As a business owner, everyday rituals just might be the driving force you didn’t know you needed. A wonderful quote from author Mike Murdock reads, “The secret of your future is hidden within your daily routine.”
It is a simple concept, and yet such a powerful one that deeply resonates with me. While it might not be apparent even to those who know me well, I willingly admit that I am not naturally the most structured CEO you will ever meet. But notice that I said naturally. I am, in fact, very regimented in my approach to the day-to-day actions involved in leading such a dynamic global franchise system like The Alternative Board. Because I have realized that routine is not innate to me, I am very intentional in creating and sustaining structure and habits throughout my leadership role.
When I am devoid of regular daily sequences, I just feel out of sync. Less effective. Less adaptive. Less purposeful. And I just don’t like that sense of being off-balance and out of control. I mean, who does, really?
When I am committed to a routine, life and work, I feel much more productive and even restorative. My best days involve a great start. I wake up before the sun rises. I take my dogs for a walk. I spend a bit of time with my family. Then I go to the office, where I review my schedule and meet with my leadership team each morning. This well-honed start to my day — every day — helps generate direction and enthusiasm for the ensuing hours.
All those small habits and rituals I have cultivated over time pack a lot of punch. They help define who I am as a business leader, they set the bar for accountability within my team, and they trickle down to inspire action throughout the business. My daily routine has served me and the entire organization well.
Related: How to Master Your Morning Routine
What is your winning routine?
Do you have a consistent daily formula for success? If not, it is time to start constructing one. Consider dedicating specific time each morning to review your goals, plan your day and prioritize tasks (I suggest you tackle the most important ones first).
Your daily routine as a business leader should also include self-care and personal development that may fall beyond the four office walls of your organization. Incorporate activities for your physical and mental well-being, nurture relationships with those inside and outside your business, and regularly engage in hobbies that interest you. Maybe add a regular dash of knowledge acquisition in some form. Perhaps allow for a time each day to meditate or relax. Systematically schedule all those things that sustain you and make you most productive, and honor them like a client meeting. These more personal aspects of your routine can provide you with the balance you crave and help take the edge off your hectic life as an entrepreneur.
Remember, routines aren’t just for the morning hours. How you close out your day is also an important part of your routine. Don’t just allow the day to peter out after 3 p.m. Take that time to review, recap and ready yourself to slay tomorrow’s dragons.
Then make it a habit to go home and engage with your family. End your day in a significant way because that is important too.
Related: 10 Bad Habits You Must Eliminate From Your Daily Routine
Adaptability is critical
Disruptors will always threaten your ability to maintain your daily routine as a business owner. From minor hiccups to monumental fires, it sometimes feels like the entire world is out to upend your well-crafted regimen. While maintaining your routine is important, adaptability is essential. Start by prioritizing whatever issue is getting in the way of you honoring your routine. Is it critical enough to disrupt your schedule? Can someone else in your organization handle it? Is it a one-time occurrence or a consistent problem?
If you find that your routine is simply not sustainable, then it is time to adapt and create a new schedule that better aligns with the dynamics of your business.
Related: 3 Innate Traits You Need to Survive the Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship
Don’t do it all at once
You know what they say about Rome not being built in a day. The same goes for daily routines. Many times when people recognize they lack good daily routines and want to do something about it, they get a little overambitious. They insist on overhauling their entire schedule all at once, which is almost assuredly an approach doomed for failure.
Here’s a better approach. When trying to build routine into your schedule, identify that one area you believe is holding you back the most or the one that provides the best opportunity to help you the most, then develop one daily habit in this area and commit to it. Once that sticks, start working on the next obstacle or opportunity. And then the next.
And in no time, you will achieve the structure and routine you seek.
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