My #1 Tip for Success

Posted 01.28.2017 Med Life

Okay so for a while now I wanted to share my all time favorite tip for success: having a routine. I didn’t understand the need for a routine until I was in the midst of my second year of college when everything started to get extremely difficult and I felt constantly unorganized. Throughout my sophomore and junior years at Princeton, I learned some things about myself that have continued to help me succeed, stay on top of my work, and allow time for self care activities. So I’m going to share my top 5 tips on how to establish and master your routine.

 

  1. Have a daily, weekly, and monthly routine. There are many different types of routines out there in the world. There are workout routines, skin care routines, study routines, you name it, and someone has probably ‘routined’ it. I have found that having a daily, weekly, and monthly routine keep me on track and simplify my planning. I recommend forming your own daily, weekly and monthly routines to streamline your time and make it the most efficient. To give you an example, my daily routine is typically wake up at 5, shower/eat breakfast, work from 6 am – 5 pm with a lunch break around noon, dinner and/or workout before 6:30 pm, either work or relax until 9, and then be asleep by 9:30 pm. My weekly routine is basically my daily routine from Monday – Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday I typically sleep in until 6:30 and allow myself a little more relax/ self care/ chore/ fun time in the afternoons or evenings. My main tip with the weekly routine is to keep your wake up times within 1.5 hours of each other. So if you wake up at 7 am on weekdays, don’t sleep past 8:30 on the weekends – this will greatly help with your sleep cycles! My monthly routine includes goal setting at the beginning of the month and assessments during the last week of the month. I also tend to organize how I spend my extracurricular time each month. I like to have no more than 2 ‘busy social’ weekends (for me that’s anything involving around 6+ hours of time doing social activities) so that I can have 2 quiet weekends filled with work and self care.  These routine took quite a few months to refine, but I finally have it set to a system that works for me.
  2. Figure out if you’re a morning bird, a night owl, or an afternoon eagle. Find out when you are most productive. Times can vary greatly from person to person, and it can be extremely difficult to figure out what works best for you. In order to really know if you work best in the morning or night, you should try out one schedule (either going to bed + waking up early; or going to bed+ waking up late) for 3 weeks so that your sleep cycles can adjust. If you only try getting up early and working in the morning for a few days, I can guarantee it won’t be a success. So give it some time and try out different time schedules to really know when your golden time is. Once you know what time of the day is your most productive – utilize it to the max. Try to build the rest of your day around that time.
  3. Consistency is key. A routine only becomes a routine when it is done consistently and with discipline. Without consistency, a routine is just a plan. Why is consistency such a big deal? Because routines work by providing structure and efficiency. Think about taking a shower – I bet you have a routine where you do the same things in the same order every day. We don’t have to even really think about it because we’ve refined it and streamlined the process to save the most time and energy. The same sort of concept applies to daily and weekly routines as well. In order for your routine to be the most successful, you’ll have to be consistent with it!
  4. Don’t compare your routines to others. Everyone is so different. The way your brain works is going to be different from your peers. I have friends that work best by themselves in the early hours of the morning, and others that love working in a group of people at night. One person’s routine is no better than anyone else’s. Compare your routine to what you believe is your best. Is it giving you the best outcomes: efficiency, happiness, rest, and success? Are you happy with how you’re spending your time? Use internal measures of assessment to make sure it is the best routine for you, and don’t worry about what others are doing.
  5. Routines don’t work for everyone. So this is going to throw everything out the window, but honestly a routine won’t work for everyone. With most people, getting into a habit and having a routine will really help with not only school work, but also self-care activities, social events, sleep hygiene, ect. I’ve learned this through my own experiences and I am someone that thrives off of a routine (hence why I’m writing this post). But for some people, routines can be suffocating and numbing. If you feel like you need spontaneity and a more free flowing schedule – do what works for you! The main point of this whole article is that you have to learn how to best spend your time to achieve your goals.

 

So tell me, are you a fan of routines?? Let me know about your routine in the comments below or find me on instagram @beingfranke

 

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