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Does Routine Really Set You Free?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Feb 10, 2014

It’s ironic that as I started to write Select The Right People – Zappos “Are You Lucky? I was feeling good about my recovery from Acute Myeloid Leukemia and my Bone Marrow Transplant.  That Tuesday I decided to go to the University of Iowa Hospital/Clinic since my leg hurt since I slipped and fell into my snow blower the week before. 

My leg was very swollen and painful.  It actually had increased in intensity over the weekend.  I hoped to get some relief by having them look at.  Unfortunately the leg looked serious enough that they decided to put me in the hospital. 

This started a serious of events that reminded me of the value of routine, 12083114 the value of routine self review can be surprising resized 600and how when we are placed in a new or different environment how quickly our daily routines and disciplines can be interrupted. 

Routine can set you free from the need to have to think of doing specific activities each day. These are the important daily events that need to occur but probably wouldn’t if you didn’t routinize them.   A quick example of this is brushing our teeth.  Most of us do this without thinking about it upon getting up and before going to bed, as well as those more diligent and dental health conscious, after meals. It’s a healthy routine that prevents major dental problems.  Many people have a daily or weekly habit of exercising.  When you have to think about exercising many of us fail to do it, yet having a specific time and day set aside to routinely exercise, the thinking is eliminated.  We just do it!

Daily Huddles and Weekly Meetings are another example of routines that work automatically once you’ve developed the habit.  Checking your emails can be both a liberating and limiting routine depending upon how frequently you exercise it. 

Can routine set you free?  Most definitely!  Can it also confine and limit you?  Only if you work on the wrong priorities.  If you fall into a comfort zone where you fail to challenge yourself, to work on improving and doing more with the talents and abilities you have, only then is your routine limiting you.

For some people the fear of falling into a routine is based on becoming prey to boring, same old, same old, day in and day out monotony.  They fear missing the exhilaration of the chase or developing something new.  Yet that opportunity is there by creating a disciplined routine.  Again, choosing your priorities for each quarter and year focuses you and your business on what’s critically important.    Developing Key Business Indicators removes monotony, tedium, and repetitiveness because they spotlight the preeminent goals the business needs to achieve.  

By following the Principles of Strategic Discipline, Priorities, Metrics and Meetings, scheduling every quarter to determine what are your top priorities and then measuring your progress each, day, week, and month you will not fall prey to getting stuck in a “routine” rut.  In fact you will find yourself stuck in the path of productivity, striving each day to meet your priority in order to achieve a successful quarter. 

Two days in the hospital, imprisoned to follow someone else’s routine, reminded me of the value of creating a routine, scheduling priorities and specific times to complete those tasks.  If you’ve not developed good habits and routines, you need to begin determining your priorities and setting time aside to specifically work on them.  You need to discipline you and your staff to schedule daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings.  Don’t miss out on the enormous value a productive routine provides.  Need help?  Give us a call to find out how Strategic Discipline can provide the missing discipline your business needs.

Speaking of routines is training and education part of your businesses normal practice for developing your people?  If you’re truly dedicated to training and developing your people why isn’t it routinized.  Next blog will review the necessity of routinizing your training and development process, and offer an opportunity to get started with World Class training from Top Thought Leadership for free.

Topics: Acute Myeloid Luekemia, Strategic Discipline, priorities, routine sets you free, Bone Marrow Transplant, habits, routine, top priorities

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1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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