"Either you run the day or the day runs you."
~ Jim Rohn
For many of us, our daily routine looks drastically different than it did a few short weeks ago. I know that I have personally found it a bit harder to focus with all of the fun distractions that working at home can provide. An extra cup of coffee in the morning with my wife, the stack of clean clothes I didn't put away the night before, an extra few minutes on the Internet. Now that I have all the extra time at home, nothing seems quite as urgent.
Or maybe things are far more urgent for you. Maybe you are now a daycare provider or a school teacher on top of your normal business demands. Perhaps you are now the full-time family cook and fun director. Maybe this staying at home has created less time in your day.
Either way, Jim Rohn's words have never rung more true. It is more important than ever to have an agenda for running your day. We all know the Ninja Nine forms the cornerstone of the Ninja Weekly Routine and here is an example of what the Perfect Ninja Week used to look like.
Be consistent with your Morning Routine and start your day with Gratitudes and Affirmations
It has never been more important to take a few minutes and think about the things in your life you are grateful for. Each morning, I start a page in my journal with three things I am grateful for that morning. This gets me in a positive space to do my affirmations. If you have an opportunity to journal in the evening, it can be a great way to end your day and list three things that happened to you during the day for which you are grateful.
Be Realistic with your Schedule and Time Blocking
Being realistic in what's possible can be especially important if you are working from home and sharing your "office" with children that need homeschooling. It is great to design the "Perfect Day" but temper that with a healthy dose of realism. Instead of time blocking in one-hour increments for Customer Service Calls, maybe 15-30 minutes is more realistic. Maybe, instead of calls happening from 9 am -10 am they now happen from 11:00 am - 11:30 am when the children are outside for recess or engaged in their school lessons for the day.
Create a Space for Work
If you can have a separate room at home for work, that is ideal, but at the minimum, create a space that is your workspace. There is something important about not having to move the breakfast dishes to get your computer set up on the kitchen table each morning. It mentally and emotionally keeps you focused on your business. If you are sharing your home with family members, it is also important to let them know that you have a workspace, and when you are in that space, you are working.
Let Others Know about your Work Schedule
Most of our routines have been turned upside down. Now, more than ever it is important to inform your family and friends of your new schedule. It was pretty obvious when you got dressed in your "work clothes" and headed out the door in the morning that you were going to work. Now, those "work clothes" may be the same as your typical at-home attire and your family and friends no longer have the visual cues that your working. Let them know that you are keeping a work schedule and what that schedule may be. Don't take it for granted that they automatically know when you are trying to work. Lots of those visual and spatial cues are gone.
Be Gentle on Yourself
Finally, and most importantly, be kind to yourself. There are a lot of new stressors in life that many of us did not foresee a few weeks ago. No one could have predicted how drastically life was going to change, so don't Monday Morning Quarterback all the things you wish you would have done differently. Deal with the things you can change and affect moving forward and focus on your Sphere of Control and Your Sphere of Influence.