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Routines Make Room for Exhaling

Can you even believe it, it's already the middle of July! Insane!!

As my daughter pointed out, this is the 1st Summer in 2 years we've been able to go outside and be free. Stop. Think. She's right. No wonder it's been hard to focus during the workday, staying indoors to do household maintenance or anything not related to fun. It also explains why most of the things my friends and I have done have been impromptu, no planning at all. It's times like this I'm glad I have routines in place to give me as much free time as possible.

For years, I have had weekly routines in place to ensure my work week was set-up for success. Regardless of my income level (the lower my income, the more I have to do myself) I have a few non-negotiables. Here they are:

Appearance: Hair, nails and all things personal grooming. How you step into the room speaks volumes. Whether that room is face-to-face or over a camera (Teams, Zoom, WebEx) how you look matters. No, I'm not speaking about pretty or ugly. I'm talking about being pulled together, that whole personal brand; what people know to expect when they see you. I keep a standing hair appointment, nail appointment (I'm doing acrylic over my nails right now). I have a specific esthetician for my brows and keep my own skin routine (DM me on Instagram and I might share).

Wardrobe: Even during COVID I was "dressed" by 9am everyday. I love jeans, when I can wear them, so working from home was heaven for me. Everyday by 9am, along with my hair and make-up, I wore a work blouse and jeans. Somedays I added a sweater or light jacket. Even though some weeks have more "to do's" than others, I choose one day each week, usually Sunday afternoon, to iron my clothes for the week. I wash clothes in the evenings and stack up what requires ironing. No, I don't like it, but turning on the Gusto channel helps me get through it. What I do like is how easy it is to open my closet and CHOOSE what to wear instead of having to pull it all together. Once a month I do a drop off and pick-up to the dry cleaners and the shoe repair. Nothing says "she cares" more than a shoe in good condition with a nice shine.

Planner & Appointments: Every night and every morning I check my planner. At night I make notes about the day that's ending, in the morning I check to make a mental note of what is coming and what I need to do. Some people journal, others use an on-line calendar filled with reminders; well good for you. Me, I need to see, feel and read so a paper planner works best for me. I add notes about the day. If during a call, I make notes on the page to remember what took place. Paper makes it easy for me to plan out my week. I list appointments I have and those I need to make, who I need to connect with (networking 101) and those who will be connecting with me, I leave white space to allow myself to breathe so its not something I'm scrambling to find.

Food: Everyone has to eat, whether they make it themselves, hire someone to make or order it, food is a necessity. I'm not a "food prep" person, but I do ensure I have what I need in my kitchen to make fueling my body an easy thing. I even make notes, in my planner, of the days I will order a meal or eat out; yup, I'm that success prepared. Snack foods, full meals, even beverages are packed into my kitchen for easy grab. Back to the planner, I choose days and times (the times are so important) when I will hit the stores I frequent; Trader Joe's, Sprouts, and City Market. If you're time crunched or not a grocery store trekking person ( I love grocery shopping) then choose your Instacart Amazon Fresh shopping day and stick to it.

Success is not only not an accident, preparing for success isn't something done haphazardly. It takes deciding you REALLY want success and you are REALLY committed to reaching those success goals you set for yourself. This isn't a judgement post, but rather one for you to use in assessing your routines and deciding working out, meditation and mimosas brunches aren't the only routines you should have in your life.

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