4 Rituals That Help Me Get More Done
What daily routines can you put in place to help move the needle in your business?
One of the biggest challenges in growing a small business is figuring out how to “get it all done”—especially if you’re the one who does all or most of it. Why is it that sometimes no matter how much you get done, it can feel like you’ve barely made a dent in your to-do list?
I’ve been in your shoes, and I’m still on this journey. So I want to share with you four things I do every single week that enable me to get a lot more done in less time. Committing to this routine has made a big difference in my ability to stay focused and get things done — and also to decide what takes priority (and what doesn’t).
Ritual #1. Connect your weekly focus to your long-term vision.
Every week, the first thing I do is sit down and make a weekly plan. That sounds really structured and organized, but what it usually looks like is me sitting down on my couch with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. I pull out my journal and notebook and make a list of the most important things I want to get done that week.
Here’s the thing: it’s more than just a random list of things to do. I begin that weekly focus by going back into my journal and reconnecting with my big picture goals.
- What do I want to accomplish over the next five years?
- What do I want to accomplish this year?
- What am I accomplishing this quarter? This month?
- Then, I drill all the way down to what I’m going to get done this week.
By plotting out my week this way, thinking through my to do’s within the context of my longer-term vision, the long and the short stay connected.
As I’m writing it out, I get crystal clear on my top priority tasks. Less is more here. I’m zoning in on the one, two, three big things I want to get done for the week.
When I get those done, I know I’m on track for my bigger vision.
Ritual #2. Block out time for the most important work.
Next, I go into my calendar and decide when I’m going to work on my top priorities for the week. The trick: I block time and make a date with myself to get each thing done.
If one of my most important things for that week is to write a chapter of a book I’m working on, I look at my calendar and block out time to write.
This is sacred get-it-done time. It represents a commitment to myself to stay focused on the important things. All of the less important to do’s have to fit in around this time.
This is such a contrast to what I used to do. Before, I would get all the urgent and small stuff off my to do list first. This made me feel productive. It was actually just the opposite.
Another quick note: Make sure you block your important work into your most productive time windows. I’m a morning person. I am usually writing or creating by 5am because this is when I my creative mojo is on overdrive.
Catch me at about 3pm and all you get are energetic leftovers. If I wait to create late in the day, it’s not happening.
Block out your prime creative time and make a date with yourself to get the big work done.
Ritual #3. Take care of your “SELF”.
Taking care of yourself begins first thing in the morning. What are you eating? What are you doing to get your body ready to create, to get your mind in the right space? What does your morning routine look like?
There are two things I do as part of my morning ritual that set me up to be more productive. One is that every single morning I move my body. It might be running, pilates, gym or yoga or even walking while I do a call with my team.
My workout ritual taught me a great trick: just decide once. Twenty years ago, I decided I would work out every single day. The beautiful thing is that I never have to decide that again. I don’t wonder every morning, “oh, should I go run?” I know there are many other places I could use this trick in my life.
Deciding once creates consistency.Consistency creates the results you want. Click To Tweet
It’s not always easy, but it is simple. And that’s by design. You see, a long time ago I made a decision: I will exercise. Every. Single. Day. It might sound strict, but there’s a freedom in deciding that, making it a non-negotiable. So now I don’t have to decide every morning; I just know I’m doing it.
Part 2 of taking care of self is fueling up for the day. What am I eating or drinking in the morning to nourish my body and optimize my energy?
For me, this started with noticing what NOT to do. On the mornings when I’d swing through the Starbucks drive-through and grab my mocha, I’d start off feeling super happy and energized. Fast forward two hours and I want to put my head down on my desk for a power nap.
So what do I start my mornings with now? Green juice. It helps me feel light and energized and keeps me moving in the morning.
And if green juice isn’t your thing, just find what works for you. What is it that lines up with your morning schedule and will give you sustainable energy to support you in accomplishing what you want to do during your day?
Ritual #4. Make time to be intentionally inspired.
Another important thing I do every week: I make a date with myself to get inspired. That might sound like more of a nice-to-have than a need-to-have kind of thing, but it’s not. It is essential.
A big part of YOUR role is inspiring other people—creating content that moves them and helps them achieve what they want in life and business. A girl needs to be on fire to make that happen day in and day out.
Spontaneous inspiration is wonderful and magical when it shows up. The problem is that it doesn’t show up on the regular. I make time every day to intentionally get inspired. There’s lots of ways to take charge of your own inspiration. That might look like reading an article or a few chapters in a book, listening to a podcast or watching a video about something I want to learn.
Sometimes it’s about changing up my routine. Maybe instead of running on my regular path, I decide to run on the lake front or by the river or downtown. Shake things up! Staying open to and even seeking out new experiences and fresh ideas helps keep me excited about what I’m creating in my business.
That’s a quick snapshot of my personal rituals. I would LOVE to hear yours.