It’s good to shake things up every once in while. And that includes your work routine.
Maybe you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. Or not as productive as you’d like. Or perhaps you just need something new to get you inspired and motivated.
Having a routine is often the key to being productive – especially if you’re affiliate and working at home. But sometimes a routine can feel like a rut. You’re tackling that to-do list like a boss, but every now and again it feels like simply going through the motions. You’ve developed processes and put systems in place that make you efficient. But after awhile it’s like the movie Groundhog Day. If you know that feeling, it might be time to change up how you approach work on daily basis.
And while having a routine might make you more efficient, often it can lead to being stuck working in your business rather than on your business.
Here are some ways to shake up your routine:
Create a New Schedule
If you wake up at the same time each day and do the same tasks in a same order, try switching it up. Instead of heading straight for the home office when you wake up, hit the gym or go for a walk. Maybe you normally work at your desk for lunch. Instead try scheduling a lunch meeting with a friend or business contact.
Additionally, think about how your get through your daily to-list and how you can build in time for working on bigger picture issues. That might mean designating one day or half a day each week to just thinking about expansion, implementing new strategies, or developing a plan for future growth.
If you always work in a same location, try picking one day a week to work elsewhere. Maybe it’s a cafe, or a co-working space, or even another room of the house. Being physically located in a different environment takes your brain off auto-pilot. You never know what ideas your brief work hours in a new space might inspire.
Build in Flexibility
Being over-scheduled or having a monster to-do list, puts you in a state of constantly moving quickly to complete tasks in specific order and on time. It also means you have no time to just let your mind wander or to think about other issues. You’re simply in get-stuff-done mode.
Try pairing down on the number of must-do items. Having some breathing room and focusing only on your top priorities for the day or week will give you some flexibility in your schedule. It also means that if something important comes up, or there is an unscheduled interruption, you’re entire day won’t be thrown off course.
Get Creative – Literally
Take time out to be creative. Either do an art project or build something with no reason or obligation to do the project except to be creative. When you’re focused on something that uses another part of your brain, you often come up with solutions to other problems. It’s also good for your mind to relax and recharge and creative activities allow for that.
Learn a New Skill
Make a point of learning a new skill unrelated to your business or work. It can be anything – meditation, a craft, CPR – whatever is of interest. Incorporating “practice” time will unstick the stuck.
It an be invorgating to spend time with colleagues or peers. This is especially true if you’re isolated by working from home. So, whether it’s planning a once a week lunch with a different person each week or attending a local business meet-up, it’s good to interact with others. If making it out of the home office is overwhelming or not practical, you can try starting a mastermind group via phone or over the internet. Or think about trying to set up a call with one new person each week to talk about business opportunities.
Additionally, not every networking opportunity needs to be focused specifically on your business or industry. Often talking with people in other areas of business will spark on idea. You’ll also likely find that others face many similar challenges of running a business. They might have some good strategies for you. Or, at least, you can commiserate.
If you’re in a financial position to hire someone, that will certainly help shake up your routine. Delegating daily tasks to others frees you up to think about growing your business. Instead of being mired in the day-to-day, your valuable time can be spent on bigger issues that could earn you more money. However, when hiring anyone, make sure to have clear systems in place and provide employees with the tools, resources, and instructions to independently complete their tasks. You don’t want overseeing every move of a new employee to be added to your daily to-do list.
Altering your current routine can spark innovation and efficiency. It will probably take a while to get accustomed to the new normal, but once you do, you’ll be firing on all cylinders. However, remember that your new routine may also eventually turn into a rut. So, you might want to think about shaking things up once a year or every 18 months.