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Daily Connections Recap - 3/23/2020 - Establishing Routines

As we enter a period of renewal and change, Your Clear Next Step is committed to helping our customers make their businesses and workdays even better. We will be here to walk beside you, to listen, to connect, and to aid in your search for clarity. In doing so, we are offering a free, daily Zoom call, called Daily Connections, at 1:15pm (CDT) every weekday from 3/19/2020-5/1/2020.

These calls are a chance for us to share tips and discussion about relevant topics (working remotely, maintaining consistency in uncertain times, building relationships across geography, staying motivated, staying connected, etc) and network with each other to provide help and support during this time of change.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us today! The next call will be Tuesday, March 24th at 1:15pm (CDT). Click here to join.

On today's call...

Sinikka shared a few tips about the importance of establishing a routine.

  • Routines help us stay organized (we are less likely to "miss stuff" because our routine “triggers” don’t happen)
  • Routines help us stay motivated (they help us balance out the work we’re doing – interesting/tedious; hard/easier)
  • Routines help us stay prioritized (most of us can’t afford to do nonessential work right now – focus on the essential work, do it quickly and still well) 
  • Routines help us stay balanced (physical wellness, moving around, hydrating, eating balanced meals) 
  • Routines help us connect with others (scheduled daily inspiration calls)

We’ve shared more about the routines and time management on our blog and in our On-Demand Webinar, How to Get More Done Right Now. Because of the changes COVID-19 have brought to your business and workplace, we’re offering special webinar pricingClick here to learn more.  

Here were some ideas and questions tossed out and answered by group

  • For some, in this time, it will be important to try and maintain as much of a normal routine as possible 
    • Try not to think about Work From Home (WFH) as a time to be at home, but instead a time to work. 
    • Stick with your morning routine to help you ease into your day. Get up at the same time. Get ready in the same way you always do. Don’t skip your workout if it’s always been a part of your mornings.
    • Find ways to maintain or replicate the pieces of your routine that help you “flip the switch into work mode” at the start of every day.
  • For others, new routines will binevitable
    • As easy as it can be to fall out of our old routines, be sure your new routines are healthy ones (mentally and physically)
    • Don’t set routines for yourself that will make it harder to transition back into the office when the time comes.
    • To take it one step further, why not use this time to create an even better routine for yourself.
      • If you have a hard time shutting down at the end of the day, use this time to create a routine by ending the day on time by going for a scheduled walk around the neighborhood.
      • If you’ve always wanted to add a morning or lunch hour workout to your routine, this would be a great time to try that out, since many of us have a much shorter commute than before
  • Expectation setting is an important part of creating your routine 
    • Your leader’s expectations for your routine and rhythm are important. Be sure to clarify them now!
    • Your own expectations for your what you will accomplish thorough out your day, and when you will accomplish it will greatly affect the routine you set for yourself.  
    • Saying your expectations out loud to someone else will go a long way in helping hold yourself accountable. Share your expectations with your team or the people closest to you. 
  • Action cures frustration. It’s important to stay active or re-create the activity you might miss by not physically going into the office every day. Be sure to schedule time for yourself to be active and get some fresh air (while maintaining 6 feet of social distance, of course 
  • Morning Brain” is a real thing. Use your early mornings to do your heavy thinking or focused work.  
  • Think the times in your day when you are likely to get disrupted (around the lunch hour, for example) and do work during that time that is easily disreputable.  
  • The Project Management community has always said that the best time for team meetings are Tuesday mornings at 9:00am, or Thursday afternoons at 1:00pm.  
  • A few years ago I read that at 3:00 in the afternoon, if you spend even 30 seconds looking at pictures of cute animals, it will release positive energy in your brain to help you get through the last bit of the day.  
  • Think about using different kinds of music to help you accomplish different kinds tasks. Maybe something more up-beat as your sort through your inbox in the morning or right after lunch. Maybe something instrumental to serve as background noise while you do your focused work. Maybe calming music as you wind down at the end of the day and do your pre-planning for tomorrow. 
  • The Pomodoro Technique could help you time block your day to allow for balance between focused work and brain breaks.  
  • Creating continuity in your routine from day-to-day will help ensure it sticks. So, don’t leave today, without a plan for tomorrow. 
Sinikka headshot 2017

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day.


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