Is Every Day Exactly the Same? Building a Daily Routine
Posted on February 2, 2021
In honor of Groundhog Day, let’s talk about daily routines. It’s the third week of the semester, you know your class and work responsibilities, and you may have a pattern to your day. Now is a good time to solidify your daily routine. WHY? Routines help us know what to expect and help alleviate stress because you know you have a set time to tackle each of your tasks.
Build your routine by filling out a weekly schedule or calendar with:
- responsibilities that have NO flexibility – anything you don’t control the timing of: work, picking up your kids, meals, and synchronous classes.
- flexible responsibilities – anything that you control the timing of: study times, exercise, asynchronous classes, and chores.
Each week, take some time to create a to-do list and identify where in your routine each item fits. Include every task and due date in your list, including cleaning your house, cooking dinner, exercising, and eating! Connect each item in your to-do list with a block of time in your routine. If you have a block of 3 hours of study time, remember that humans perform better when we do high concentration tasks for shorter periods of time ~40-50 minutes with short breaks in between each session; so be sure to schedule study breaks!
Routines help us increase productivity and effectiveness. Your routine is a framework to guide you but you won’t complete every task every day. That’s ok! Each night, look at what you didn’t get to and what is on your list for the next day and find a way to adjust to complete any remaining tasks within the next day or two.
Remember, the best routine (for you) is what works for you! Maybe every day looks exactly the same but maybe it doesn’t.