Creating a routine for success

Do you want to increase your happiness, health, and the quality of your work? Start with a daily routine. If you think depending on routines will turn you into a boring, predictable, uncreative person, think again! Daily routines can be the key to having a productive life.

So, what’s the difference between a routine and a habit? A habit is an activity you do without giving it a second thought, like brushing your teeth in the morning.

A routine, on the other hand, is a group of habits you do consecutively, and they are usually completed in a logical order. For instance, you might exercise in the morning then take a shower. If you do it the other way around, you’re all sweaty for the rest of the day.

Many of us may already have a daily routine. It might look a little like this: Wake up in the morning, have some coffee, go to work, come home, cook some dinner, watch tv and go to bed.

If this routine sounds like yours then ask yourself this question: Does your routine support you in achieving your personal and professional goals? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to change things up.

Set a goal for yourself then build a routine to help you to achieve it. Routines allow you to utilise your time effectively and optimise your energy.


Here are our 3 top tips for building effective routines.


  • Choose routines which stabilise your day. Crisis moments in work, social, and home life often come from forgetting tasks. Think about the stress of rushing to meet deadlines, forgetting a birthday or anniversary, or double-booking your calendar. Routines ensure you do what needs to be done on a regular basis so you can avoid those moments of crisis. An example of an effective routine might be to pick your clothes out and make your lunch the night before, so you don’t have to rush in the morning. Or set birthday reminders in your calendar two weeks before the date so it gives you time to organise a present.


  • Work out your peak and low energy times of the day. Routines work best when they fit around your lifestyle. Copying what someone else does might not work for you in the long term. For example in the mornings you may have more energy and focus versus the evenings when you’re tired. So it makes sense to create a routine where you complete important or active tasks in the morning. Then focus on relaxing, low priority tasks in the evening.


  • Keep track of your progress. After you create your routine track your progress to hold yourself accountable. Check in with yourself to see how the routine is working for you. If needed change things up. Consider using a tracker to visually see your achievements. Even if you’re not consistent in the beginning, motivation comes from the little wins on the path to reaching your goal.


Daily routines set you up for success. Routines allow you to follow well-placed steps towards your end goal. They provide an opportunity for you to focus on what matters while keeping the daily life tasks in dependable working order. It’s the repetition of a strong routine which keeps you grounded, enabling you to function effectively, even in the midst of a crazy work load or an unpredictable environment.


Enjoyed these tips?  We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:


Declutter & Organise Your Time, Tasks & Things (Work & Home)*

Finish what you start – 8 Ways to Tackle Procrastination*

Time Management & Personal Productivity*

Time Management: Boost Your Productivity*

Tame Your inbox

Manage Stress, Build Resilience*

How’s your digital communication?

Have you ever had a negative reaction to an email or text message you sent? Have you ever misunderstood a message you received? Were you ever disappointed by an email reply from a colleague in response to a request you sent them?

When email was first created, the intent was to replace paper letters.  When text messaging was created, it was to communicate information such as “I’m running late”, or “Can you meet at 11am?” We now use these tools for conversations (and some might say – overuse them for communication). In-person communication involves visual, verbal and vocal modes.    Communication in the digital world usually compromises at least one of these modes.


Professor Albert Mehrabian, best known for his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages, constructed psychological measures of communication in feelings and attitudes. The combined statistical results of two studies** concluded the now famous—and famously misused—rule that communication is only 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55%) and tone of voice (38%). Mehrabrian has stated “this equation only applies to a communicator talking about their feelings and/or attitudes.“  This is where emotional intelligence comes into play.

As our modern workplaces are increasingly digitally focused it is becoming even more difficult to express clearly what you say, what you mean and how it is received.  We still want our messages received with the right intent and not trigger unwanted emotional reactions.  Even though digital communication lacks visual body language, there are still digital cues we can use to minimise risk of miscommunication, and unintended reactions. It is important to learn the signals of digital body language to find better ways to connect.


Here are our top 3 digital body language tips you can use to ensure your message is clear and received in the way you want:


  • Write your message as if you are the receiver: When writing a message, consider how the message will be received by others. Write your message as the receiver, rather than the sender. What elements of your message are important to the receiver? For example, if a colleague has taken the time to email you a detailed plan for your next project meeting, would they like a response from you just saying “Thanks”? Or would they like your feedback, maybe some positive comments on how much you like their work? Even when you are busy, take a moment to reflect and write your message based on how you would like it to be received. Consider these 2 questions before hitting “send”: Did I give enough context for what the receiver needs from me? Is my message clear? Remember what you write is not always what people read.So, write from the readers point of view.


  • Consider your response time: While the context of your message is important, so too is the timing of your response. The time of your response sends a digital body language signal to your receiver.  For example: Taking too long to reply to an email could indicate a lack of time management or not caring about the topic of the message. Equally replying late at night or on weekends, could set an unrealistic expectation to others they should be working outside of normal office hours too. In the long term these actions can impact team dynamics which can lead to a breakdown in relationships. Consider setting expectations and agreements about response times. eg: No communication after a certain time, unless an emergency (and provide emergency examples).


  • Proofread for the correct use of punctuation, abbreviation and emoji’s. The rapid pace we communicate means we sometimes do not take the time to proof-read our messages. or become too reliant on smiley faces or acronyms. This ends up making more work down the track trying to fix the errors from miscommunication. Just to be clear, professional business standards do not favour emoji’s in documents, emails, texts.Yet, they are becoming more pervasive.If emoji’s have become more acceptable in your workplace be conservative on how you use them. Poor punctuation can indicate a lack of attention to detail, or possibly incorrect information being received. For example, the overuse of exclamation marks can read “anger” or show heightened excitement. This may not be suitable for the message you are really trying to send.


Just because we work in a virtual world does not mean we need to always use virtual communication. Sometimes it is just as important to pick up the phone, video chat or meet in person.  It can save time, especially when the topic is important.   After all we probably all know what email/or messaging ping pong is like. Just talk!

All these methods combined builds stronger, healthier relations between colleagues, clients, and teams.


Enjoyed these tips?  We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:


Business Writing*

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence*

Communication & Interpersonal Skills*

*Also available as a live, facilitator-led virtual training course


** Mehrabian, Albert; Wiener, Morton (1967). “Decoding of Inconsistent Communications”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology6 (1): 109–114. doi:10.1037/h0024532PMID 60