Crawling out of bed is an endless struggle. You give yourself fifteen minutes to soak in your tub, and end up rushing to iron your worn-out office tie. It’s surprising that your morning zesty taste still amuses you, but that relishing is quickly washed away by the idea of having to take that train once again.
Routine, routine, routine. It’s amazing how grizzled office veterans managed to stay that long in their respective firms when you meagerly summon the will to go to work.
Tired of your lifeless routine? Below are five tips to get you back on track.
Tip #1: Jumpstart the right way
Most people start their day in this pattern: hit the annoying alarm, try to sleep a little more, muster the strength to finally stand up, and sprint to the bathroom.
You’re so caught up with trying to steal a few more minutes of precious sleep that you forget that your brain has the highest activity level when you wake up.
If you don’t expend that excessive brain energy before going to work, you’re likely to feel bored, groggy, and sluggish.
Here are simple activities in the morning that can make a ton of difference:
- Kill the alarm in a whim. As soon as you’re back to consciousness, don’t be tempted to hit snooze. Doing that just puts you in a hole of embarrassment and regret later on.
- Fill out your journal. Your rejuvenated mind is more capable of generating insights and ideas than the tired one you have two hours before office dismissal.
- Run the treadmill. It’s a no-brainer: exercise fires you up. With the endorphins that your brain releases in the process and the worked-out muscles you’ll have after, your vision of the day becomes better in an instant.
- Hug your pet/ be grateful for something. Just when you look forward to going home to see your four-legged friend, hugging him in the morning produces the same excitement. Meanwhile, thanking a love one, for instance your mother for your scrumptious packed lunch, makes mornings lovelier.
- Absorb a new word. It’s everywhere and it’s free: MW Dictionary’s word of the day, basic Italian words (e.g., ciao, grazie, prego, per favore), etc. Knowing a new word in the morning is also a good investment.
Needless to say, mornings help set the pace, mood, and tempo of the entire day. Breaking your lifeless routine starts with incorporating something invigorating in your mornings.
Tip #2: Make time for what you love
How many times you had to cancel your movie date or bowling session with friends because you wanted to impress your boss with your undying overtime spirit?
If your answer’s all the time, then you must be pretty fed up with mountains of office work. What you don’t know is the longer you get stuck with the same tasks, the less productive you become.
Break that streak. Reset your productivity by letting yourself enjoy. Here are some tips:
- Prioritize. Things we do out of necessity is separate from what’s really dear to our heart. List them down. Calculate the total time needed. Is there excess time or shortage? If it’s the latter, can you do things simultaneously, like watching your revered GoT or OiTNB episode while on the bus ride?
- Unclog your schedule. Free space to make space. How many times you wasted precious hours scrolling over personal rants of your Facebook friends? Is there a faster route to your home? Even the littlest of time savings can enable you to do things that really matter.
- Relish the moment. When you’ve successfully made space, you may feel guilty, that you should’ve just made something productive. However, you’re actually doing your future self a huge favor by wiping away accumulated stresses. Savor the moment and look forward to having another.
Tip #3: Relive old ties, forge new ones
When new people (often temporary) enter your life, the old, yet gold, ones are shut down in the cellar. Your chat conversations with friends went from halted to completely abandoned, not to mention that you only meet once in a blue moon.
But all it takes is a simple, heartfelt message for it to be revived! Or better yet, take the initiative to visit that individual personally.
Nothing’s more heartwarming than reading their replies and knowing that they think of you too.
“Hey, I missed you. How about some coffee? It’s on me.”
Meanwhile, getting acquainted with new people isn’t easy for all. With our individual differences, you just can’t please everyone.
But thanks to the universal language of making friends – smiling – you can make good account of yourself even before knowing the person.
If you can’t be friends with some, at least you’ve established some form of goodwill with them. That’s enough to paint another color on your day’s gray spectrum.
Tip #4: Jot down your daily achievements and benchmark
One problem associated with having a routine is that our goals have a ceiling: I’ll do this and I’m done.
We believe that simply accomplishing our daily tasks is an achievement in itself.
But almost all of the time, that’s the wrong belief. We often leave loopholes in our work, finish plainly rudimentary tasks, and slack a little (or with the remaining time).
No matter how small our triumphs are for the day, we need to put them down on a journal. These small victories motivate us by reminding that we did something for the day.
However, don’t forget to challenge yourself. Can I do better tomorrow? What area can I improve? Is there something new I can add to my current methodology?
Those questions drive change, and change leads to something new.
Tip #5: Participate in free online contests
New, exciting, and free? There’s shortage of that, but not for free online contests.
Different brands are keen on holding free contests/raffles/draws on their social media pages for popularity, only requiring interested people to like or share a particular video or post. Prizes range from free t-shirts, gift certificates, to cold cash.
If you’re just killing time in Facebook or Twitter, why not take a chance on these contests? They’re not only free, but also gives you the thrill.
Have I mentioned the number of hours I stayed up during weekends waiting for a winner announcement? When your name pops up, it’s pure ecstasy.
Honorable mentions: Download productivity apps, stargaze, list down things you’re grateful for, meditate, conquer your deepest fears, reevaluate your life, start a new hobby.
Before we end this discussion, let me reiterate that finding the right combination of additional activities that will spice up your day is harder than it sounds. Nevertheless, you may end up having a routine again.
The key is to mix it up. Do something that yourself needs at the moment.