Each week as part of our Thursday Thoughts series of blogs, we’ve been taking a look at how we can be the best possible version of ourselves.  This week we are focussing on how we go about getting into an accomplished rhythm of routine. 

Many people procrastinate and find a reason why the timing isn’t right to start today.  A bad start today is better than a brilliant start next week.  If we start today, we get into the rhythm of accomplishment.  Starting is the toughest phase and as we win mini victories, the ability to keep going becomes much easier.  In order to do this, we suggest committing to time slots in your diary, after all, 90% of accomplishment is showing up!

People who achieve extraordinary results commit to a schedule by planning time slots in their diary regardless of how busy they feel they are.  Planning time slots is crucial to mental commitment.  The majority of top performers, achievers and businesses thrive from sticking to a routine.  It is how they prepare mentally and physically that determines their ability to get going, perform and ultimately achieve.  They have their routines and if they break with routine the performance often suffers as a consequence.

The Royal Marines know better than most the importance of planning and preparation.  They establish routines and procedures for everything; however, they will tell you that when you jump out of a helicopter it never goes to plan. They call this coping with ‘dislocated expectations’.  Put simply, dislocated expectations refers to having the ability to cope with an unpredictable situation as and when it arises, which is MUCH easier when everything surrounding the situation is routine.

The best example of the importance of routine was performed by Captain ’Sully’ Sullenberger, the pilot of a US Airways Airbus A320, who, on 15th January 2009, pulled off an aviation feat that was unparalleled in aviation history.  As a result of bird strike over New York City, Sully had one minute and forty seconds to decide on landing the aircraft on the Hudson River.  He had to cope with radio conversations, air traffic control giving him options and emergency procedures, and fly a powerless plane – all at the same time.  At an aviation awards ceremony he told the audience that for 42 years he had been trained on routines, which allowed him to be able to focus on the crisis he faced because most of the activity of flying the plane was a routine that he had followed throughout his aviation career.

Establishing routines makes starting easier and creates routine whilst also enabling us to cope with unpredictability and recognise the tiny steps that lead to improvement and overall success.

So what are you waiting, grab your diary and organise your brand new routine!

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