Structuring Your Day

By Lisa Shanken | Healthy Living

As an Executive Functioning Coach, two of the most common reasons clients come to see me are to get more organized, and to better manage time. Neither of these goals are overnight processes, but they are each very doable. Much of it depends on how you structure your day.

Creating a consistently structured day is one of the most important tools you can implement to get more organized and manage your time well. It is also one of those things that is “simple yet not easy.” Creating a consistent schedule takes some time and tweaking, but it is especially helpful for adding in those stubborn habits you may keep resisting yet want to start!

Read on below for 10 tips on how to structure your day so you feel more organized and productive!

  1. Start by waking up at relatively the same time every day. This will help set your sleep schedule and ensure you feel well rested.
  2. Start your day with a consistent mindfulness habit that helps decrease stress. For example, begin your day with some movement like yoga, or try getting consistent with meditation if that has been a goal. Whether it’s movement and/or meditation, beginning your day this way will help you feel centered and ready to take on what’s ahead.
  3. Create a consistent morning routine that you start as soon as you have finished your daily mindfulness practice. Examples may be:
    a) Exercise>Shower/Dress>Breakfast>Check email
    b) Coffee/Tea>Shower>Dress>Breakfast.
  4. If there are old habits that tend to “suck you in” for longer than you want (and then cause you to waste time), like spending time on your phone or watching TV, it doesn’t mean you have to cut these activities out completely. Instead, set a timer and limit these activities to 5-10 minutes only in the morning. Limit the time and make them part of your morning routine.
  5. Set up specific time slots for “productivity time,” whether your productivity is working, parenting, school work, chores, or whatever else comprises your list of responsibilities. I recommend setting a timer for 50 minutes of “productivity time,” followed by a set timer for 10 minute breaks.
  6. Create a daily list of goals to accomplish during your daily “productivity time.” Studies show that taking the extra few minutes to write down a daily list makes you 42% more likely to complete these goals.
  7. Take your lunch break sometime within the same 2 hour window each day. For example, sometime between 12-2pm each day.
  8. Allot a certain amount of daily self-care, and try to keep it at a relatively consistent time each day. It can be as short as 15 minutes as long as 60 minutes per day. Just make sure to build it into your daily structure.
  9. Create a bedtime routine to ensure good sleep. For example: Wash up>Watch a TV program>Dim the lights>Turn off all screens>Read a book (not on an ipad or anything with stimulating blue light)>Listen to a calming meditation>Go to sleep.
  10. Use a planner - digital or handwritten. This can help you stay on track with your daily routine.

As mentioned above, creating a structured daily routine sounds simple, but that does not mean it’s easy. Please reach out so I can help support you during this process. It will be worth your time, which you will start to manage better with your new routine :-).