When looking to optimize your itinerary, one of the best tools you have at your disposal is your understanding of yourself. Understanding how you work, and when you are likely to have energy will allow you to customize your schedule to best fit your habits. Therefore, when looking to customize a routine, you must first look to understand your work habits, and then work to shore up your weaknesses through planning.
Understanding your optimal working conditions
People can be very different. Some of us excel in high pressure situations. If you love the rush of adrenaline you get when looking to beat a deadline or exceed expectations, this might be you. But others can get so distracted by the pressure that their work will suffer. Neither of these are inherently better, but both types of people will produce their best work when given an environment that plays to their strengths. Additionally, take some time to reflect on your successes and failures in the past. Look at the environmental factors, and examine the ones that you can control. Try to get a good idea of which planning methods work well for you, the best ways to organize your workload, and what motivates you. For example, does a written planner that you can physically interact with help you more than an electronic one? Or does the ease of using an electronic planner coupled with the ability to set up alerts end up being better for you? Understanding these things about yourself is key when trying to make improvements.
Put a plan into practice
Examine what you know about yourself, and then figure out what you have control over. If you are an evening person, but you need to have things done by noon, consider doing them the night before. You cannot change what you have to do or when it has to be done by, but you can change when you do it. If you are a morning person, then tackle the things that require your best focus earlier in the day. Other things that you can look at include examining you’re eating, sleeping, and environmental choices. If you typically become sleepy after a meal, plan around this by building in some time where you will be able to do something that does not take much energy. If you are particularly tired, then try to find ways to get some extra sleep. We cannot control everything, so it is important to make good decisions about the things that we can control.