What you do on a daily basis is what creates the life you live.
However, we often take these daily activities for granted. They become a routine that we repeat over and over again without even thinking, and we rarely take the time to reflect on these daily patterns and how they might be influencing us.
In this article, you’ll write out a complete list of your daily routine, categorize them based on different aspects of your life, and then use this list to become more aware of your “positive” and “negative” habits.
This sounds like a really simple and obvious exercise – but I want you to actually do it, and I want you to be as honest about your routine as possible.
Here are guidelines to follow while creating an outline of your daily routine:
- Start from the very beginning of your day. The first item on your list should be “Wake up.”
- Write out every activity, however small or insignificant it may seem. For example, the next items in your routine may be “Make my bed,” “Go to the bathroom,” “Take a shower,” “Get dressed,” etc.
- Finish at the very end of your day. The last item on your list should be “Go to sleep.”
- The order doesn’t have to be perfect – we all have a little variation from day to day – but try your best to come up with a rough outline of your “average day” from start to finish.
- Repeat activities that you do more than once per day. It’s repetitive but it makes your outline more accurate.
- Also include activities that you may not do every single day, but at least 2-4 times a week.
- Once you’re done, go back to each activity and categorize it based on what area of your life that activity influences:
(List two categories if you think an activity fulfills multiple areas.)
- Next, go back to each activity and choose the type of influence you think it has on your life:
- Now, go back to each activity and decide if it’s something you want to do more, less, or the same.
- Make a “+” next to activities you want to do more.
- Make a “-” next to activities you want to do less.
- Make a “=” next to activities you want to keep the same.
- Review your complete routine and think of 2-3 activities that aren’t listed which you would like to do more of. List them below your routine with “+” next to them.
This exercise isn’t going to change your life, but it will give you a clearer idea on how you spend your time each and everyday. This awareness will at least be a good first step in making some positive changes in your life.
My personal findings
After making a list of my own daily routine, I discovered a couple ways I can really improve:
- There is one negative activity under “Health” that I do multiple times a day that I really want to do less of.
- My routine also needs more positive activities under the “Health” and “Social” categories.
Doing this exercise helped me pinpoint the areas in my life which I need to work on more. Try it out for yourself and see what you learn.
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