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Routine: Run Your Day Instead of It Running You

There is a routine I have followed consistently over many years.

I call it coffee time.

Four or five days a week, from 7:30 AM to sometime around 9, you can find me at Panera Bread, on my computer, working. I don’t just work on anything. I use this time specifically to really dive into just one or two items.

If you see me there I might be creating content for those we work with–to get them thinking deeper about their business and ways for them to drive more revenue. Or I might be compiling a list of clients that own Genworth policies. From there, I reach out to those that I have identified to discuss the latest news from Genworth and see how they would like to move forward. The key is knowing my priority for that particular day and knowing what I can do at an early morning hour and I focus on that.

Going to Panera works for me. For you it might be Starbucks, or a locally-owned place, or maybe you need a completely different kind of routine. The important thing for me is it’s a comfortable place to work that’s near my home but not actually my home. I like the atmosphere and I like the people I meet there. I’m energized by being around people. At the same time, I know that after some light conversation there will be no interruptions. The regulars at Panera aren’t my co-workers or my family and they don’t place any demands on me.

I find the beginning of the day is critical. I have to get my workday off to a good start in order to perform successfully, and maintaining a tried and true routine is how I do it. Without it, the distractions and demands start coming in and I end up reacting rather than acting all day long.

A different routine might work for other people, like hitting the gym first thing or taking a quiet lunch every day to re-set the brain. Maybe you need to turn your phone off in the mornings or only check emails at 9, 12, and 4. Whatever it is, find out what works for you and stick with it. Give a work routine a try.

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