What is your daily routine like? When do you get up? What do you have for breakfast? Do you have coffee? Do you brush your teeth? Do you shower? Which one do you do first?
If you could sit down and write out exactly what your daily routine is for each and every day, what would it look like? Do you even have a daily routine, or do you generally do similar things every day? Having a routine is one of the best ways to add some structure into your day and to help improve virtually every aspect of your life. In fact, if you look at today’s most successful individuals, you will find that they all maintain detailed daily routines that don’t just give them structure but that actually help them become better, more successful individuals.
A book called “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work,” takes a detailed look into the lives and routines of some of the most inspired and intelligent people on the planet. The books looks at everyone from historic legends like Pablo Picasso and Charles Dickens to modern day inspirations like Anne Rice and Andy Warhol. While the list of artists, philosophers and scientists contains drastically different individuals, all of these individuals had some type of set routine. Some of them set goals for themselves, such as writing a certain amount before every day, others maintained strange hours, some preferred to work in bizarre locations, such as Maya Angelou’s “tiny, mean hotel room.”
Either way, looking at the lives of these individuals will highlight a few key things for readers. In general, these wildly successful talents all have a few things in common:
- They work very long, very hard hours
- Most profiled individuals got up early
- A majority of these individuals work within two hours of waking up
- Most of the individuals featured followed a strict daily work schedule and set goals for themselves (such as number of hours or number of words)
- The artists profiled in this book adhere to their routines almost fanatically
What is most important is the ritual, the routine habit they created to better their lives. If you haven’t developed a routine such as this for yourself, there is no better time than the present to jump on board and start making a routine that works for you.
If there is one major takeaway from this study of successful individuals, or virtually any other look at the lives of today’s most successful artists, it is that habits are the key to successes and productivity.
The main reason that successful people like the artists in this book, or virtually any successful individual you meet, tend to be so focused on their routines, is because it helps them get more things done. Having a routine that includes blocking out sections of your day means, having time for specific tasks, whether it is working, doing projects or going to the gym.
Procrastination can also become a thing of the past with a routine. So many of the talented individuals highlighted in “Daily Rituals” are actually writers, who would set daily writing rituals for themselves so that they could stay focused on their work and getting their deadlines meant and projects done in a timely manner.
However, routines are about more than getting things done. When you have a set regimen you are much less likely to have stress and anxiety impacting your life. Living a daily, chaotic and unorganized life is only going to breed more feelings of chaos and disorganization. This is why setting strict schedules and routines are valuable tools used for those with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to dementia. This type of routine can also have a positive impact on the quality of sleep you are able to get during the night as it can help regulate your body’s internal clock.
In addition to the mental health benefits, those with set routines are actually much more able to set good habits and break bad habits while they’re at it. Since the key to making something an actual habit is repetition, it is easier for those with routines to replace their bad habits with good ones. Experts say it will take a few weeks in order to turn an action into a habit, but with time it can actually become a new, more positive part of your life.
Whether you are finishing your novel, trying to make more time for the gym or just want to get a better evening of sleep, the best place to start making a detailed daily routine for yourself. With time, it can change your life in ways you never thought possible. What rituals are you going to start creating for yourself this year?