The simplest and most effective way to ensure that you are getting things done on a daily basis is to have a strong routine in place. I emphasize the word strong here because for years I thought just because I did many of the same things each morning, that I had myself a routine. But it was incomplete; my string of habits did not make me more efficient, nor did they ensure that I completed the things I needed to each day. In short, they were not a routine at all.
Now I’m not saying that each moment of your day needs to be scheduled. Most people’s days are too unpredictable, and it becomes too easy to throw the entire schedule out the window when the interruptions start rolling in. Instead, you need to develop a routine that allows for the disruptions, and prepares you for the unpredictable. To this end, I advocate reviewing your work ‘To-Do’ list before you even get in your car in the morning. This will allow you to evaluate the importance of each item before you get to work and the URGENT buzzer starts going off.
Given the unpredictable nature of most people’s work days, a strong daily routine provides structure and predictability. And the structure, in turn, provides direction, which allows us to seize opportunities and act rather than stand still and become victims of our indecisiveness. Structure and repetition also breeds familiarity and then efficiency. Just as the structure of a workout routine strengthens you physically, the structure of your daily routine will sharpen you mentally and emotionally, allowing you to build upon the progress of each day and create the momentum to propel you into the next one. So if you are looking for direction, efficiency, and momentum in your life, start by adding a little structure. Start by developing your daily routine.