Routines Help Create Order at Office

I really enjoy long weekends and stay-cations as I return to a rhythm that works for me. I find I am able to accomplish much and still have to visit with friends and relax. When I return to the office, I was often frustrated because I always felt as if I were “a day late and a dollar short.”

For the past year, though, that’s changed because I realized I need to find “the power of rhythm and routine” at work. That phrase comes from Cheryl Richardson in her book, The Art of Extreme Self Care. Creating routines “creates a sense of order that gives the mind a much-needed rest,” she writes.

What works for me, may not work for you, but perhaps you can find some inspiration in what I’ve tried.

I print my daily calendar for the next day before I leave the office at the end of the day. That way I already know if I have to pack a lunch or if I have an early meeting for which I must prepare. If that’s the case, I know to schedule my training session for a different day or only plan on a 30-minute morning workout. I also know what healthy snacks to pack.

I abhor voice mail so I’ve given myself permission to only check it at day’s end. In this technological age, if someone really needs me, they’ll find me, usually by email. I’ve never missed an important call. The benefit is that I return all calls at a set time. Most of the calls are salespeople, who also send an email.

At the start of each year (for me that is both January for the calendar year and July for the fiscal year) I review all standing meetings. I either continue them or delete them based on current operational plans. Having the meetings set makes it easier for me to manage my schedule.

I block my calendar on Friday afternoons. No, I’m not going home early. What I am doing is giving myself a few hours of undisturbed time where I can progress projects, clean up emails and organize my desk for the coming week. If I don’t block the time, someone will request a meeting. My team knows that Friday meetings should be avoided at all costs.

I spend too much time sitting, so the executive assistant who sits outside my office now tosses a rubber ball at my glass wall reminding me to get up and move around. After my walk – usually just around my floor — I return to my desk energized.

What will you do to create a sense of order?

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