Routine – Is it a help or a hindrance?

Have you ever stopped to think about the value of routine in your business?

Look at your systems, for example. They are formalized routines – they keep things running smoothly because they allow you, your staff, or your VA to do things consistently over time.

This usually translates into being able to do things more quickly, and in the case of revenue-generating activities, more profitably.

It also translates into peace of mind – it eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel every day, makes training people a lot easier, and frees you up for CEO-type activities like envisioning, brainstorming, strategizing, and planning.

Routines don’t necessarily need to be formalized to be useful. And they can be down right comforting when you settle into them!

But there’s a down side to sticking to a routine when it comes to those all-important CEO-type activities. And it can manifest precisely when you want to rely on the routine most.

That’s when things are evolving rapidly in your business and you need to process information and revisit strategies and plans almost daily.

As an example, if you have developed a routine of taking 30 minutes a day to read the latest online articles and social media posts about topics that inform your business strategy and tactics and are forced to set this aside because of a surge in workload or a new project with a tight deadline, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • Insecurity because of the information you are “missing”
  • Resentfulness because you enjoyed the creativity that perusing this information inspired
  • Uncertainty because you feel that you’d make better decisions about the work at hand if you could access this information

If you have a low tolerance for change, this can feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and could lead to procrastinating on the activities that your increased workload requires.

Even if your tolerance for change is not especially low, but you’ve worked hard to establish a routine that’s serving you well, you may resist having to put it aside for days or weeks on end. And if you continue to follow the routine, you may slow the progress or even jeopardize the success of the current project.

So what should you do in this situation?

Here are my suggestions:

First, ask yourself if your routine supports something that is critical, important, or optional for your business. Then, based on your answer to this question, decide whether you should postpone, delegate, or abandon it.

If your routine is critical, you’ll want to delegate the activity to someone who can perform it reasonably well. If it’s important that you perform the activity, then you’ll want to delegate something else so that you can continue to perform it.

If your routine is important, postponing may be an alternative to delegating. You’ll have to make a decision about just how important the activity is, particularly with regard to when you’ll need the results that come from performing it.

If the routine is optional, you can feel comfortable postponing, delegating, or abandoning it. After the workload surge is over, you can reassess its value. If you find that you don’t miss the activity or the result of performing it, you may decide to abandon it permanently.

After you’ve made your decision, stop to notice what your intuition tells you about it. If you’ve made a “logical” decision that your gut tells you is wrong, start again!

To those of you who celebrate American Thanksgiving, have a blessed day!

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Hi. I’m Monique, the founder of Making Productivity Easy. I help business owners find peace through productivity by taming their runaway businesses so they can once again enjoy the empires they’ve created. Let’s connect: Check out my full bio, schedule a Discovery Session or join the community on Facebook.

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