Activities we engage in on a regular basis are often described as habits. But before they become habits, we must first develop a discipline of repeated activities. This is where recurrence can come to the rescue.

Most of us develop a habit of brushing our teeth while we are young, but rarely does that occur without some level of nagging from our parents. They are critical in providing the discipline and accountability for us to develop the habit. As we move out on our own we have to find new methods for developing habits. Whereas self-discipline is the method we use for personal habits, there are often repeating tasks that are critical in developing a business that runs smoothly. Recurrence is a feature that is available in a variety of program and applications. When utilized properly, it can develop new patterns, reduce time spent on administrative tasks and free up mental energy for more creative endeavors. Recurrence features save time not only in your business life but in your personal life as well.

Recurrence Has Many Faces

When people think of recurring activities they generally think of daily, weekly or monthly. But recurrence can also be based on a less typical interval. Paying your tax bill will always need to happen on or before April 15th. But reviewing and updating your marketing plan (which might not happen immediately) probably should happen 6 months after it ACTUALLY occurs.

Simplify Your Task List

My first experience in using a recurrence feature was in association with a task management program. Since that time, I will not even consider using an application that does not have this feature. For example, even though I KNOW that I need to process bookkeeping on a regular basis (and I typically do it on Tuesdays), having a task that pops up each Tuesday reinforces that activity. It also ensures that it is on the list along with anything I am planning to do for that day.

Organize Your Time

Recurring appointments on your calendar is another way that recurrence features save time. Whether you have weekly meetings or a monthly planning appointment with yourself, setting up a recurring meeting on your calendar will ultimately save you time. Even if you have to modify or remove one of the appointments, making a change is much quicker than creating multiple entries. In addition, noting all your meetings (even the ones you are sure you won’t forget) makes it significantly less likely to double book your time which is always a hassle.

Speed Up Your Processing

As you begin using recurrence for more obvious things like tasks and appointments, you begin seeing the repetitive processes and behaviors in other aspects of your business. Other applications, like accounting systems, will often have recurrence options included. Setting up regular standing bills or invoices to post automatically will save huge amounts of time in duplicate entry. Also, once it is set up correctly, the chance of error is also greatly reduced, so in that case recurrence features save you time and save you from mistakes.

What are some ways that recurrence features save time in your life?