What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? How do you begin or end your workday? As a coalition leader, you are in the role of “giving” most of the day. Although this work can be rewarding, it can also lead to burnout and exhaustion. When you create positive routines and habits, you are able to lead yourself and your coalition well. When you begin your day reacting to every request, idea and the things you can see in front of you, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Alternatively, when we spend intentional time practicing scripted routines, we can create space and energy that brings a rhythm to our days and our weeks. Join me this week as I recommend three ways to incorporate positive daily and weekly routines to regain your rhythm.
Consider your current priorities.
Think of all areas of life and consider what is important to you right now, what will bring you energy in the mornings and restfulness in the evenings. If you want to incorporate prayer, meditation, exercise, healthy eating, connecting with others, resting, playing, writing, creating, teaching or learning into your day or week, write them down. Include both work and non-work items on your list of current priorities. Three areas that have become important to me lately are daily solitude, weekly Sabbath and weekly writing. I realized that if I am going to make space for these areas of my life, I need to consider how they connect with other priorities, include them in my ideal week and then create routines that make these possible.
Write down your routines.
Once you have developed your list of priorities, consider how they can flow within your day. In the Full Focus Planner System, they highlight four primary rituals: morning, workday startup, workday shutdown and evening. As you consider your week and how you can bring energy and rhythm to your day, what needs to happen to make it easy for you to implement? When my daughter was in school, my exercise ritual was actually connected to my workday shutdown ritual. I would end my workday and then walk to pick her up from school. Now that it is summertime and she is home all day, my ritual had to change. I realized that if I was going to exercise during the day that it needed to happen in the early mornings. I also realized that I could connect my morning walk with my desire for solitude! Figure out what works for you and make adjustments along the way. Also, if your priority list is larger than your space for rituals, you may need to revise and narrow your priority list based on your current season and commitments.
Practice and revise.
As you implement your routines and rituals, you may find that some things need to be adjusted. For instance, my workday startup ritual usually involves briefly checking email, but sometimes checking email can derail my focus if I want to start the day with writing. You may want to consider slightly different routines on different days depending upon your current priorities and season of life. Consider the types of things that particularly bring you energy to start your day and help you relax and sleep well at the end of your day. For instance, although you could stay up a little later to check those emails that you didn’t get to during the day, the screen time and work concerns could keep you awake once you try to sleep. If you are unable to get good sleep, you are impacting the ability to have energy to face the next day. One of the important aspects of creating rituals or routines is transitioning from one aspect of life to the next. If you find that you are struggling with transitions, consider making adjustments to your routine. For instance one of the most challenging routines for me is the workday shutdown ritual. I often try to do “one more thing” before ending my workday. When I do this, I struggle with transitioning to another important priority – my family! Try something for a time and take time to reflect on what worked well and what could be improved.
So, what about you? What are you going to do next to create rituals in your life?
Check out my Escape the Overwhelm checklist for additional ideas that will help you create rituals and positive daily and weekly routines.
If you want some additional ideas, check out some helpful tips for rituals from the Focus on This Podcast.