Written by Gabi Garrett, writer and strategizer
Have you ever reached the end of your work day only to find you are completely depleted... not to mention hungry and grumpy?
On days like this, everything on your to-do list might have been crossed off, but if you hardly had a bathroom break, not to mention a healthy lunch - it wasn’t necessarily a healthy, successful day.
Days like this are so frustrating, especially when you feel like you are doing the best you can to meet everyone’s expectations.
I believe we also deserve to meet our own expectations, and to end the working day with energy for our friends, loved ones or fitness practices. That’s why I created these three tips to help you incorporate more mindful breaks into your work day.
Here are my three best practices to make sure you never put yourself last again:
On Thursday afternoons, I set aside time to create my upcoming week. As I’m looking to organize my following week, I divide my work into categories, such as “Client” work and “Creative” work - I write out everything in my head under each category, using my email to remind me of tasks and projects that are due. Next, I add in personal items under “Household” and “Personal” utilizing the same process.
Once I’ve written out what I’d like to accomplish in the following week, I spread the work out evenly over each weekday, based on deadlines and other excitement in my daily planner in pencil.
The night before the following day, I look at my penciled in items and commit to what makes the most sense for the following day in pen. Transferring my calendar from pencil to pen helps me to commit to the next day’s tasks. (It’s too easy to erase them when they stay in pencil!)
As I am completing this final step, I make sure to incorporate breaks, cancel anything that looks too overwhelming, like having back to back meetings and I like to add something fun to do during the day, or evening.
Limits and boundaries will look different for all of us, but here are my favorite examples:
- I only take three calls, or appointments per day
- I always schedule 15 minutes in between meetings
- I eat my food away from my desk without my phone
- I do not work past 7PM
- I turn my phone off at 9PM
- I always plan my following week on Thursdays
Healthy non-negotiables are similar to your working limits but focus on your health rather than your productivity.
Here’s a few examples:
- I only go out to lunch on Fridays
- I go on a walk every afternoon
- I take a 5 minute breathing break every hour
- I always pack my snacks or keep them stored in my office… Sun & Swell Oatmeal Cacao Chip Cookie Bites are my fav!
- I end the week with my yoga class at 6 PM every Friday
I suggest printing out your new boundaries and non-negotiables and place them above your desk. With this constant reminder that you deserve to be put first, you’ll be heading towards energetic, joyful workdays in no time!
Gabi Garrett works with top level entrepreneurs on their messaging, media strategy and marketing. When she isn't working with her executive clients, she writes articles on self-help, just like this one. After leaving her full-time job to become a writer, she learned, grew and developed into someone she’s proud of. Her passion lies in inspiring the world to chase their dreams too! Her work on this topic has been featured in: the USA Today Network, Elite Daily, Apartment Therapy, Tiny Buddha, the Elephant Journal and more. Follow her on Instagram for more tips!