How to Improve Your Working Day Little by Little
Everyone has a bad day every once in a while, but there are ways to reduce this amount. I put together a list of a few simple steps you can take to improve your days little by little.
Have a good night's rest
This doesn't necessarily mean sleep for a long time. It just means, sleep so you feel fully rested. There are a few ways to make this easier for yourself, but I've found that the easiest way is to use an app called Sleep Cycle. It tracks your sleep stages and can wake you up when you're in a less deep sleep, causing you to wake up feeling rested. A normal alarm could wake you up while you're in a deep sleep, this would cause you to wake up feeling tired and irritated.
Wake up earlier
Alongside waking up feeling rested it's also a good idea to wake up a bit earlier. You will have enough time to do everything at a slower pace. This way you'll feel less stressed and you can wake up a bit slower. I've been doing this for a while and it's very relaxing to be able to read something while you eat your breakfast and not having to hurry to go to work.
Exercise for 5 minutes when you wake up
If you're a person who hates waking up and is very slow and tired in the morning, try a 5-minute workout. You can do some push ups and some crunches, anything to get your body warm and active. This will make you feel awake. Are you still a little tired? Try a shower right after your workout, this will definitely wake you up quickly.
Drink more water
If you've read my previous blog about how to stay healthy as a developer, you'll know I love suggesting to drink more water. So I will do that again. Drinking water keeps your digestive system clean and will over time show other improvements, like a clearer skin. Being hydrated helps you concentrate better and get more work done. This is why you'll most likely feel better about your day. You were just more productive!
I hate feeling bloated after a fast food meal, so I just went to get it less and less. This has helped me feel better after healthier meals and I feel ready to get to the next task of the day right after it. Healthy food doesn't have to be expensive like everyone claims it is. If you're smart about your meal prepping, it can even save you some money and you're being rewarded with feeling active and fresh after your meals. So I suggest you start looking for meal prepped lunches to bring to work and see what you think about it. If you like it, perfect, keep going. If you don't like it, well that's too bad, maybe you'll find another way!
Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Seriously, eat breakfast. Feeling hungry is horrible and it even makes you feel tired. After a night's sleep, your body is empty, there is no more food to digest. This means that your body is running out of fuel quickly. When this happens, you get tired. And getting tired at work is just not good for your productivity. So please, eat a good and healthy breakfast. If you wake up early enough you'll have plenty of time for it anyway. A good base for your breakfast is some grains, maybe some oatmeal, along with a piece of fruit, like an apple. This will kickstart your body to be ready for a new day.
Make a to-do list and do one item at a time
When you do get to work and you're fully awake and feeling full from your breakfast, make a to-do list. This list will contain everything you do that day, in chronological order. This way you can start at the top of your list and work your way down. You'll feel great crossing off all the tasks you had planned. It'll feel amazing having done all or most of the tasks at the end of the day and you'll have visualized all the hard work you've done.
Plan something fun in the evening
Plan something for to do in the evening, you'll be looking forward to it all day. This will help you get through less good parts of your day and will make the good parts even better. This fun plan could be as simple as to walk outside and take pictures of the sunset, or maybe do a picnic in your garden, or read a good book by a campfire. It doesn't need to be a big thing, but it needs to be something you really enjoy doing.
Do something new at least once per week
Sometimes you just run out of things to do in the evening. When that happens it's time to look for a new thing to do. This can be done during the evening, or in your weekend. Do something you've never done before, or something you haven't done in a long time. Look for a fun restaurant, maybe do some painting, or build model planes, like me. This will broaden your activities list and you'll be able to build onto it. So if you're building model planes, you could move onto building cars or maybe making model airports or something along those lines. You can expand and experience new things and this can be very fun.
Take breaks and plan downtime
Every once in a while, our brains are just too stressed to be able to do anything or relax. This is a time where you need to plan breaks. During these times you are not allowed to think about the things you're stressing about. This can be very tough, but trust me, you'll appreciate it. After this downtime, you'll most likely think about your problem in a different way than you did before. This could benefit you with your problem.
Learn to care about what you think, not what anyone else cares about
You make you happy, other's don't. This one doesn't have as much of a direct impact as the others, but it will help you in the long run. When you stop caring about what other, non-relevant people think about you or anything you do, you'll feel a weight falling from your shoulders. You're living your life, not theirs. And they don't live your life. This could be tough to let go off, because it's something that's rooted deep in our culture these days, but once you do, you'll feel free. You won't have to please anyone, but you and the people you choose to listen to. It's a great feeling.
I hope you've enjoyed this blog, share any of your own suggestions with me on Twitter.Posted on: October 7th, 2017