Hack Your Productivity with our Guide to Rituals
I want you to take a moment and think about what your morning looks like. What do you do? Most of us have established a routine, which gives us a structure to our day and sets us up for success.
But what differentiates a routine from a ritual?
A ritual is a practice of behavior that is regularly followed by an individual in a set manner. Rituals are favorable to help you form your daily rhythm, and create timely patterns. When your current needs shift, it is important to shift and rebalance your rituals as well.
In fact, you can build any type of ritual in three easy steps.
- Identify the Task. Let’s say you want to build an exercise ritual.
- Identify the Time and/or Trigger. For example, perhaps you normally exercise right after work.
- Identify the Sub-Tasks. For you, perhaps your ritual involves going to the gym, getting changed, stretching, doing 45 minutes on the treadmill, performing three reps of weights, and doing a lap around the pool to finish things off. Then, you shower and go home.
Remember, a ritual shouldn’t be set in stone. Once you establish a ritual, it can be modified at any point. They are meant to serve as means of self-care to help you go about your day.
Here is our guide to implementing healthy and impactful rituals.
The best way to set yourself up for a day of productivity and success, is to adapt to morning rituals. Morning rituals will allow you to begin your day in an organized manner, and gain control of time before the hustle of a busy day. When we start the day with a fresh perspective as well as positive manner, we are able to secure better focus on what is in front of us and plan accordingly.
Not everyone will follow the same morning rituals. It is important to establish which morning rituals work best for you, and stick to these rituals. Remember to give yourself enough time in the morning- never start your day in a rush! Some examples of morning rituals that will successfully influence the day ahead, include:
- Eating a nutritious breakfast
- Morning meditation
- Prioritizing your tasks for the day
Similar to how morning rituals will help to secure focus on what is in front of us, nightly rituals will do the same. Nightly rituals should include reflecting on the achievements from the day, and thus provide encouragement for the days to follow. These rituals allow you to decompress, as well as train your brain that it is time to rest. Adequate rest is essential to maintain peak focus and performance levels.
Establish a ritual for half an hour before you sleep. Here are some examples of nightly rituals that will benefit your sleep schedule, and set you up for success.
- Filling out your productivity journal for the next day
- Light reading
- Taking a warm bath
- Enjoying a cup of tea
To ensure that your next morning will run smoothly, it is best to organize any work-related material the night before. This includes preparing snacks or lunches, and laying out an outfit.
Rituals are meaningful. They allow for a sense of control and security, and help us to focus on what is most important. Rituals are powerful in conquering recurrent challenges throughout the day, and managing time. Here are some rituals that many people find helpful in maximizing their time:
- Take a half hour each weekend to plan meals for the next week, including lunches and suppers. Then, make a grocery list and get everything you will need. Appliances like slow cookers and delayed-start ovens can also help you make sure supper is ready when you are.
- Try to exercise for one hour three times a week, or half an hour each day. One easy way is to go for a brisk walk at lunch, or do yoga in the morning before work.
- Instead of checking email, news, and websites throughout the day, set aside one or several periods (for example, morning, noon, and at the end of the day). Then, batch and sequence your activities (for example, e-mail, news, and Facebook). You can batch many types of tasks in this way for maximum efficiency.
- Set up a system for maintaining your Productivity Journal. This can be as simple as ten minutes in the morning to update the day’s list, ten minutes at noon to update what you have already done, and ten minutes at day’s end to evaluate today and create a starting list for tomorrow.
Once you have been using a ritual for a while, you may find that you have bits of extra time here and there. For example, you may find that by establishing an exercise ritual, you finish five or ten minutes earlier because you know exactly what you’re going to do at the gym. At the end of the day, you may find that you have a half hour or more of unexpected time.
This is where the “Trigger” part of rituals can come into play. Instead of setting a specific time of day, you choose a situation or an event that will cause a ritual to come into play.
- During a break at work or at home, read for ten minutes.
- Take one minute to do some deep breathing and stretches.
- Take five minutes to clean off your desk or some other small area.
- Take ten minutes to update your Personal Productivity Journal.
- Set aside one lunch hour a week to do personal errands. Or, make a list at the beginning of each week, and do one a day.
Do your trainees need help setting rituals to boost their long-term productivity? Download our Time Management Workshop and get started on positioning them for success today!
Posted by Katelyn Roy on