It is often identified as a characteristic of personal success to have a set routine each day, or even for each week (Monday is washing day, Tuesday is cleaning day). This creates momentum and ensures good things happen.

Workers, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, business people are all said to go through their routine and this contributes to their success in whatever arena they put themselves.

The daily routine can however be stifling. A worker who goes through their morning, afternoon and evening routine is often set in their way and while this M.O will get the job done – efficiently – it often doesn’t drive the business forward.  A routine can be restrictive and counter-creative. Business growth needs inventiveness and disruption to challenge the norms and create opportunities.

A routine could include periods of ‘loose thinking’ in the daily timetable. But that is unlikely to generate the free thinking that is often required to enable a business to expand.

A better approach might be to timetable the day. Have slots in the day that focusses on an aspect of the role – such as maintenance, or promotion, or creation, or action, or engagement. The timetable could be created to reflect the events that need to be done to keep the business running and at the same time generate growth.

Routines are made up of tiny habits, and if the habits are good habits then the routine logically is a routine with benefits. But how do we know if there are better habits? The routine needs to be able to be disrupted without breaking down the follower. This is where the risk is. Disrupting a routine can have a counter-productive impact. And so slow down business.

A timetable, however, can provide structure, but at the same time allow for creation within each slot.

For example, the early morning routine, would be replaced with a timetable event could ‘Awakening’ and the events here can be:

  • Journal writing
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Nutrition
  • Sunlight
  • Reading

… the next slot could be called ‘Starting’

  • To Do list writing
  • Review/Reflect on progress
  • Gather
  • Prepare for meetings

…. and so on

My daily timetable is:

  1. Awakening
  2. Starting
  3. Actioning
  4. Engaging
  5. Urgency
  6. Preparing
  7. Switching (off)

The activities I take under each of these timetable headings isn’t part of any routine. It’s a combination of what I want to do and what I need to do. But I feel that my day has a structure, not a routine.