My business coach, James Schramko, taught me the importance of routine.
Routine requires forethought. And it takes discipline to keep to. But when done correctly, it can be your best productivity tool. I’m a big believer in that.
As I’ve been going through a yearlong leadership program, my routine has been looking quite a big different than it used to. The biggest change is more calls and meetings. Most of these happen at predictable times, some are subject to change, and some only happen once.
To give you a bit of an idea, here’s an overview of this week’s meeting and call schedule:
Monday, 8:00 – 8:45 AM: Program related meeting
Monday, 9:00 – 9:30 AM: Program related breakout meeting
Monday, 10:00 – 10:30 AM: Side business meeting
Tuesday, 9:00 – 9:30 AM: Program related breakout meeting
Tuesday, 4:30 – 5:00 PM: Program related breakout meeting
Tuesday, 6:00 – 9:00 PM: Program related training opportunity
Wednesday, 9:00 – 9:45 AM: Program related team meeting
Wednesday, 7:00 – 7:45 PM: Program related team meeting
Thursday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Side business meeting
Thursday, 12:30 – 1:00 PM: Program related coaching call
Thursday, 2:00 – 2:30 PM: The Singer-Songwriter Summit presentation
Friday, 10:45 – 11:15 AM: Program related colleague call
Friday, 12:00 – 12:45 PM: Program related team meeting
Friday, 7:00 – 9:45 PM: Program related meeting
Saturday, 8:30 – 9:30 AM: Program related clinic
Saturday, 10:00 – 11:00 AM: Program related team meeting
Sounds kind of intense, right? And that’s because the program I’m taking is intensive.
I would love to say that I always get up at a consistent time or that everything happens at a specific time in my schedule. That’s not how things are working right now. But I have created some order in the chaos to keep me on track. I have certain days reserved for certain activities. And here’s what that looks like:
Monday: Work on my book first thing in the morning. Most of Monday is dedicated to setting myself up for success for the rest of the week. That might mean writing multiple blog posts, outlining client blog articles, communicating with team members, preparing for meetings, and the like.
Tuesday: Work on my book first thing in the morning. Tuesday morning is dedicated to audio content (podcast, members only audios, etc.). The afternoon is spent developing the client blog articles I was assigned.
Wednesday: Work on my book first thing in the morning. Most of the day is spent developing client blog articles, but I also take ad hoc meetings (e.g., podcast interviews) on Wednesdays.
Thursday: Work on my book first thing in the morning. Overall, same as Wednesday. I will usually leave Thursday nights open for something fun, like games night with friends.
Friday: Work on my book first thing in the morning. Finish odds and ends – blog articles, blog updates, additional content, ad hoc projects, Elite Players: All Access Pass updates, making music, and so on.
Saturday: Create weekly digest, publish it, and send it out to email list(s).
Sunday: Don’t do anything!
So, even if organized chaos is what you’re facing right now (been there), you can at least create themes for your days. And that helps you make progress in the areas that matter every single week.
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Several of my classmates have said they feel this way.
And it’s hardly surprising. Our course officially began last weekend, and before we knew it, we were plunged into a long week of calls, meetings, and training. To say nothing of our daily lives, commitments, and work in general.
I feel a bit fried myself. Even though I’ve basically kept to a minimum viable routine. There hasn’t really been time for extras.
But there can be great joy in experimentation. It can sometimes go against better judgment, but it has a way of producing breakthroughs for that very reason!
When we’re trying to figure out how to make progress in our projects, we tend to make small, incremental changes and rarely allow ourselves to make wild concoctions out of new ingredients.
This morning, instead of starting this blog post (because I didn’t even know what I was going to be writing about yet), I read an email. And then I felt compelled to make Instagram posts.
I have not been overly committed to growing my Instagram following lately, but I was beginning to see some fresh possibilities.
Instead of waiting around, I got into action. I was excited, and to my surprise, I was able to create and schedule 24 posts in under an hour. It was fast and easy.
Now, if I had doubted any part of this…
If I had thought to myself “I have better things to do…”
If I had allowed myself to become too regimented in my thinking and my routine…
I would not have given myself the space to experiment. And that may have closed off any connection I had to spirit.
There are no promises, of course. I may not see my Instagram following grow as result of the actions I’ve taken.
But I had an auspicious feeling. And to not act on that feeling would be to doubt myself. And if I doubted myself, it would gradually erode my self-confidence. If my confidence were low, I would not take chances.
How many things are you not trying because you doubt yourself?
Maybe your intuition is trying to get your attention. Maybe the guidance system you’ve been looking for cannot be found externally. Just maybe, it was inside you all along.
You know what to do. But like a clogged drain, there’s debris that needs to be cleared out before you can tune into your intuition and hear clearly.
Pay attention to spirit. And act as the spirit moves you.
You may be prompted to act in ways you’d never thought of before. But that has a way of producing surprising breakthroughs.