Planning & Productivity, Part 2: Daily Rituals

This morning in the first Planning Workshop Series post, we talked about consistency. (If you missed it, check it out here.)

In this post, we’re talking about rituals and daily practices.

Remember in part 1, I mentioned one of the biggest things that derails people when they’re getting started is consistency. . .

Because most people haphazardly go about creating content, sharing their knowledge, talking about their projects and passions and so on. There’s no plan, and there’s often no plan because there’s no consistency or follow through.

It’s hard to plan things when you’re inconsistent.

Consistency requires two things –

  1. knowing what to do
  2. knowing when to do it

And the majority of small and online business owners have no idea WHAT even needs to be done. And they have no idea what needs to be done because they have lax habits when it comes to making decisions and knowing what they want.

That’s why we’re talking about daily practices in this part of the series. We’re going to get into the HABIT of doing something. We’re going to get into the habit of creating, of following a plan, of making decisions. We’re going to get into the habit of consistency.

So, let’s jump into creating daily rituals because that’s partly how we’re going to learn consistency.

DAILY RITUALS

In my mastermind group, we do a lot of work around creating daily practices. These practices sustain our growth – both personal and business. They help us establish consistency, planning, and making decisions.

Rituals are habits. They’re habits that help us create measurable results inside and out. They’re habits that ground us and give us direction.

Now look, when I say rituals, I’m not talking about chanting or dancing under the stars or anything. I’m not talking about elaborate rituals with crystals and grids and moon phases (although all of those are certainly options).

What I’m talking about are habits and practices that enhance your world by either enhancing your business or your life or both in some way. Habits that give you some direction and help you navigate your life and business. Little things you can do every day to help you stay on track and keep you grounded.

These daily rituals are things you do every day to help you achieve your goals and dreams. Habits that help you improve your mindset, improve your actions, improve your commitment to yourself and more.

And while these habits and rituals are individual – meaning we all may have very different habits and rituals – we’re going to focus on a couple of the more common ones for this purpose of this article.

PRACTICE 1: Journaling

People tend to think of journaling as a “dear diary” type of thing where one write’s down all their inner teenage angst. But that’s not the kind of journaling we’re talking about here.

Instead, journaling is where we think out our ideas, our goals, set our intentions, work through issues going on and do things like keep track of our appointments and schedule.

We’re going to use our journal to DECIDE what we value, what we desire, what we want to focus on that will help us move forward.

And we’re going to use it as a roadmap to help us reach our goals and intentions.

Here’s how I go about journaling:

Each day, I write out how I want my day to flow. I write my intentions and affirmations for the day and list any appointments and to-do items I need to work on.

I keep everything in one journal. I don’t separate things out. I used to – I used to have different journals for different things and it was a pain to keep track of and wasn’t very convenient to pack up and carry with me.

Now I keep it all one. My ideas, my lists, my thoughts, my schedule, my program details, my content details and everything else. All the notes for my mastermind group, the topics and lessons for each month, new program details, etc. It’s all in one journal that I can pack up very easily and take with me.

I use a hybrid method of bullet journaling. In fact, I created my own planning system (The Five Things Method) several years ago after trying the bullet journal method because I liked it but it wasn’t quite right for my needs.

On the daily pages, my journal has a space for gratefuls, reflections, appointments, things to do, intentions for the day, and space for looking ahead.

Weekly pages include a place to write appointments, intentions, most important tasks for the week, etc.

There’s also a monthly and quarterly reflections page where you can take stock of what worked, what didn’t, how to improve and more.

By the way – you can get a paperback copy of 5TM from Amazon or a digital edition from me right here on my website.

PRACTICE 2: Education

Feeding your mind with good things is essential for your well-being, both personally and professionally. Learning keeps you sharp and not only that, but continuous improvement has been known to increase productivity, improve quality, and raise morale.

To that end, I spend time every week – often half an hour to an hour per day – on self-improvement and learning. Depending on my schedule, I might batch it all on a Friday. But you can bet it’s on my calendar somewhere!

Sometimes I watch a video for a course or class I might be taking. Sometimes I read a book about a certain topic I’m interested in and want to learn more about. And other times, I listen to an audiobook or podcast.

Years ago, I read Stephen Covey’s insightful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Habit 7 is what Stephen calls “sharpen your saw.”

That 7th habit is all about self-improvement, self-renewal and self-care across the 4 main categories – physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional. For me, it’s what I call a non-negotiable (which we’ll talk more about in a bit) that I’ve been honing ever since.

Sharpening your saw is an on-going process of personal change and growth that sets you up for success. At a minimum, I recommend spending an hour or two per week. A lot of my clients discover they do best when they include at least some time for it every day.

PRACTICE 3: Space

Years ago, I was the queen of multi-tasking and busyness. My days were jam packed with everything for myself and my kids and my business. There was barely time to breathe!

And I was EXHAUSTED. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

It wasn’t until I started allowing space in my day that things began to really improve quickly. I no longer book appointments back to back. I don’t rush around everywhere. My kids aren’t involved in a ton of stuff every day (though they do still participate in several activities regularly).

Nowadays my schedule includes several breaks and I always allow at least 30 minutes between appointments. Many times it’s even longer than that. This allows me to mentally, energetically, and physically prepare for the next session and that’s incredibly important as a coach, not just for me, but for my clients as well.

The idea of daily rituals is really to declutter your mind. To sharpen your saw. To create harmony throughout your world. It’s a practice of self-care and improvement. To enhance your life and support your vision.

And that brings me to the second half of this piece:

NON-NEGOTIABLES

They are exactly what that says – things that are not negotiable. Things you REQUIRE in your life and in your business in order to BE your best.

Often when clients first come to me, they have no idea what they really, really want. Figuring out what they don’t like is the first step and shortly thereafter, it’s discovering the things they must have.

Now, non-negotiables can be anything that’s a must for you to support you in realizing your dreams and visions and making the impact you’re here to make.

That might include creating daily rituals and practices like we just discussed. It might include things like only working 3 or 4 days per week, hiring a house cleaner, taking advantage of ride shares like Uber or Lyft when you have to go into the city.

Non-negotiable might mean hiring a team to support your work so you can focus on what you do best. Or following the moon cycles. Or only accepting certain types of clients.

Your non-negotiables might include values like respect, loyalty, trust, commitment, integrity.

Or things like not working on weekends, getting a weekly massage, scheduling in exercise every day, practicing meditation daily, going to bed at a certain time every night, having dinner with your family nightly, etc.

The point is to decide what you value, what you require to do and to be your best so that you can fulfill your mission on this planet.

We’ll talk more in-depth about these concepts on the live Planning Workshop next Tuesday. I’d love to see you there.

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