Establishing Routines to Maximize Your Flexibility
We all want to be flexible and adaptable so sticking to a routine sounds obvious and boring. Establishing routines in the right way can actually give us more flexibility in our schedule and help us meet all of the priorities we want to achieve.

Establishing Routines to Maximize Your Flexibility

Previously, we showed how setting priorities can help us focus on the things that are most important to us. This week we’re going to talk about maintaining that focus. We can achieve the focus we desire by establishing routines.

We all want to be flexible and adaptable so sticking to a routine sounds obvious and boring. Establishing routines in the right way can actually give us more flexibility in our schedule and help us meet all of the priorities we want to achieve.

Tips for Establishing Routines

When it comes to establishing routines, we get the best results if we do an activity at the same time every day. Our body and mind get used to doing that task every day at that time. If we only do something once or twice a week, It helps to schedule that task for the same day and time. For example, if we have a meeting every Monday, it’s helpful to make it at the same time on Monday every week. This helps us get used to it, but  also helps the other meeting attendees get used to it. By dedicating the time on our calendar we prepare ourselves to focus on that task.

We want to get at least one block of time dedicated on the calendar for each priority. If we have a priority for the day and there isn’t any time dedicated to it, can we expect that we’ll really get it done? If it’s really important to us we probably will, but if we get distracted or someone else starts to place demands on our time, the things that aren’t scheduled are usually the ones that get dropped.

Establishing Routines Enhances Flexibility

We shouldn’t block off every hour of the day on our calendar. We want some empty space on the calendar for when we need to make changes. Often, others place demands on our time. Our boss might call a meeting that conflicts with one of our other important priorities. We need a place to move that activity to or it will likely get dropped.  Establishing routines helps us build good habits to re-focus ourselves on an important priority.

Even though we all want to be flexible, establishing routines helps us focus on our priorities. We get more freedom than if we just let each day happen without any kind of plan. We can become great leaders by balancing the structure of a routine and taking advantage of opportunities when they arise!

This month we’re talking about ways to stay focused on the things that are most important to us. Consciously setting priorities is one of the best ways we can keep our focus.

Setting Priorities You Can Stick To!

This month we’re talking about ways to stay focused on the things that are most important to us. Consciously setting priorities is one of the best ways we can keep our focus.

Steps for Setting Priorities

  1. Write down the five things that are most important for you to do today. It doesn’t matter what they are. They could be career related, personal, or social.
  2. Put those 5 things into priority order with #1 being most important. Choosing which is most important can be difficult, so take some time if you need to.
  3. To successfully set priorities we need to recognize how the priorities of others fit into our list. Think about the expectations that others have for you today and where those fall in your priority list. Maybe something for your spouse is at the top and something for your boss is in the middle. It’s okay wherever they end up, as long as they fall somewhere on your list.

Now you can make conscious decisions about what to do next based on how it will help achieve these priorities. Maybe you choose to get something low on the list done early because it’s easy to do, maybe you do everything first that you need to get the most important one done.

How Setting Priorities Helps Us

This exercise may sound a little obvious, but I can tell you from my own experience there have been days where I didn’t consciously think through my priorities. At the end of the day couldn’t figure out how I had worked so hard and gotten nothing important done. If you ever feel this way, doing this exercise can help turn the day around and help you achieve your most important priorities for that day. After you get used to doing this for just one day at a time, you can start to extend the time scale and set broader, long-term priorities. Soon you’ll have a list of priorities that can guide all of the actions and decisions you make as a leader!

There are so many distractions in life, both from the outside and from within ourselves. One of the key challenges we all face as leaders is how to stay focused on the things that are really important while still keeping our eyes and ears open for what’s going on around us. We all know how important it is to be able to focus. When we can’t focus, tasks take longer, quality suffers and we often make poor decisions. All this month at Evil Genius Leadership we’ll be talking ways we can work on improving focus on the priorities that are really important to us.

Improving Focus – Take Our August Challenge!

Do you sometimes have trouble focusing on the really important things? This month’s challenge will help with improving focus to get better results!

There are so many distractions in life, both from the outside and from within ourselves. One of the key challenges we all face as leaders is how to stay focused on the things that are really important while still keeping our eyes and ears open for what’s going on around us. We all know how important it is to be able to focus. When we can’t focus, tasks take longer, quality suffers and we often make poor decisions. All this month at Evil Genius Leadership we’ll be talking ways we can work on improving focus on the priorities that are really important to us.

Improving Focus – Take Our Challenge

This month’s challenge has 3 parts:

First, identify just one thing that you have trouble focusing on. It could be a task that you do regularly at work that takes longer than it should because you keep getting distracted. Or it could be something that you really want to get done in your personal life but find that work things keep getting in the way.

Next, investigate what it is that keeps you from focusing on getting that thing done. Are there co-workers that interrupt you when you’re trying to work on it. Does your email notification keep going off? Does the phone not stop ringing?

Finally, choose one action or step you’re going take to reduce whatever that cause is. If it’s your phone or email can you turn the ringer or notifications off while you’re doing this task? If not, can you adjust the time of day or place you do it to minimize the distractions and help you focus.

Keep track of how you do on focusing on your goal for the whole month. Tell us in the comments what you tried and how well it worked for you. Don’t be afraid to try a new tactic if the first action you chose isn’t working as well as you’d like!