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Working on Wellness

My Routine Rules

By Joelle Monaco (Staff)

Today I’m reminded that going to the traditional office is not the norm. We have teams that span that world. We can find ourselves in an office one day, our homes another day, or what I like to refer to as my mobile office, my car all in a single workweek. In saying that, I’ve found it essential to develop a work routine that creates a sense of structure and accountability.

So let’s talk routines! Here are ten essential pieces that I’ve found to be extremely valuable in my day-to-day routine.

  1. Start the morning at the same time every day. Get dressed, eat, and get to work at roughly the same time to create consistency.
  2. Check-in with the team and get connected to others and what is going on! Given technology advances, I find myself checking in with my team via phone calls, video chats, and instant messaging.
  3. Create goals and objectives for the day, week, and month. This helps me stay on track and prioritize my workload based on what needs to be completed. I can also communicate these priorities with my team, so everyone knows what I’m working on to avoid duplication and confusion. I love lists!
  4. Take a lunch break! I’ve been known to need a personal reminder about this critical part of the day. At Baylor University, researchers found that workers who took breaks to do something they enjoyed reported fewer health symptoms such as headaches, eye strain, and lower back pain. They also reported higher job satisfaction and lower rates of burnout.
  5. Get creative! Our days can get filled with tasks and things that we don’t enjoy. So building in a project, event, or research that you find enjoyable and allows you to be creative. Doing this provides a boost of energy that typically gets me to the last part of the workday.
  6. Take time at the end of each day to recap and prioritize the following day. This way, when I start my workday, I already have a sense of what needs to get done.
  7. Clock out at a regular time.
  8. Exercise!  Some days, I find myself sitting a lot more than usual; doing 30-minutes exercise or walk around helps to get the blood moving.
  9. Spend time doing something I enjoy. I fill my time after work with things like reading, listen to a podcast, video chat with friends and family, or playing a game.
  10. Get a restful night’s sleep. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep.

The benefits of a routine cannot be overstated! I’ve also found that this routine needs to be flexible as some days things don’t go as planned.   These Routine Rules allow me to adapt to changing circumstances and transition my plan to meet my needs.