We can’t always travel the world or win a million bucks. The secret is finding the unusual, small routines that will bring you joy every day. Here are 10 that can indeed make a big difference in your overall attitude and enjoyment throughout the day.
1. If you need time for yourself, tell people “I’m busy” – it’s a legitimate excuse.
“In a world of distraction and competing demands, mental focus is a scarce yet precious commodity. If you want more of it, you will have to be intentional about getting it.”
– Michael Hyatt
It’s easy to get so caught up in pleasing people that you forget to take care of yourself. Take the time you need to make sure your health doesn’t suffer on account of others demanding your attention.
2. Once you get off work, stop checking your email – rarely is anything so dire that it can’t be left until the morning.
“BIF stands for “before I forget” and refers to emails sent on evenings or weekends out of fear of forgetting a to-do or follow-up. This sets a mutual expectation of 24/7 work hours and causes a plethora of problems.”
– Tim Ferriss
Unless you own a business, your evenings are your own – this is time for your family, your friends and yourself. Stop letting work interfere with your personal life.
3. Give yourself permission to buy any book you want at any time – it’s an investment in you. Now read them.
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Reading might be one of the most important things you can do to better yourself. It’s the wisdom of brilliant minds condensed down to a $20 and 2-day commitment. Give yourself that luxury because ultimately, it’s an investment.
4. Drive with the windows down and the music up. If people look, just smile and start dancing.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, nd live like it’s heaven on earth.”
– William W. Purkey
How long has it been? Let your hair down, stick your head out and watch yourself break into a smile. There’s nothing quite like it, and it’s the simplest way to feel free and let loose.
5. Leave a note on a napkin with a large tip – you’d be surprised how much that means.
“We are most alive when we are loving and actively giving of ourselves because we were made to do these things.”
– Frances Chan
This may mean paying an extra $10 – that you can afford – for a meal that doesn’t quite warrant that amount of a tip. But you may have just made someone’s night. Let them know that someone cares and appreciates their service.
6. Get plenty of rest each night – it’s crucial to your health, sanity, productivity and attitude.
“A good night’s sleep has immediate effects on our productivity, and, best of all, it can even help us keep our other resolutions.”
– Sendhil Mullainathan, professor at Harvard
Sleep is more important than people give it credit for. It’s your body’s way of cleaning the mind. Anyone who believes sleep is for the weak, is misguided in their understanding of your body’s limits and needs.
7. Write down your thoughts for 10 minutes a day – it helps you formulate cohesive thoughts.
“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”
– Julia Cameron
It’s not much – just 10 minutes – but it trains your mind to put feelings and thoughts into tight little packages that can be better understood by the reader and yourself. You might be surprised what you find out about yourself!
8. Create uninterruptable routines for the first hour of the day.
“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
– Lemony Snicket, “The Blank Book”
Mornings are crucial – they dictate your attitude, your perceptions and your energy for the day. Give yourself the gift of a predictable, enjoyable, rejuvenating morning routine. No stress. No screens. No interruptions.
9. Doodle. In meetings, over dinner, during a movie, at the park… just doodle.
“The very act of creating a Doodle necessarily engages the mind. Doodling IS thinking, soldiers, it’s just thinking in disguise.”
– Sunni Brown
Doodles are a great way to visualize your conscious and subconscious thoughts and put your mind in a trance-like state that fosters creativity and innovation. It’s not just for children – whip out that pen in the next board meeting and let your calm creativity take over.
10. Quit whatever doesn’t add value to your life.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
– Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993
Why waste precious hours of your life on activities that don’t add value to your life? Make room for the things that matter by eliminating the things which don’t. Simplicity is a freeing way to live.