HOW TO CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Struggling through the day? Here are some tips on how to create a daily routine to simplify your life by clearing clutter in your home, schedule, heart and mind.
HOW TO CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Having a routine helps to take the guesswork out of what to do next. It also helps to keep your home and your life ticking along when life pushes and pulls you in different directions.
One of the key ways that I simplify my own life is by creating a daily routine for my own home and self. In this article I’ll share some ideas on how you can create your own daily routine that works for you and yourself too.
I hope these daily routine tips will simplify your life and, in turn, give you more time, space and freedom to do the things you WANT to do instead of just what you NEED to do!
STEPS TO CREATING A DAILY ROUTINE
Try these simple steps to create a daily routine to help simplify your life by clearing clutter in your home, schedule, heart and mind.
1. WRITE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
The first step is to make a list of what you need to do during your day. You might need to make a couple of lists if your weekend routine is going to differ from your weekday one. Or, you might decide to just focus on your weekdays for now and leave the weekends to find their own flow.
Brainstorm what you do in your day. This could include managing your home, looking after your kids and family, activities such as work, after-school clubs, evening classes etc.
If it sounds too difficult to write it all down (or even remember) everything you do during the day, have a notebook and pen handy and keep it with you for a whole day. As you go about that day, write down everything you do.
How detailed you make your notes is up to you. Include things like walking the dog, preparing dinner, reading a chapter of your book, having a shower. If it needs to be done, pop it on your list!
2. ASSESS PRIORITY
If you take a look at your list, have you included on there things that you really have to do? Or have you made it into a wish-list of things you’d like to do? Or perhaps even a list of things that you think you ‘should’ be doing?!
Although creating a daily routine is going to help you carve out more time and freedom, now is not the time for that. Now is the time to be crystal-clear on what you need to do, not what you want to do. What you want to do will come later!
For the moment, assess the priorities on the list and the things you definitely must get done. You can always add a few more things in that you’d like to do when you’ve established and settled into your own daily routine.
Always remember that simplifying your life (and your home) is about removing the clutter of too much stuff in your home, but also your mind and your schedule. Living with less means we can focus more on what’s important to us.
Read more about 20 ways to simplify your life.
3. PLAN A STRUCTURE FOR YOUR DAY
We all work better at different times of the day and some aspects of our daily routine need to be done at certain times of the day. For example, breakfast is usually in the morning after we wake up.
Using the list you created in step one, see if you can allocate the tasks you need to do to different sections of your day. Which aspects of your daily routine need to be done in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon and in the evening?
This will give you 4 different sections of the day to which you can allocate items on your daily routine list.
Mornings: Mornings are important because they often set the tone for the rest of the day. You could even establish your own morning routine which can prepare your body and mind for the day ahead. I often find that when my mornings are rushed and I’m feeling frazzled and stressed, then I feel like I’m playing catch-up all day. Your morning routine might include writing your To Do list, writing a gratitude list or journaling, prepping the lunches or dinner.
Here are some more tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.
I’ve also created a Morning Routine Planner which will help you create your own morning routine, step-by-step.
Evenings: Your evenings are important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if used wisely, they can help get you organised in advance for the following day. This, in turn, takes some of the pressure off those busy mornings. Secondly, your evenings are for winding down and relaxing your body and mind. This helps you rest, calm down and sleep better. You might choose to declutter your home from the clutter that’s built up during the day. You might do a little housework, catch up on reading your book, take a bath.
Try these tips on how to create an evening routine that works for you.
4. ADD TIMINGS
Now you’ve written a list of things you need to include in your daily routine and you’ve set them against roughly which part of the day you’d like to get them done, the next step is to add in timings. You could, for example, write something like this for your mornings:
7am: Get up
7.10am: Unload dishwasher and make coffee
7.15am: Write To Do list and journal
7.45am: Shower and get dressed
8am: Have breakfast and make packed lunch
8.30: Leave home for school/work
Your morning routine will depend on whether you have kids, work, a dog to walk and many other variables, so this is just an idea to help start you off.
Here are some tips on how to get up earlier if you find it a struggle to get up in the mornings and be productive!
5. BE FLEXIBLE
Don’t be too rigid with the timings you put in place, give yourself plenty of wiggle room in case things take longer. You can always tweak your timings and your daily routine as you try it out and see what works and what doesn’t.
Sometimes life happens and we have to do things, or go places, that we hadn’t expected. Doctor’s appointments, dentists, kids that are poorly at school and need to be collected.
Allow yourself wiggle room (my favourite technical term) and flexibility in your schedule so that, if life does catch you off guard, you have plenty of margin to do what you need, without stress and too much rushing.
6. TRY OUT YOUR NEW DAILY ROUTINE
It’s all very well putting your ideas down onto paper, but the real test will come when you actually try out your new daily routine!
Over the following week, follow the timings and ideas you’ve listed for your own daily routine and see how they work for you.
The odd day or so might not go as planned and that’s ok. As we said, life happens. But, overall, you should find that you can stick, more or less, to your daily routine as you’ve set it out. If you struggle every day, maybe it needs tweaking further.
BONUS TIP! DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
I run a blog about decluttering and simplifying so I can’t go without encouraging you to declutter your home! Decluttering isn’t just about removing excess stuff, it’s also about getting rid of things that distract and remove you from what’s important in your day.
Your stuff could be taking up your time and energy. Everything in your home requires you to manage it in some way, clear, tidy, move around and put away.
Get rid of things that don’t serve or support you and you’ll find your daily routine is simpler and easier. Less to do, less to think about and less on your plate.
Creating a daily routine that supports you is about productivity and time management, but it’s also about management of your stuff and giving yourself less clutter to look after and more space and freedom instead.
As our homes and our outer environments contribute to mental clutter, overwhelm and overstimulation, I encourage you to declutter your home as a powerful way of enabling you to create a daily routine that works for you.
RESOURCES ON DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME
Here are some resources to help you get rid of stuff, declutter your home and own less:
- Decluttering questions – questions to help you declutter more effectively
- What does it mean to simplify your life?
- Types of clutter and how to deal with them
- Kick-start your decluttering: 50 easy things to declutter right now
- 20 habits for a clutter-free home
- Simplify Your Home – A guide, workbook and checklists to help you declutter your home, step-by-step and keep that clutter away.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a daily routine and if so, how does it help simplify your life? How much time do you spend looking after your clutter and how much of your day does it take up? How has getting rid of stuff given you more flexibility in your daily routine? Leave a comment below if you’ve got any tips to share!