Achievements require hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of work, and we have to make time every single day to put in those hours.
Routine is all about persistence and consistency.
A truly effective routine is always personal—set your own rules and experiment until it gives you the best foundation for doing your best work.
Here are three great tips from achievers that will help you manage your day-to-day and accomplish great things.
1. CREATIVE WORK FIRST; REACTIVE WORK SECOND.
If you want to create something worthwhile with your life, you need to draw a line between the world’s demands and your own ambitions. Yes, we all have bills to pay and obligations to satisfy. But for most of us there’s a wide gray area between the have-tos and want-tos in our lives. If you’re not careful, that area will fill up with e-mail, meetings, and the requests of others, leaving no room for the work you consider important.
That way you are blocking off a large chunk of time every day for creative work on your own priorities, with the phone and e-mail off.
Mark Mcguinness, author of Resilience, gives us some tips:
- Start with the rhythm of your energy levels. Notice when you seem to have the most energy during the day, and dedicate those valuable periods to your most important creative work.
- Use creative triggers. Stick to the same tools, the same surroundings, even the same background music, so that they become associative triggers for you to enter your creative zone.
- Limit your daily to-do list.
- Capture every commitment. Train yourself to record every commitment you make (to yourself or others) somewhere that will make it impossible to forget.
- Establish hard edges in your day. Set a start time and a finish time for your workday—even if you work alone.
2. Frequent work makes it possible to accomplish more, with greater originality.
We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently. Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British Postal system observed,
“A small daily task , if it be really daily, will beat the labours of spasmodic Hercules.”
Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, finds frequency a great advantage for several reasons.
1. It makes starting easier. By working every day, you keep your momentum going.
2. It keeps ideas fresh.
3. It keeps the pressure off.
4. It sparks creativity. When you work regularly, your inspiration strikes regularly.
5. It nurtures frequency. If you develop the habit of working frequently, it becomes much easier to sit down and get something done even when you don’t have a big block of time; you don’t have to take time to acclimate yourself.
6. It fosters productivity.
7. It is a realistic approach.
3. Making room for solitude
In 1845, Henry David Thoreau set out for the woods near Walden Pond to find solitude, for his thoughts and his writing. He wanted to get away from the business and noise of nineteenth-century city life.
He wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Today, it is essential that we find solitude so that we can learn what it has to teach us, so that we can find the quiet to listen to our inner voice, and so that we may find the space to truly focus and create.
Leo Babauta, author of The Effortless Life, tells us to set the time for solitude and make it an essential part of your daily routine.
One amazing way to practice is a simple meditation session once a day. Meditation doesn’t have to be mystical or complicated: at heart, it’s simply sitting and doing nothing else for at least a few minutes.