Everyone has experienced some type of sleep deprivation. It’s normal when you have a big project coming up at work or school or an exciting life event is about to happen. Whenever we were about to open a new store at Curry’s Auto Service or I had something big going on, I would only sleep several hours a night for several weeks in a row. I would wake up at two or three in the morning, not be able to get back to sleep, so I’d just head into to work and start to take on the day.
People, like myself with attention deficit disorder (ADD) have a love/hate relationship with routines. Being easily distracted, having trouble staying on task and difficulty with prioritizing are all symptoms of ADD in adults. Some might say that routines and ADD would be like oil and water, but, in fact, these are the reasons why creating a routine is critical for success. It is important to create a routine as an adult (even if you do not have ADD) but it is also important to forgive yourself if you get off track. It’s fun to be spontaneous to get those creative juices flowing but most often than not we need routines to make our lives run smoother. You need to be prepared to be successful.
The key to making a routine stick is to do what works for you. Everyone is different. One person might get more benefit going for a run after a stressful day while another person might find it better to sweat first thing in the morning. Figure out when you are at your peak and then start to plan your routine.
Planning a routine can be as simple as just blocking out time your in day, writing it up on a whiteboard or day planner. Making sure your time is accounted for will help to analysis productivity and where you can fill in your gaps. Take the time to build a routine for yourself. It can be with good ol’ pen and paper or the endless digital options such as Evernote or the 30/30 app.
Routines help tackle the daunting projects at work and get the little things done that will add up to success. The beauty about creating a routine is that if it is not working for you, change it. In a commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs said, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Powerful words from a very successful man.
So ADD or no ADD, get a routine. A routine can bring meaning and happiness to your days and allow you to be productive doing something you are passionate about. Prepare for your success every day and success will follow.