June 2, 2018 smithsylvan

Why Routine Matters

Workstation, Desk, Home Office

It’s always a weird feeling waking up each morning and not really knowing what your day is going to bring.

Depending on the type of person you are, you either have a routine set in motion or you’re just flying by the seat of your pants.

Preparation is the start of manageable habits.
Everything in life has a plan, you should too.
Edit the small habits, this leads to massive gain!

Deciding to walk the path of a creative designer/developer felt very much like those scenes from the old pirate movies where they’ve got you captive for a few days before deciding you should walk the plank. I imagine the feeling of being right at that edge with your hands tied behind your back and wondering will my two brief swimming lessons from when I was child, somehow turn me into this Olympic champion that will rise from the depths of that vicious sea and swim their way to freedom.

The truth is, much like anything else in life, when you decide to focus on something you are either going to put some form of a plan into place or you’re just going to wait for some magical fairy dust to fall on you and somehow make it all work itself out.

When you are working for yourself, I find the challenge with many is in breaking the routine of being accustomed to having a routine already set in place for you.

Most folks believe that the perks and safety net to a job are all found in things like 401K, dental plans and vacations days, but I found the perk, that safety, was more about the implanted routine to the job which pretty much guaranteed I couldn’t fail.  For myself, this reality provided me a stable foundation to expand upon.  Being aware of this I took advantage by evolving my routine on a daily basis, which was only prepping me for my eventual departure from 9-5, and my entry into becoming an entrepreneur.

See, when we are provided a blueprint it makes it very easy to stay the course, but try interviewing for a job where they basically tell you they want you to fill x position, but they have no game plan on how you will execute it, what it entails, and what they will be expecting from you by way of completed work. That’s a bit nerve-racking! To not know how a particular task should be done and just basically wing it, only to possibly be told it’s not correct would send anyone packing; not to mention, your 30 day probation period would probably end in 5 days. YIKES!!!!

When you make the leap to work for yourself,  you are basically stepping into that zone of not really knowing what is expected of you and how you should go about executing your day-to-day in order to meet these unknown expectations. This is why I make sure I organize my days beforehand. Setting up my weeks based on what I would like to accomplish for those weeks and having an ultimate goal that I’d like to reach for that month. Regular jobs are no different. They implement a set of priorities and responsibilities which makes it much more comfortable for you to accomplish your goals. It also makes it more comfortable for you to run and get your latte at 8:56 AM knowing your first report isn’t due until 9:40 AM.

When you’re working for yourself it’s important to keep that same system and mindset active, as it’s very easy to get distracted from your day-to-day. One simple thing I have found which has worked wonders for me is making sure I clean/organize my workstations, and arrange my calendar and notes before I call it a night. This makes it much easier and streamlined in getting my following day started in the right direction. Whether I am working remotely from my home office or from my workspace in Westchester, NY, it’s become a habit that is now a lifestyle for me, to continually make sure that I am employing these steps in order to guarantee a successful and productive day.

I begin my day with some stretching, yoga and meditation and then move into some quiet thought time.  It’s important to me that I have a moment of reflection and centering. Always giving thanks for the opportunity to awake and participate in this journey again.  I’ve also added into that routine, not checking my phone or any emails until I have fully come into a place of peace for myself, which is usually after my 8 AM lemon water and apple cider vinegar drink… yum!

I know a lot of artists who cringe when the idea of  a system or blueprint is mentioned and say it stifles them and keeps them feeling like they are working a 9-5 job; but in reality at least for myself, having a system in place assists in keeping me not only more productive and organized, but creative as well. I notice that my ability to have clearer ideas and direction with where I want to go with my projects is effortless, and it just makes for a smoother day.

When you are running your own business, it’s important to realize that you don’t necessarily give up every aspect of what you left to be your own boss and do your own thing. The discipline and experience of working for a company or others, I believe is much like going to school for the first 12 years of your life. Some decide to not continue any further and some do, but regardless of what you choose, those fundamentals, if you have taken clear advantage of them, provide you with the mindset and a lifestyle habit that will effortlessly navigate your life regardless of which direction you choose to go.

I trust you’ve found value in this read. Now go be GREAT!!!!

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