The word, “routine” has gotten a bad reputation. Too often, people associate the term with being in a rut or doing something over and over again to the point of tedium. I’d like to suggest that, while some routines might indeed be wearisome, there are those that are absolutely necessary to success in business.
Here is my list of beneficial daily routines in business:
- Eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep (I’m sorry to have to break this to you workaholics, but burning the candle at both ends just makes the candle melt down faster. And that goes for you too. Taking care of business means taking care of yourself.)
- Plan each business day (The surest way to get off course in your business is to have no course at all! Those who fail to plan are planning to fail.)
- Do something to improve your skills (Read a book, watch a pertinent video, listen to a mentor or a customer, experiment with a new process. In essence, keep expanding your horizons.)
- Show appreciation for those around you (Yes, thank your customers, but also remember those with whom you work. People love recognition. A heartfelt “thank you” will go a long way toward solidifying both customer and employee loyalty.)
- Review your day (Finish up by enjoying your successes and gaining insights from your setbacks. Today’s review is the beginning of tomorrow’s planning.)
The trouble with routines is not so much that they are mundane but that we allow them to become so. It’s really all in our perception. They are a means to an end. In order to appreciate and practice these routines, it’s important that we keep the end in sight. If you set out to build a house, would you not have to do something every day in the construction of that house? As trivial as it might seem to saw yet another board or drive yet another nail, you would do it anyway because you want the house. The end, or goal, of your business is something that only you can determine, but realizing that your daily tasks will lead you to that goal can breathe life into those routines and keep you focused on accomplishing them day after day.
Useful routines provide stability for long-term growth in both one’s business and personal life. Recognizing the value of each one will ensure that they will never become “routine” in the negative sense of the word.