January 30, 2020  

My Proven 5-Step System For Creating A Daily Routine

Sick and tired of spinning your wheels and wasting time? I’ll teach you my easy method for creating a daily routine that you can follow week after week.


When life gets crazy and schedules completely change, sometimes it’s necessary to push reset. If you feel like your current routine just isn’t working anymore, it may be time to throw out your old schedule and create a new daily routine.

Now that we’re past the busy holiday season and into a fresh, new year it’s a great time to consider revamping your daily routine.

I believe having a daily routine is essential for a productive and purposeful week, because otherwise it’s way too easy to drift through the day. And before you know it, drifting through life for one day turns into an entire week of wasted time. That’s certainly happened to me lately!

It’s really important to constantly make adjustments to ensure your daily routine continues to work for you as your life changes. I think a lot of people give up on the idea of a routine and get really frustrated when theirs doesn’t work, but actually that’s just a good sign it’s time to make some changes!

Today’s post is my detailed, step-by-step framework for creating an intentional daily routine!

Related blog posts:


How To Create A Daily Routine

1. Set Aside Time To Plan

Carve out 30-60 minutes to evaluate your life and create a daily routine that works for you. I suggest grabbing a notebook and your favorite beverage, and retreating to somewhere with few distractions. Maybe that’s your back patio, your bedroom or the local coffee shop.

Bring a pen and paper with you. A plain ol’ notebook or scratch paper will work great. If you want to get a little fancier, I like to use the printable worksheets I offer in my free email course, Organize Your Week.


2. Take Time For Reflection

Spend a few minutes thinking about what you want your daily life to look like. Also try to identify why your current routine, or lack thereof, isn’t working anymore. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What’s working well in my current daily routine?
  • What are my biggest time management frustrations?
  • How will my life improve if I use my time better?
  • What do I wish I had time to do?

Time is a nonrenewable resource, so it’s important to use it wisely! Think back to the past few days and jot down what you were up to. A few questions to spark your thoughts are:

  • Did I spend time on the things that matter most to me?
  • What distractions wasted the most time?
  • When did I feel the most hectic? Why?

> Bonus Points: Commit to completing a time tracking exercise over the next 5-7 days. This is the best way to find out how you are actually using your time (versus how you think you’re using it). Learn more in this post.


3. Gather Up The To-Dos

Brainstorm all of the commitments and responsibilities you have in life right now. Try to think of everything that takes your time and energy each week. Your list will range greatly, from work and kids activities to social events and household chores. Get detailed and try to think of all the things that require your time. To trigger your thoughts, try brainstorming tasks by area of life:

  • Family
  • Social Life
  • Household
  • Work/School
  • Health & Self Care
  • Spirituality
  • Hobbies/Side Projects
  • Other

> Bonus Points: Set one or two goals and include them on your list of commitments. The only way to achieve a goal is to work on it bit by bit, which is why it’s important to incorporate time to work on your goals into your weekly routine. Follow the 10-step goal-setting formula I teach in this post.


4. Assign Everything Time On A Weekly Calendar

Print a couple copies of a weekly calendar template with space for tasks each hour of the day. You can find free templates online, or sign up for my free email course to get access to the one I designed.

Start adding all of your responsibilities and commitments to the calendar. Some things will have set times, like school and work. But the majority of tasks will be flexible. This is where the magic of daily routines happens! Here’s how I work on this step:

  1. Add in commitments that have specific times of day.
  2. Block out adequate time for sleep, determining a bedtime and wake-up time.
  3. Assign time slots for all of your daily tasks, followed by weekday tasks.
  4. Sprinkle your weekly tasks into the empty time slots.
  5. Carve out a bit of time to relax and recharge every day (it’s important to leave empty time blocks for rest!)
  6. Add in a catch-all block of time for you to work on bi-weekly or monthly tasks.

Whew! The scheduling puzzle really gets you thinking, doesn’t it? It can take some finagling to make room in your schedule for everything, but you’ll feel great once your done.


5. Put Your New Routine Into Practice

Creating a plan does no good if you don’t use it, so find a time to consult your calendar regularly so you can stay on track.

Having everything plotted on the calendar will give you the peace of mind of knowing you have set aside time for everything you need to do.


Scheduling every minute of your week like this may seem overly rigid, but I have found that that structure creates freedom. It gives you peace of mind of knowing you have time for everything, and it gives you the freedom to use your downtime to truly relax without feeling guilty for not working on something more productive.

Having a well-thought daily routine in place makes a huge difference, especially when life gets crazy. If your month is off to a less-than-productive start, it’s never too late to turn things around! Creating a schedule you can follow week after week is the first step to a more productive, less stressful life.

What do you wish you had time for? Create a daily routine and make time for it!

Looking for more planning inspiration? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

P.S. I only have room to scratch the surface of routine creation in this post! If you’d like to dive deeper (and get access to pretty printables!), I’d love for you to take my free five-day email course. If you feel like you spend most of your time reacting to the world around you, it’s time to take control of your time and use it wisely. This short course will teach you how to design a schedule that puts you in the driver’s seat of your week. Click here to sign up!

Take control of your schedule and organize your week with this free five-day course.

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  1. This is awesome! I’ve always been scared to track my time since I have to do it so much a work, but you’ve got me to thinking that I should give it a try. I signed up for the email course, so wish me luck 🙂

    1. Hi Hayley, I can totally understand not wanting to track your time when you have to do it at work! I do encourage you to try it out for a few days – I find it to be a really helpful exercise every once in a while. I hope you learn a lot from the course. Thanks so much for reading and signing up!

  2. I love this post! I regularly struggle to find a routine with my crazy work schedule. I never work the same hours or even days. Any advice for a crazy schedule such as: Wednesday 9-5, Thursday off, Friday 3-midnight, Saturday 5-2am, Sunday 10-6, Monday 12-8, Tuesday off… I have tried to make lists and while that is helpful I don’t have much routine!

    1. Hey Bethany,
      Planning a routine with an irregular schedule is certainly not easy! It’s something I touch on in my book, but I really ought to write a post about it. Sporadic schedules make things more challenging, but it’s not impossible to establish some type of routine. If I were you, I’d create a couple routines. One routine is for the days when you work more of a day shift, and then another routine is for the days when you don’t start work until the evening. That way you can flip flop between those two routines based on your work schedule that day. And then you could also create a different routine for your days off. I think the key is planning ahead and creating a game plan for each scenario. You can’t plan for every variation, but if you have a couple basic routines in place I think that will help you. Let me know how it goes or if you have more questions!

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