8 Rituals to Crank Up Your Productivity and Happiness

Productivity and rituals

Using Rituals to Crank Up Your Productivity and Happiness

There are some people who are amazingly organized. They calmly complete their daily tasks in order, and at the end of the day they feel a sense of accomplishment and contentment. They relax in the evening with family, friends, and their hobbies and they turn in for a good night’s sleep right on time.

These are people who have rituals.

Whether they are conscious of them or not, that’s what is going on. Rituals don’t mean you live your life like a robot. Rituals mean structure and structure means productivity and peace of mind.

Establishing rituals is fun. My strong suggestion is that you write these out in a spread sheet, on paper, or on a whiteboard to help keep you on track. I do this and it is very helpful. I don’t even look at it all that often anymore, but just having it hanging in my kitchen is enough to keep me on track. Download the Free Excel template: “Weekly Routines & Rituals.”

Here are 8 rituals and routines that you could add to your life with examples to help get your imagination sparked and motivated. You don’t have to use all of these. Some can be combined or maybe you only need to “program” certain parts of your day or week. For any of these rituals feel free to use this free Weekly Routines spread sheet I developed for creating rituals. It has a blank Weekly Routines template sheet and example sheets.


1. Morning Ritual

List out what you want your morning to be like and assign realistic time frames. By having your morning organized into a predictable routine, you’ll be able to make mornings more streamlined, less stressful, and even enjoyable. It might look something like this:

Morning Ritual
By having this written down you’ll be more likely to keep on schedule.

2. Daily Planning Ritual

Choose a time to do this every day. I either do this first thing upon waking when my mind is free of static or when starting my work day. I usually have a better result the earlier I do the planning. Others like to plan their day the night before, either before leaving work or before bed. I do part of my daily planning at bed time with my son. We plan how we’ll spend our time together the next day. The main things to keep in mind when planning your day are:

  • Plan the “big stuff” to be done first.
  • Plan only what you’ll be able to accomplish in one day by using realistic time frames for each task.
  • Build in transition time between activities.
  • Build in times for taking breaks.

3. Weekly Planning Ritual

I do this on Sunday evenings, but you can also do this on Monday mornings. If you choose that route, I suggest going into work 30 minutes early so you can do this with no interruptions. Here is a basic checklist for Weekly Planning.

  • Brainstorm what you want/need to work on this week.
  • Review upcoming appointments
  • Review Lists: project lists, “waiting for” list, “someday” list.
  • Review your Capture notes from the previous week. (These are the things that you’ve written down during the week in your capture notebook to remember to do, research, file, delegate, etc) Assign them to the right “place” such as a project list or your next action list (your immediate to-do list) or to a reference file. See Getting Things Done cheat sheet.

4. Daily Review Ritual

Schedule a time for this at the end of your day, either at the end of work, after dinner, or at bed time. This can easily be combined with your Daily Planning Ritual. Here is a checklist for Daily Review:

  • Review your capture notes from the day and assign to appropriate list.
  • Review what you accomplished today and be glad and grateful.
  • Review and reassign unfinished tasks from today’s daily plan.
  • Check to see if anything left over from today can be delegated or deleted from your unfinished task list.


1. Weekly Routine

This is much like the Morning Ritual. It is a template of things that get done on certain days every week. I use an excel spreadsheet for this and use colors as a way to label categories of activities. For example, my Mon, Wed, Fri days have one routine and T Th days have a different routine. If your days are all the same, then you’d just have your “daily routine.” A great thing to do is to link your weekly activities to your most important current goals. Update this quarterly or as needed. Here is an example:

Weekly Routine
Click here to download this template for free.

2. Work Routine

This is actually one piece of your Weekly Routine, but you may want schedule this out in a little more detail just to be posted by your desk at work. You may not need to have that much work detail on your Weekly Routine sheet. If it is helpful do it, if not, you can skip this one. Here’s what you do: Segment your day into compartments and assign different types of tasks. You might vary this by day or have every day be the same. Here is an example:

Work Routine
Click here to download the free template.

3. Evening Routine

Again this is another sub-segment of the Weekly Routine that you may want to break out into more detail or you may want to keep it as part of the overall Weekly Routine. Here’s what it might look like:

Night Routine
Download this example and the free template.

4. Weekend Routine

I saved the best for last. Having a weekend routine will help you to make the most of your weekend. You might want to put “weekend planning” into your weekly routine on say Tues to plan out what you’ll be doing for the weekend. Your Weekend Routine might look something like this:

Weekend Routine

Download the Weekly Routines and Rituals excel template here for free.

Other Resources

Please Share!

What are your favorite rituals? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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