therefore, setting aside 10-15 minutes each day to take care of your emails can help you stay connected, informed, and organized.
Those are the eight tips for a successful daily routine! For more tips on how to have a successful day check out my article on 5 steps to boost productivity.