It’s understandable that during workdays the majority of your time goes to work. But is it necessary? When you think about the makeup of your day, there are 24 hours, eight of which go to work. Ideally, another third should go to sleep and rest, but that means there is another third you can use to unwind, relax, or do something productive.
Here are some changes to do to avoid making work the centerpiece of your day.
Enjoy your mealtimes
Regardless of what kind of breakfast you start your day with, actually take the time to enjoy it and have some quiet time before you dive into work. If you prepare your own breakfast, be present in the moment and savor the experience. This can also be a good way to squeeze in bonding time with your spouse, especially if you both have to work the rest of the day. For lunch, make sure you are using up your entire lunch hour for your meal and self-care. Never eat at your desk, as this makes your lunch break an extension of work when it should be a break in between.
Do one thing you love before work
If you enjoy reading, read a couple of pages before or after you eat breakfast. If you love to paint, look at some ideas beforehand. If you love to plan, write what you want to accomplish on that day. If your kids are your priority, spend some time with them before you get busy. There are a lot of things for you to do other than just letting the time idly pass by.
Find avenues to learn
Reading a book, taking an online class, or listening to a podcast can all be an educational way for you to spend your time. Of them, podcasts are the ideal choice if you are pressed for time and don’t have a chance to sit down with a good book or an engaging video. Podcasts can be your accompaniment while you prepare dinner or do your evening exercise. They can even be your nighttime music as you prepare for bed. There is simply no excuse not to learn if there is something as accessible as a podcast.
Carve some me-time in your schedule
This is not about expensive spa days and lighting scented candles as a form of self-care. This is more about self-improvement and relaxation–or even just grooming yourself. Take a look at your nails, hair, and even your skin. When did you last buy cosmetics products online and actually spent some time in front of your mirror caring about your appearance? Make a grooming checklist and work through them, and make sure each one is a way to care for your future self. Trim your nails, wash your hair, and brush your teeth. They are not as glamorous as your spa days, but they are still a form of self-care nonetheless.
It’s easy to think about your time at work as the most time-consuming parts of your day, and the rest are just fillers. But that is when work starts to take over and makes you feel like you are sacrificing the rest of your day for it. Change this way of thinking by making sure that the rest of your time goes to something productive, rewarding, and enjoyable.