As my workload has increased over recent months I have found that my general feeling of anxiety and overwhelm has grown with it. I have recognised the fact that I easily slip into a familiar and comfortable rut when I feel like this, and so I have had to develop a consistent routine and adopt healthy habits to continue to be productive and motivated. Everything is instantly easier when done in moderation, and so I have taken the time to make sure that these daily habits are broken down into small chunks, becoming part of my routine instead of perceiving them as extra tasks to add to my permanently large lists. Here are some healthy habits that I have incorporated into my day.
Mindfully focus on the positive. I have a specific set of mantras and quotes that I remind myself of each morning.
Wake up earlier, even if it just by fifteen minutes. While the prospect of dragging yourself out of a warm comfy bed is the last thing that most of us want to do (particularly if you already have an early start), but those extra minutes will give your brain chance to wake up for the day. Use the time to stretch, do some deep breathing or meditation exercises. I also avoid using the snooze button.
Plan, plan and plan some more. I’ve mentioned on more than a few occasions about utilising a Bullet Journal Notebook to help organise my mind and daily activities. I use a daily tracker for my client jobs, a monthly calendar to keep an overview on upcoming events and activities and a daily log for individual tasks that I need to complete. Before I go to bed I fill out the tracker for the work I have completed (which takes five minutes as it is simply filling in some boxes), look over my monthly calendar and then write my jobs list for the following day in my daily log section. This means that I have a general idea of what I need to do when I start work and saves me the time (and inevitable anxiety) of having to figure out a plan when I have just woken up. Here’s a great post on useful Habit Trackers to develop in a Bullet Journal.
Develop a routine, schedule your time and avoid sabotaging yourself. Procrastination is a huge time waster – block out what you need to achieve and give yourself a reasonable time frame to do it, focusing on just one thing.
Do the more difficult tasks earlier in the morning and prioritise. It is more likely that our brains are rested during the morning hours after a night’s sleep, allowing the chance to concentrate for longer periods of time. I always plan my time-consuming tasks first thing, allowing for an enormous sense of achievement that motivates me to push on through the afternoon.
Put away the tech. I’m easily distracted and access to social media is guaranteed to waste my day when I’m not using it for work. While I have found some fascinating and inspirational things online, it’s not a good idea to be trawling the Internet just before you go to bed. However difficult it was at first, The Bloke and I have now started putting our phones and iPads away a few hours before we go to sleep to give our brains chance to wind down, and I avoid looking at my phone for at least half-an-hour after I wake up.
Look after your body. Even if there is little time to exercise, a 15-20 minute walk, drinking plenty of water, eating a good breakfast and a balanced diet and monitoring portion sizes will ensure that your body will feel good. Healthy meals can be planned in advance using lots of the same ingredients, taking away the stress of having to figure out what to cook each day.
Avoid comparisonitis. When working online it is inevitable that the issue of envy appears (fifteen minutes on Instagram is enough for me to question every aspect of my life, cooking abilities and body shape) but the sooner you accept your own strengths and the fact that you can only be you, life suddenly seems that much better.
Deal with your finances. Work out an accurate budget. Pay bills as early as possible. Stop buying unnecessary items. Put yourself on a no spending challenge. Want some frugal ideas to save money? Check out this useful post on frugal ideas and money – saving tips here.
Tidy up and clean as you go. As someone who possesses the ability to completely destroy a room simply by walking into it, I have tried to develop the habit of tidying up small items and putting things away as I go along. Developing a cleaning schedule that breaks things down into small chunks not only helps me to keep on track, but stops me from feeling overwhelmed.
Remove unwanted items. Declutter and throw out anything that you don’t want in your home, recycle, sell your clutter, shred your unwanted and out-of-date mail, clear out your inbox and camera roll. Check out my guide to selling your things at a car boot sale here.
Keep an up-to-date calendar. As well as using a Bullet Journal I like to have a linear list on the wall that I fill out and stick up a month in advance, incorporating birthdays, events and important things that are coming up.
Stand your ground. If you don’t want to go somewhere, don’t go. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. Politely decline, don’t offer explanations. Here are nine things that we don’t owe anybody.
Go outside. I can’t stress this enough – it’s all too easy to adopt your inner hermit and fester in your own space because it is comfortable, but even a short amount of time in the fresh (ish) air will help to clear your mind.
Take some time for self-care to help boost your spirits and motivation. It’s incredibly important to take even just a short amount of time for yourself, even on your busiest days. Here are over forty ideas for developing self care and motivational habits.
Feed your creative mind by indulging in positive creative and crafty activities. Journal, write, knit, sew, crochet, draw, paint, take photographs – experiment with what you enjoy and do it as often as you can, even if it is just for half an hour.
Ask for help. There are only so many hours in the day – delegating and asking for help is always a good way to make sure that more is achieved. I find this difficult still, but I’m getting better.
What about you guys? What are the best daily habits that you use in your routine?
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