The most successful people have structured routines – and for good reason. Structured routines make you more productive and effective. Instead of running around with a vague idea of what you want to accomplish, the right lifestyle routine can turn you into a productivity monster. Here’s how:

Routines Create Structure

Most people either don’t know what they want or don’t have a focused way of going about getting what they want. Having a routine eliminates both of those problems by forcing you to do a few things:

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Figure out how to get it.
  3. Add that activity somewhere in your schedule.

Once you have those three steps in place, you’re farther ahead than 90% of people flitting around from task to task with no real outcome or goal in mind.

Routines Eliminate Distraction

Without structure, it’s easy to let non-essential things get in the way of actual work. Because you haven’t designed exactly how you want to spend your time, it’s easy to let other people come in and steal 15 minutes here, and 30 minutes there.

With a routine, you have a game plan.

You don’t get the luxury of indulging people in things that distract you from your goals because you know exactly what you must do in order to get the end result that you desire.

You Don’t Have To Think About Work – You Just Have To Work

The best benefit to creating routines is that you don’t have to think about work – you just work. I think the number one productivity hack in the world is simply deciding what to do.

Most people start “working” without knowing what they want to accomplish.

By creating a routine and having exactly what you want to accomplish laid out, you take the guess work out of “what” to do and can focus on just doing it.

You’re no longer thinking about all the work that you have to and how you’re going to do it – you can simply go ahead and get it done.

You Can Find Your Rhythm

Ever been in “the zone?” That place where everything is easy, you zoom through work, and obstacles seem to scatter out of the way?

Chances are there were a certain set of circumstances and surroundings that allowed for that to happen and helped you perform optimally. A routine lets you take those circumstances and creates a scenario where they happen regularly and predictably – making “the zone” that much easier to find. Once you have the basics in place, over time you can tweak that routine to become more and more effective.

This makes finding that zone more likely to happen more often, and when it does happen, lets you perform better – being more efficient and more effective across the board.

This is essentially how I ended up creating what I call workstation popcorn – my daily work flow for achieving optimum productivity while writing out of multiple coffee shops a day.

A System For Your Life

If you think about it, a routine is nothing more than a system for your life. Just like programmers create a certain program that will execute a function whenever it runs – a routine creates an environment and structure to your life that lets you execute certain tasks at will.

Meanwhile, implementing them seemingly melts any obstacle in the way, since you’ve created a routine that eliminates the distractions in your day and lets you focus on only the tasks at hand that you must do.

How has using routines helped you become more productive in your career?

Featured photo credit: Juhansosin via flickr.com

Love this article?