We met Reshma last July when she agreed to share all the amazing ways she uses Outlook Tasks. But no tool works without a set of habits to accompany it, so let me now unveil Reshma’s Repeatedly Do Routine. Her checklist is what keeps everything moving. And who doesn’t need a dose of Aristotle to keep them inspired? “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
There are a ton of things I love about Reshma’s Repeatedly Do’s:
1. The specificity of each bullet. Each one starts with an action verb. The task is clear enough to block actual time in her calendar to get the job done. Routines that don’t ever get time on your calendar don’t count for much, unless they are totally automatic, like ummm… scoop the cat litter.
2. The balance of personal and professional. I really like Reshma’s dual foci on work productivity (“Update your Task List”) and personal health (“Exercise…at least 30 minutes of cardio on alternate days.”)
3. The attention to batch processing. Reshma plans for activities she can do all at once, like “Cook two dishes for a total of. . .” or “Ensure 2 – 4 hours of work time. . .” This prevents her from switching gears too often (because that can be bad for focusing.) I also TOTALLY stole her idea to pack for any trips on the Sunday prior; you can view that in her full list – just click on the image!
Reshma’s respect for routines is one helpful way to build a habit of Togetherness.
Just for fun, I started playing with a few apps that help you track routines. Way of Life, Coach.me, and Balanced are my favorites so far, with Balanced hitting the top of my list for simplicity. This one also lets you enter different frequencies, like “Floss ONCE per day,” or “Run FIVE times per WEEK.” I don’t want to go overboard, but I do like being able to record a few habits that help me feel healthy and energetic for work and family.
And hey, if you have some 2015 resolutions that require a reboot, this could be a helpful way to start!