Paul Covert – Prayer Pastor
Your Routine is Critical – so let’s make it sharper!
Recently I have been convicted that my routines need some improvement so I started studying the routines of people I admire. I found 11 routines that are helpful.
1. As you retire each evening, spend a few minutes reflecting on the day and see what you can learn from it
Are there any conversations you would have had differently or activities you would have avoided? Evaluating daily can pay huge dividends in the long run.
2. Again as you retire, determine what the main event will be tomorrow
Make sure you give 100% to that occurrence. Other things will try to steal you away but your big goal is to give all you have to that one main event.
3. Develop ridged morning routines
Mornings are usually times that you can plan for yourself rather than someone else planning for you, so pick out the activities that are most important to you. My morning routine includes prayer, surrender to God, and exercise.
4. Make the most of the first ninety seconds of every conversation
Those few seconds determine what people will think of you and the value you place on them. They can be profitable or damaging depending on how strategic you are about them.
5. Balance your week
Each week we all have hard tasks to tackle and some things that take less effort. I find after a busy weekend of praying at each service and interacting with people I am bushed emotionally on Mondays, so I schedule the easier responsibilities for Mondays e.g., answering emails; organizing the week; recording my progress on goals; etc.
I save the tougher jobs and sprinkle them into my calendar Tuesdays through Thursdays to allow me to recover from the weekend. Permitting all the tough tasks to back up against each other is not a good idea for me.
6. Associate with interesting people
I look for people who are asking tough questions or who know about things I have not yet learned. I try to give some of my time to gleaning from others who are farther along than I am each week. They do not necessarily need to be in my field, they just need to be stimulating.
7. Pay yourself first
I first learned this principle in connection with money; the idea is you pay yourself first by saving and tithing and then you pay the other bills that come your way. This ensures you are preparing for the days when you can no longer work and that you have fulfilled your responsibility to God. I use the same principle with my time. We have a tendency to do this little job or that thing and at the end of the day we did not get to the things that were really important to us. By focusing on the priorities first we will be much more satisfied at the end of the day.
8. Read something every day and stay inquisitive
This routine does not need much explanation. We all understand how important it is to read. But some people have lost the wonder of life and have stopped asking and answering questions. I believe this is a real mistake. I hope to stay inquisitive till the day I die.
9. Get enough sleep
Too many of us are burning the candle at both ends and that never works well for me. Sleep is just important to me as any of my other routines.
10. Find your creative zone and make time think each day
Creativity energizes me. If I get the chance to create I am fulfilled. Oftentimes we find ourselves so busy that we forfeit all creativity and precious time just to ponder and reflect. This is stifling and, in my view, unhealthy. Creating and thinking deeply are important daily activities.
11. Detox from technology at least once a week
When I leave work on Thursday night, I don’t answer emails again till Monday morning. I unplug from technology… for the most part. I will answer critical emails from my boss but most go unanswered till Monday. A few have said, “I sent you an email on Friday and I have not heard from you yet.” I just explain my belief that unplugging is healthy for me. After my explanation I occasionally hear, “I should do that too!” I have to disconnect in order to have quality time with my family, as well as for my sanity.
A final routine for each year: participate in the 24-7 prayer event in November. It will be a great way to slow down and focus on what is important. Be sure to register for a time slot on your campus here.