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Productivity / Business Productivity

How developing routines can increase productivity

Working solo is challenging because there’s no-one to push you along. At the end of the week you might wonder where the time’s gone. Still, there is one way to increase productivity and it’s by developing routines.

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Routine sounds boring; it sounds rigid and way too hard. But there’s great value in developing routines.

Knowing that you have to put the rubbish bins out on Sunday night means the rubbish is collected. Knowing your BAS is due on the 28th of the month means that you allow time to prepare and that your tax is paid on time with no late fees. Both of these tasks are planned for and happen routinely.

The truth is that organised people do not have the organising fairies visit. Organised people spend time planning and very often have routines in place. They invest today to make life easier tomorrow.

The more routine you have, the more efficient you are likely to be. Think about the regular things in your life that need taking care of, like having your hair cut, getting your car serviced or preparing your tax return.

Generally, these things happen because you’ve planned to do them. So take this concept further by planning to deal with all the other things in your life. Start building plans and developing routines with the tasks in your life.

"It might sound boring, but there’s nothing more liberating than the freedom that comes from developing routines."

For example, make a regular time, once a week at a minimum, to maintain your paper – all those piles that grow on your desk!

Want more articles like this? Check out the productivity section.

It’s a good idea to build on existing routines. You might, for example, put away clean dishes while the kettle boils in the morning or sort and file your emails on the same day as a regular weekly meeting.

Use the changes in daylight-savings time to prompt annual tasks, such as clearing out a storage area or organising your office. That’s two organising bees a year.

The more frequently you perform a routine, the less you will have to do. Sorting a month’s worth of paper is going to take more than four times as long as sorting a weekly pile. Common sense? Yes. Rewarding? Yes. Difficult to achieve? No. It’s a simple technique that, if used consistently, will give you excellent results.

It might sound boring, but there’s nothing more liberating than the freedom that comes from developing routines. It means you’re now free to spend your time and energy doing the stuff you really want to do and you will also increase your productivity.

What’s a new routine you can build into your life to be more organised? What’s the most successful routine you currently have? Post a comment and let me know.

Lissanne Oliver

is a Professional Organiser, Trainer, Author and TV presenter who helps organise people’s space. She is the best-selling author of "SORTED! the ultimate guide to organising your life - once and for all" (Hardie Grant Books).

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