One of the tips we see recurring a lot when reading about productivity is building and maintaining a Routine. A routine makes doing something obvious and natural instead of a chore. So start building your speaking routine today.
When we are but children, our daily lives are set in strict routines, from morning to evening. Get up, wash, go to school, homework, playtime, bedtime. When we’re older, usually when going to higher education, we tend to erase all traces of routine, just because we think it will set us free. But every adult knows you can’t live the college life forever. Gradually, we’ll build up our own routines. But deep down we’re always weary of the dictatorship of the agenda.
A routine gives structure, something to hold on to. A routine is nothing but recurring allocated time focused on a specific something. This might sound as if you’ll be forcing yourself to do something, but eventually a routine can be liberating instead of a chore, because you allocate time to do a thing you want to do instead of wasting it.
Step 1: define it. First you need to know what it is you want to do in your allocated time. Do you want to rehearse your presentation, read about public speaking, do actual presentations? Get an exact feel for what you want to do in that timeframe, and what you don’t want to do.
Step 2: plan it. Now you know what it is you want to do, you can set a specific timeframe. For example, one hour each other day after diner. Tell others about this, especially if you share a lot of time (such as spouses and friends), so they’ll know not to plan other things at the same moment.
Step 3: do it. Do your routine at the scheduled times. Very soon you’ll find you’re becoming more productive. You’ll be finishing books that you had lying around for years. You’ll find that pitch perfect delivery of that important presentation. You’ll be comfortable speaking in front of a crowd.
Step4: keep doing it. The final step is the hardest. It’s always easy to find a reason to put something off. “I’m not feeling well today.” “I really need to clean out the garage.” “Insert excuse you use all the time here.” But breaking your routine is a sure way of stopping it altogether. And that will mean you’ll have to start over. So keep to it, until it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Until you’ll do it automatically, and wonder how you ever got anything done before.