The daily routine examples shared below are a starting point to help you create a schedule that benefits you for the rest of your life. Using the Kaizen philosophy of incremental change, you will take a moment at the end of each day to consider what worked and what didn’t.
In this way, you can make incremental changes, tiny daily actions, which then forms habits that stick and, ultimately, helps you succeed. Learning to focus on continuous changes, even if they are microscopic, will help you achieve lasting success. Small continuous improvements trump large scale major overhauls.
Your Daily Routine
Your daily routine is one thing that will help you make sure you do the things you need to do instead of being bogged down in putting out little fires or piddling. A Daily Routine ensures that you prioritize all of the things you mean to focus on.
Without a routine, you could certainly stay busy all day, but you might not be accomplishing what matters most to you.
A really good way to start creating your own daily routine that includes all you want to achieve is by writing a list.
- Do a brain dump, just grab a piece of paper and write down every little thing you think of as a “to-do”
- Next, sort them into daily necessities, would like to do,
- Think about what times make most sense for you to perform each item. For example, if you are full of thoughts when you wake up but lose inspiration later in the day, you might want to spend time journaling in the morning.
- What daily activities are you wanting to accomplish but never seem to have time for?
- Have you got your your household chores on autopilot; are you using automations whenever possible?
Get started by thinking about your current morning routine. What do you usually do right when you wake up? Then what? If you don’t do the same thing two days in a row, you might start with a list of what you’d like to do.
Daily Routine Examples
Below are some suggestions and daily routine examples to get you started. These are a starting point. Still, the best way to create a daily routine that works and will last is by making it unique to your lifestyle.
You will want to break your daily routine into mini routines. A morning routine and evening routine are the bookends so to speak. What you do in the middle of the day will depend on whether you work from home, head to the office, or are a stay at home mom with little ones.
I’ve created a printable that you can print and fill out for several days in a row. This will help you establish your routine by breaking down what you currently do and what you want to get done. The bottom right corner of the worksheet has a place to add “tweaks” so you can make those incremental changes on tomorrow’s sheet.
It's so tempting to reach for your phone first thing in the morning to scroll through social media. However, if you want to incorporate the daily habits of successful people, you'll choose healthier daily rituals to start your day. Here are a few suggestions for your morning routine:
- Drink water – not just a sip, but a large glass. Even better if you add a squeeze of lemon.
- Practice mindfulness – use affirmations to check in with yourself and define your own version of success. (I am loved, I deserve rest, My presence is valuable.)
- Make your bed – you’ve likely heard about successful people who make their bed as it increases productivity. At the very least it reduces your stress levels and keeps you more organized.
- Eat a good breakfast balanced with protein, healthy fats and slow burning carbs. Pack lunch while you’re at it if you work outside the home.
- Get your exercise in – Whether you take a morning walk, lift weights, or go for a swim, starting your day with a workout is one of the best healthy habits you could add to your early morning routine. It will energize you for the rest of the day. Try keeping a workout journal and come up with a solid routine for exercise that rejuvenates you.
- If you're a night owl, you'll likely have tons of energy at the end of the day or have a million thoughts running through your mind. What can you add to or subtract from your evening routine that will help you achieve your time management goals?
My Morning Routine
You may benefit from looking at other people’s daily schedule to get an idea what may or may not work for you. Here’s mine:
- Drink a large glass of water
- Write an article
- Make coffee, empty dishwasher while it’s brewing
- Drink coffee with my husband
- Make breakfast
- Walk the dog and take out recycling (usually I listen to a podcast while walking)
- Check finances
- Start work
If you work from home, your mornings may look somewhat like mine. I do a little work before everyone else wakes up. That’s nice because it’s quiet and I can concentrate on my work.
What are the most important tasks you need to accomplish before you go to bed? Put them at the top of your list.
Maybe following a 10 step beauty routine at night is really important to you, but by the time you go to your room, you’re too tired. If this is the case, consider doing the beauty routine before you make dinner. That way you’ll already have it done and out of the way.
Sometimes it just takes a second look or rearranging things to come up with an evening routine that fits your personal daily life. No two people are the same and we all have different priorities and habits. If something isn’t working for you, how can you tweak the order of your routine to make it more likely you’ll accomplish everything on your list?
Do you have too many items on your list? If you consistently don’t get it all done, perhaps removing one or two items could give you a little breathing room.
Morning Person’s Evening Routine Example
If you wake up early and are a morning person, you likely already have your most important tasks out of the way by the end of the day. Energy levels may be tanking if you’ve been up since 5 a.m. What are the good habits you’ve incorporated into your daily routine to
- Put away things that you got out during the day
- Think about what you’ll have for breakfast tomorrow
- Spend time journaling your thoughts of the day
- Go to bed eight hours before you usually get up – sleep hygiene is important.
Do you need to set an alarm? If you want to get up early but hate alarms, try going to bed at least eight hours before you need to wake up. Think of the time you want to wake up as you fall asleep. Visualize it on a clock. It may take a few weeks, and you might need a back up alarm in the beginning, but you can train yourself to wake naturally. I’ve done this all my life. Recently, I read that Oprah does the same thing, I couldn’t believe it.
No matter what, here’s what I always do in the evenings.
- Make dinner, eat with the family
- Everyone clean up
- Take the dog on a final short walk
- Start the dishwasher
- Watch about 30-45 minutes of tv
- Do my nightly beauty routine (wash face, moisturize, etc.)
- Lay out my walking clothes for tomorrow
- Read until I’m sleepy
Night Person’s Evening Routine Example
For those who don’t relish mornings, prepare as much as you can for the next day. If it’s a workday, you’ll want to take that into consideration. Working on the computer at night is okay, as long as you give yourself some time without blue light before bedtime. If possible, wear blue light blocking glasses for better sleep hygiene.
- Get in a bit of cardio by taking a walk (if you have a dog to walk, make it a nice long one!)
- Drink a tall glass of water while preparing dinner
- Eat a healthy meal and tidy the kitchen
- Prepare your clothing, bag, shoes, etc. for tomorrow
- Make a to do list or check your calendar for tomorrow events (This is important if you’re not a morning person, you don’t want to miss an appointment. Also, try to schedule your appointments in the afternoons instead of mornings.)
- Relax and enjoy some free time
- Get ready for bed
- If you’re not sleepy, try visualization. There are many apps which can help. Explore some calming apps or guided visualization techniques that will help you relax and fall asleep. Probably best not to start watching Netflix if you’re one to stay up late watching shows. Reading a book might be a better habit as it is more relaxing.
Make sure you start by writing a list of all the things you want to do and schedule those into your routine. You might even benefit from keeping a time tracker so you can see what you currently spend time on that you’d rather not do.
Those items can either be automated, delegated, or eliminated.