Adding five things to your day usually means taking more time out of it, right?
Usually. But not in this case.
When the five additional tasks are tailored to give an efficient and healthy trajectory to your day, the result is actually the opposite: more time to do what you love, with less stress, a calmer mind and a body that feels damn good.
Here are your five action steps to feel less burned out and more accomplished when the day is over:
1. Drink warm lemon water.
Jump starting your day with hydration is always a good thing.
Warming it up and adding lemon activates digestion and sets you on the right track having made your first decision of the day in the direction of your health.
Stretch, go for run, do yoga, whatever your flavor. Giving your body some movement first thing in the morning is an energizing, stress-relieving and mind-clearing way to start your day.
3. Meditate (visualize, project, manifest, envision, etc.).
Set the tone of your day with a positive intention and you'll be surprised at how far that feeling carries you.
Whether it's reciting an affirmation or sitting in stillness for two minutes, you'll lift your mood and put a smile on your face. Guaranteed. Visualizing your awesome day ahead of you allows you to create your most ideal day before you even step out the door. Yes, please!
4. Schedule your to-dos.
Yeah, yeah, everyone has a to-do list, that's nothing new. Turning it into an actionable plan is the crucial factor. Here's how:
At the beginning of each week, take your running to-do list and assign each task to the day of the week when it's most likely to be accomplished. Then put them in order, starting with tasks you'll do before work, then on your lunch break, then after work. Start with the most important and go from there. You might find that some of them aren't urgent enough to add, so those can wait.
Adding a few doable tasks to each day takes the anxiety out of what seems to be a never-ending list. Checking off four things in a day feels more accomplished than hacking away four off a long list of 20 that just keeps building.
Planning each task you wish to complete makes your schedule more manageable, helps you remember and gives you someone to be accountable to — yourself! Anytime you can take out on-the-fly decision-making and potential anxiety, it's a good thing.
Allow me to contradict myself for a moment: flexibility is also a key factor here. If you find yourself with less time than expected, don’t sweat it; just find a place to renegotiate where it might fit later in the week. OR, perhaps you didn’t make time for it because it’s not as important to you as you thought ...
5. Eat breakfast (and pack a lunch!).
It’s really a no brainer: a hungry person isn't as effective at work, nor is she that fun to talk to. Do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor and at least start your day off at baseline — fed.
As for lunch: when you BYO to work you're doing three things for yourself: saving money, ensuring you're packing a healthy meal and keeping yourself from the starvation-induced impulsive 3 p.m. lunch, which for me can turn into a 30-minute debate on where to go and what to get. What a waste of time!
Now go on with your productive, healthy and happy self.