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How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday

How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday

Could Black Friday be the end to your optimal health? It would be hard to not think of this being a possibility. Staying up all night in a store filled with high stressed holiday shoppers can certainly raise your anxiety. Coupled with the fact that you are still digesting your heavy Thanksgiving dinner, Black Friday can certainly throw you out of shape for a few days if you don’t plan well in advance. Here are a couple of tips I will be using this Black Friday to ensure that I’m alert, healthy, and well rested.

Wednesday Afternoon: Plan Your Attack

This is the time when you should be focusing on planning your Black Friday. It’s highly recommended at this stage to have a list of stores you are wishing to visit during Black Friday. Your plan of action should include times, Black Friday ads, and what you plan to purchase at each store. This will allow you to know whether there are any conflicting sales, requiring you to add some additional shoppers to your arsenal.

Wednesday Night: Rest, Cook, Repeat

Your Black Friday is planned out, missions are now assigned, now it’s time to actually work on what’s actually important – Thanksgiving cooking. If you are hosting this year, Wednesday evening should be reserved for cooking and resting. Begin cooking refrigerated foods (potato salads, etc) Wednesday afternoon, along with the turkey, and saving hot foods for the next morning. Be sure to have a person or alarm to periodically wake you to check on the turkey and other foods cooking.

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Thursday Morning: All Set and Ready

Now is crunch time. This is the point when all Thanksgiving cooking should come to a finish. Aside from desserts and a few side dishes, your main focus should be on prepping the home and yourself for the meal. If you are able to sneak in a late morning (11AM or noon) nap, that would do your body a huge favor. Depending on your family, guests usually arrive around 2PM or 3PM, so plan your nap accordingly.

Thursday Evening: On Your Mark

Hopefully your Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch! Now it’s time for war in the stores. This year, most stores are starting their sales Thanksgiving evening at 8PM. If you want to ensure your item is still in stock before midnight, it’s crucial to at least take a look at these sales. As always, ensure you are well rested, dressed, and prepared. If needed, recruit a couple of family members to man each store you can’t be at.

Friday: Shop ‘Till You Almost Drop

With many sales starting Thursday, you should be well into your shopping by Friday morning. However, between Thursday and Friday, there is a possibility for some rest or at least sit-down time. After the midnight sales have come and gone, you have a nice grace period between 12:30AM and 4:00AM, before the second round of sales occur. Use this time wisely to drop off the first load of your purchases.

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During Friday, it’s crucial to continue to make these frequent home visits. You don’t have to take a nap each time, but unloading every so often will allow you to have less to carry when you are officially done. From Friday afternoon on, use this time to truly enjoy your weekend off work or classes. You won’thave another one of these for a couple of weeks, so make the most of it and marvel at your new haul of gifts.

The Snack Pack:

The most important thing to remember during Black Friday is to not only eat, but to eat well. It is just as easy to forget to eat as it is to eat unhealthy. You are on the run and fast food is very appealing. This can be curved by having these four important meals for the duration of your shopping (a nice breakfast, quick snacks, a smart lunch, and a light late afternoon meal). Why, might you ask?

A hearty breakfast is key because chances are, you weren’t in the mood to eat Thursday evening after that large Thanksgiving dinner. This makes it much easier to skimp on breakfast Friday morning. Quick snacks throughout the day preserves that satisfied feeling while shopping, while also providing much needed energy. The most ignored meal is lunch on Friday, this is key for getting a good chunk of Friday’s nutrients, with a light afternoon meal allowing for an easily digestible meal, just in case you crash and sleep Friday evening)

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Mixed nuts, protein filled, and smart energy sources are nice to have with you. Don’t go for the coffee, but go rather for natural drinks. If you find yourself with a killer headache without your coffee, opt for the least amount of additions as possible (no to lattes, yes to black coffee with light creme and sugar).

The Dress Code:

Black Friday is an awkward time in terms of how to dress. You are out in the cold, very early in the morning, while still trying to look your best after slaving over a huge dinner for a ton of guests. No one will look like they are going to the Oscars on this day, go for more athletic clothing (jeans, no – sweatpants – yes). Have a hat and gloves, with an extra pair of socks in the car, along with your coat, to ensure you’re always warm in the early morning chill.

How are you spending Black Friday? Let us know in the comments, also don’t forget to check out Lifehack’s 8 Tips for Surviving Black Friday(Ed: or if you need help in planning out your holiday activities check out the Lifehack Lesson that will help you organize your day)

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Featured photo credit: Portrait of big family sitting at festive tablevia Shutterstock

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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