One of the most important thing I have found to make myself more efficient is daily rituals. Morning, bedtime, and work rituals to be exact.
My morning ritual starts with 15-20 minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of meditation. The yoga helps get the blood flowing right when I wake up! During the 10 minutes of meditation, I usually sit and listen to my breathing, focus on a bible verse, or just listen to God. This helps me feel less anxious throughout the day and allows me to have time away from any distractions to start the day off right.
“A daily ritual is a way of saying I’m voting for myself; I’m taking care of myself.” -Mariel Hemingway
After that, I do 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, have breakfast, do my devotions, and get ready for the day (brush teeth, wash face, etc). All together, this usually takes about 2 hours every morning. My morning ritual creates consistency to be more efficient and eliminates having to make small decisions in the morning. I (try to) not look at my phone or computer until after this is complete to eliminate that distraction and remove some screen time from my day!
Start of Work Day
I look at my weekly to-do list first when I start my work day. I check to see what is the most important to get done and start there. But before I dig in, I grab myself a cup of tea, check my emails, and check all the digital and social ads I have running for clients while listening to my podcast of the day. This ritual helps me get in the state of mind to get work done and actually stay focused. I know that when I start this ritual, it's time to get down to business!
Mid Work Day
I am completely useless from about 2-3pm. I’m not quite sure why, but if I’m not efficient during that hour, I’m not going to force myself and get frustrated. Instead, I get the rest of my workout done. I take a break from my computer and do some strength training, go for a walk, or do an at home Barre3 workout. The midday break and physical activity gives me the second wind I need to finish off my work day.
Some days, I’m done with work for the day by the time I start my afternoon workout. Those are the best days, because then I have all the rest of the day to do fun things or get ahead with my work!
End of Work Day
Whether I’m done before I workout or after, I always end my work day reflecting on what I completed and what I will focus on tomorrow. Then, I write down any additional tasks I need to add to my week and respond to any emails I need to before the next day. That way, I really “leave work” and have the rest of my day to enjoy!
At the end of my day, I get ready for bed, read for about 20-30 minutes, listen to my calming playlist, then head to bed. I make sure to not look at any screens at least 1 hour before I go to bed. When I listen to my calming bedtime playlist, I put my feet up the wall and lay on the floor. This position is extremely relaxing for me and helps me wind down. Sometimes I do this on my bed with my feet up on my headboard (especially when it's cold!).
“Ask yourself: what would your life look like if you directed it instead of drifted through it?” -Michael Hyatt
How to Get Started
I highly recommend finding some rituals to implement into your day. It leaves you the brain power to make big decisions when you eliminate the need to make so many little decisions. I have become more efficient with my time, less anxious, and less worried! Daily rituals not only streamline my day, but are tasks and activities that get me closer to my goals.
Your daily rituals are going to look very different than mine, and that’s okay! My rituals are all about getting in the right mindset, staying physically active, and growing my knowledge. Maybe your goals are similar, but you achieve them very differently. It may take some trial and error to find out what works best for you.
I started out with just a morning ritual. Once that became habit, I added in the bedtime ritual. It will take time. You will find what works best for you. You may already be doing the things you want to include in your daily ritual, you just aren’t consistently doing them in the same order or at the same time everyday!
The best way to get started is to write down what you want your daily ritual(s) to be. Then, print it off and put it up somewhere you can see it everyday. Put it up in the bathroom, by your bedroom mirror, or in your office. This way, you are reminded to of it everyday. It will take awhile to get used to it! I probably didn’t fully stick to my daily rituals until after about 45 days. So, don't be too hard on yourself if you don’t adhere to it right away!
Another way to make sure you stay on track with your daily rituals is get a day planner. I know, who uses paper planners anymore?! Well, I do! They are great for scheduling your daily rituals everyday and setting goals. Find one that works for you! There are so many to choose from, so shop around a bit! I am really excited to dive into the Full Focus Planner by Micheal Hyatt in 2019! It is an extremely goal oriented day planner that actually promotes daily rituals! If you want to check it out, visit fullfocusplanner.com!
Now is the best time to start planning for the new year!
If you would like some help getting started, you can download my simple Daily Ritual worksheet by filling out the form below!