When most of our days look the same, it’s no wonder we’re prone to get caught up in the race of life. We wake up, go to work, spend time with loved ones or squeeze in a workout and then it’s back to bed, only to do it all over again the next day. But, rather than letting the busyness of life dictate your schedule, it’s important to incorporate space throughout your day to slow down, reflect and refocus. It’s critical we spend time doing things that bring us life, and keep us from experiencing burn out, resentment or just plain exhaustion. While these aren’t the only ways to break up your day, here are a few ideas to help you create a healthy routine of pausing.
How you choose to spend the first moments of your day sets the tone for the remainder of your waking hours. If you wake up late in a rush to get out of the door on time, you’re most likely going to spend the rest of your day feeling hurried, stressed and reactive. Implementing a consistent morning routine will drastically change the outlook of your day, guaranteed. Wake up early, slowly enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, spend time reading, practice solitude, have breakfast with your family or even go on a walk. Start your day by doing something that leaves you feeling refreshed. It’s tempting to spend this time catching up on emails or getting ahead on work, but productivity is maximized when we effectively prioritize our time away from work.
We’ve heard it time and time again, yet it’s always something we put on the back burner. Movement of any kind is a game changer. It doesn’t matter what it looks like– a walk, yoga class, strength training in your living room, a long run– it’s worth it. Just 20 or 30 minutes a day of exercise can decrease stress, reduce risk for disease, increase energy and build a stronger immune system. Determine what works best for you, set aside time to make it happen and stick to it! As time goes on, you will realize how necessary and energizing movement is.
Lunch break without screen time
Working through lunch has become a norm, if not an expectation, in today’s culture. Rather than eating a quick lunch while firing off emails, it’s more productive to actually take a break. Enjoy a good meal, recharge and step away from the computer for at least 20 minutes. It can be tempting to hop on a work call or check your email, but taking time away from any kind of screen during the day is necessary. It’s difficult to produce your best work when you don’t create space to rest and refuel. Spend time listening to a podcast, reading a book or simply doing nothing but eating (crazy concept, huh?).
15 minutes of quiet
As you are winding down the work day and transitioning into personal responsibilities, try taking 15 minutes of full and complete decompression. Whether you take the long way home or participate in a quick meditation class, try introducing “transition time” into your schedule. When we set aside time to transition from work to home, we’re able to be the best version of ourselves when engaging with coworkers, family and friends. It slows you down, helps you process any remaining thoughts about work and allows you to store those ideas away until you return to work the next day.
The discipline of creating space throughout your work day will wildly change your thought pattern, posture towards work, productivity and how you engage with others. We can’t wait to see how these small and simple tasks bring about big change for you!