By: Skott Schoonover, Strategy Analyst | 11/01/2021 |

Prepping for my day has always been pretty structured. My alarm goes off at 6:05, I’m out of the shower by 6:30 and dressed by 6:37. I pack my lunch, have the dog outside by 6:45, and I’m in my car on the way to the office by 6:55. At the office, it was two cups of tea each morning and a breakfast sandwich at 9:15.

I won’t bore you with the details, but my evenings followed a similar regimented (somewhat boring) schedule. Although it wasn’t exciting, I knew that having everything pre-planned helped keep me on time, and it was a well-oiled machine.

My Monday Through Friday thrived on routine.

Then last year two major changes completely shattered that routine. First, I started working from home. Second, I took on Global responsibilities, and my working hours became Meeting-based instead of Schedule-based. Now some days my first meeting is at 4 am, other days it’s at 9. No two days are ever the same. And without having to go to the office, prepping for the day is completely different.

It wasn’t until about a month after I started working from home that I realized how much of my day was based upon being at the office at a certain time, and how important that routine was for me. I have to admit, I completely lost my structure last year. Some days I wouldn’t shower until the afternoon. I found myself wearing the same pair of sweatpants every day for a week. I was skipping meals left and right.

The worst part was that I realized without my structured routine, I found it a lot harder to be mentally prepared for work.

It wasn’t just a comfort thing, it was having an effect on my everyday life. And I knew I needed to get it back.

So, I started a new routine. I set an alarm to be out of bed at the same time each day, regardless of what my schedule looks like. (Unless I get one of those pesky 4 am meeting invites, my alarm definitely doesn’t go off that early!) I shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast before I start working. I plan out dinners for the whole week on Sunday, so I’m not forced to make a decision after a long day. The dogs are even on a feeding schedule now. My days are easier, and I find that I have far more energy and the ability to focus again.

Making and adhering to a schedule is My Successful Routine.