Nomad Life

7 Best Daily Routine Examples for Maximum Productivity

daily routine examples

These days, The Mel Robbins Podcast is my religion. Recently, my friend Mel talked about the effects of daily habit formation and provided some daily routine examples. I felt particularly inspired after listening to these episodes as burnout and frustration are currently my best pals. In other words, I am feeling really stuck, and I feel this “stuckness” even though I am a freight train. I am constantly busy and knocking things off the “to-do” list. After some reflection and tears, I realize that maybe I was/am feeling this way because my freight train is not quite headed in the right direction, and/or it’s totally lost and off the track. This was a really frightening realization for me. It feels like so much time and energy wasted. But at the same time, it’s also relieving. Once I took a single second to evaluate what was happening, everything became a bit clearer.

And here’s the thing, I couldn’t do it through meditation. I had to take action with these simple daily routine examples. Through these routines, I am learning how to pump the breaks, understand what I want, and get back on track. As someone addicted to being busy, each daily routine example is efficient. If you need to learn more about a habit, I’ve included several podcast suggestions so that you can listen and learn on the go. Now, without further ado, here are 7 daily routine examples to help establish balance and productivity toward your future “unstuck” self. 

1. Waking Up Earlier:

I know this is definitely not for everyone, but let me tell you why I started this routine and maybe it will make you feel less hatred toward it. First of all, my full-time job has a pretty variable and on-demand schedule. This makes it extremely difficult to schedule quality writing time during the day. Not to mention, my brain shuts down at 6 pm which means that after work writing is not an option. However, with a quiet morning, I find myself motivated, at ease, and with space to be creative. So, I started setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier every few days. I began with 6:30, then 6:15, and eventually, I got down to 5:30. I’m not going to lie, this was extremely difficult at first, but now once I’m out of bed with my feet on the floor I already feel accomplished. 

Again, while some people thrive in the morning, others are more productive at night. There are specific terms and definitions for the time of day that you’re most productive, and it’s different for everyone. I’m what they call a “lark”. Listen to On Purpose with Jay Shetty episode “3 Myths about Work-Life Balance & 5 Ways to Really Create It”  to learn and discover how and when you are most efficient and productive during the day. I also recommend the Armchair Expert episode with “Gloria Mark (on attention spans)”.  

2. Giving Myself a High-Five in the Mirror:

This one comes straight from Mel Robbins and her book The High Five Habit. I’ll admit that I haven’t read this book, but I did listen to the podcast episode “One Science-Backed Habit you Need in 2023”. You can also sign up for Mel’s “The High Five Challenge” for free. I chose to start this habit because it is so darn simple and takes 2 seconds out of my busy schedule. All you have to do is give yourself a high-five in the mirror every morning after you brush your teeth. In the podcast episode, Mel goes into the science behind this habit, so I encourage you to listen. I’ll just give you my personal experience with high-fiving myself. First of all, it has added some levity to my mornings as I tend to wake up quite anxious. Secondly, this habit forces you to look at yourself and decide whether or not you like what you see. I don’t just mean physically, it is deeper than that. I guess I could literally see and feel the burnout and dissatisfaction when I completed this task. Which, of course, is more than enough motivation for me to ditch my current career path and work toward something new…Also, gives a confidence boost, you got this. 

3. The 5-Minute Journal:

The 5-minute journal is probably my favorite new habit. This is the perfect habit for a busy person who has difficulty slowing down like me. It is for the person who has tried and failed at meditation. Practicing gratitude every day forces you to pause and reflect. The journal begins by providing instructions on how to fill out each of the 3-morning prompts and 2-nighttime prompts. Basically, you’re making lists, writing affirmations, and identifying the good even on your worst days. And the best part is that once you turn it into a daily routine, then it actually takes 5 minutes or less. The trick is to not overthink it. Besides, it’s your personal journal that no one else can read or judge. There is no right or wrong way to do it.  

4. Write Down 5 Dreams:

Also a tip from Mel Robbins. After I practice gratitude, I write down 5 dreams for the future. Similar to the mirror high five, this habit helps to keep me focused and motivated about what exactly I want out of life. After writing down my 5 dreams, I feel determined to make them happen. Which in turn leads to me doing at least 1 thing every day toward achieving those dreams. For example, I often write down “blog growth” and “freelance writing” which then leads me to write, plan, and learn how to make that happen. You can listen to Mel describe this habit in her episode “Your Dreams are not a Joke”

5. Trying to Have More Fun:

My family thinks I’m intense and sad. So, they always try to get me to have more fun. Enter the Christmas gift Chase the Fun: 100 Ways to Discover Fun Right Where You Are by Annie F. Downs. Normally, this book would make its way to the one bookshelf I have in my apartment and sit there for an eternity. However, for some reason, I decided to open it (maybe I was bored on the way home?). Anyway, to my delight, I discovered that you only have to read one page a day. Piece of cake. One little bite-sized piece of advice to make you think about hobbies, relationships, and honestly, your fear of failure. So far I’ve learned that you should embrace being an amateur even though it’s really scary and difficult. Whether that’s being an amateur in a new friendship or skiing, ultimately it’s the hard stuff that welcomes fun into your life. Think about it, if you just allow yourself to be a newbie rather than trying to make everything work perfectly the first time, you almost surrender to the experience. You skip the feelings of self-doubt and anger at not being perfect and you just enjoy it. So, get out there and have some fun. 

6. Setting Aside Time to be Creative:

In the end, this habit is why I started all of the other daily routine examples. I was finding myself squeezing writing in any chance I could. This obviously was not efficient and led to stressing about something I wanted to enjoy. Not to mention, some trash blog posts 🙂. Anyway, I became sick of this routine and decided that it was time to get serious about writing. Again, I took some advice from The Mel Robbins Podcast episode “Goal Setting Toolkit: Why Behavior Change Often Fails and How to Set the Right Goals for You”. My biggest takeaway was to set a “high-low” goal. For example, I set the goal of writing for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. 30 minutes is the low bar and 1 hour is the high bar. And sure, 30 minutes is not a ton of time, but at least I am achieving what I set out to do each day. A “high-low” system makes your goals digestible and attainable. Oh also, with this episode you get a free companion worksheet to help identify and make your goals! 

7. Lower Impact Exercise:

To explain this daily routine example, I have to rehash my old morning routine. I would wake up and probably do some sort of HIIT workout then shower and get to work. On paper, it’s a solid morning routine. But in reality, it was not working anymore. I would dread getting out of bed and working out first thing, which led to sleeping in late and rushing out the door without time to prep for the day ahead. Now, working out has become the final part of my morning routine. It’s typically the perfect time to take a break from all of the thinking, dreaming, and writing. The timing of the workout was not the only problem as I would typically force myself into high-impact routines every day. I am now making a more conscious effort to just do the exercise I feel like doing. Whether that’s walking, yoga, or high-intensity. I always leave this daily routine example feeling refreshed rather than tired. I keep this part of my day to 30 minutes max and always work out at home

Of course, what works for me may not work for the next person. And as always, I am merely sharing my own experience. My hope from sharing these 7 daily routine examples, is that you see how daily habits can impact the trajectory of your life. Habits can put your train back on track or guide it in a more aligned direction. As you can see, these habits don’t have to be grand and you definitely don’t need to create 7 of them. If you’re not quite sure where to start, I encourage you to listen to and read the resources I provided so that you can learn more. Now, happy habit forming! 

Resources Roundup:

  • More on Habit Formation: The Mel Robbins Podcast 
    • “Feel Like Giving Up? Before you Say F*** it, Listen to this”
    • “The Ultimate Toolkit for Creating New Habits: The Science Made Easy”
    • “5 Essential Hacks I’m Using to Make New Habits Stick”
    • “Mindset Reset Toolkit: How to Make Your Mind Work for you (Using Simple Neuroscience) 
  • Mel also has a free resource right now called the 5-Day Free Wake up Challenge to help you establish a morning routine 
  • More on Mindfulness: On Purpose with Jay Shetty 
  • More on the Science of Wellness: Huberman Lab 
  • More on How to Achieve your Dreams: Read Radical Confidence by Lisa Bilyeu

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