CEO Success Habits

Daily Routine Offers Benefits that Lead to Better Outcomes

Discover the benefits of creating a daily routine, including improved productivity, reduced stress and better prioritization, and tips for structuring your day.

Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his day by waking at about 4 a.m. He spends the first hour of his day reading emails from Apple users and external people.

Next, it’s a stress-reducing trip to the gym.

The day is likely to involve Cook reading the majority of the 700 to 800 emails he receives.

When the day is done, he aims to get 7 hours of sleep at night.

The insights into how Cook plans and spends his day is just one example of the importance of having a daily routine.

Why Is A Daily Routine Important?

A daily routine provides more than structure to our busy, hurried lives. Among its myriad benefits:

  • Efficiency. A daily routine reduces the number of decisions that need to be made. It gives u structure as to what tasks will be completed and when.
  • Less Planning. Planned time takes some of the guesswork of what to do when. You can focus on “do” from the beginning of the day, instead of “plan.”
  • Help With Habits. A routine allows you to build new or fine-tune your old habits and break bad ones. Repetition of productive habits that replace bad habits provides better skills and a new source of confidence.
  • Productivity. A daily routine requires blocking out time when specific tasks will be done. Doing so, with scheduled focus on different work lets you check more off of your to-do list.
  • Improved Mental Health. Days that are chaotic and disorganized can derail not only your productivity but also your mental wellness. The human brain likes order and structure. Providing it will ease anxiety and give you a more positive outlook.
  • Prioritization. One significant advantage of a daily routine is the opportunity to prioritize what is most important to us. Set your goals and priorities and incorporate the time you need to work towards them into your routine.
  • Momentum. Repetitive routines have a benefit. With practice comes better skills, progress and momentum. Push that ball up the hill a little each day, get better at it and soon you’ll have reached the summit, no matter how steep the climb.
  • Less Procrastination. When a set of tasks and activities becomes truly routine, it makes it more difficult for procrastination to seep in. When you stick to your routine, you are able to eliminate the “maybe later” thinking that can disrupt progress, slow down projects and practice avoidance.
  • Reduced Stress. Our lives are hectic and that means more stress. Certainty and predictability can help lower your stress level and allow you to relax, especially if part of your routine is a regular sleep pattern. Consistency in when you go to sleep and wake up is better for maintaining a regulated internal clock.
  • Mastery. A daily routine allows you to become faster and more skilled at what you work on consistently.
  • Money Saved. A daily routine at the office and home can lead to cost savings. For your business, work is less likely to pile up and projects less likely to fall behind. On a personal level, routines help us not to plan our meals, organize our shopping an not have to make more expensive, last-minute or unnecessary purchases.
  • Found Time. Imagine the opportunity to give yourself more time by building into your daily routine opportunities for leisure, recreation, planned meals and breaks. It’s likely that by doing so, you’ll be able to have more time. That doesn’t mean that time needs to be scheduled immediately as part of your daily routine. It’s an opportunity to discover how you want to best use the new-found minutes or hours.

These benefits collectively give you the structure you need for further business success. According to a recent article in CEO Magazine, there are 7 elements to consider in building your routine:

  1. Set a regular schedule for when you wake up and go to bed
  2. Create routines for the start and end of your workday, such as doing a walkthrough of the office first thing in the morning or using the last 10 minutes of the day to plan the next
  3. Factor in family routines such as school schedules and activities
  4. Create blocks in your work schedule for tasks such as meetings, emails, project work or phone calls
  5. Know your best time of day and use it for “focus time,” when you turn off and block out distractions and get your most important work done
  6. Leave some wiggle room in your schedule to deal with the unexpected
  7. Limit low-value task time like emails and returning calls that often are driven by others’ agendas

With an appreciation for the value of daily routines and a commitment to a structured day, your business and personal goals are closer to being met.