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Setting rituals – Time Management Tips

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Jim Rohn

For most people, the word “ritual” typically conjures up an image of a boring, repetitive life, with every moment controlled and managed, and no room for spontaneity. Rituals and routines, however, can actually help increase the spontaneity and fun in your life. Because routine tasks are already planned for, you have more energy to spend on the tasks that will bring you closer to your goals and bring more joy to your life.

What is a ritual?

The dictionary defines a ritual as, “any practice or pattern of behaviour regularly performed in a set manner.”

In fact, you can build any type of ritual in three easy steps.

Remember, a ritual shouldn’t be set in stone. Once you establish a ritual, it can be modified at any point in time, depending on what works for you. With our exercise example, you could easily decide to exercise before work or even at lunch and still use the basic task and sub-tasks.

Ritualising sleep, meals, and exercise

These three items are essential to ritualise. Here are some ideas.

Example rituals

Here are some rituals that many people find helpful in maximising their time:

Using rituals to maximise time

Once you have been using a ritual for a while, you may find that you have bits of extra time here and there. For example, you may find that by establishing an exercise ritual, you finish five or ten minutes earlier because you know exactly what you’re going to do at the gym. At the end of the day, you may find that you have a half hour or more of unexpected time.

This is where the “trigger” part of rituals can come into play. Instead of setting a specific time of day, you choose a situation or an event that will cause a ritual to come into play.

Some examples:

Case study

Linda found that whenever she had a few spare minutes at work, she would go to check her email, look at Facebook, and check out new sites. However, while she had planned to only look at these websites for a few minutes, sometimes she would lose track of time.  She needed a way to maximise her time without losing track of time on websites.

Linda decided to set up several time periods throughout the day when she would check work sites, like her work email and work calendar, and personal sites, like Facebook and news sites.  She checked them first thing in the morning, at noon, and at the end of the day.  Once Linda got into the ritual of checking these sites only three times a day, she found that she used her time more wisely and accomplished much more throughout her day.

View our Time Management workshop here.

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