1. A morning routine.
Some people enjoy reading the paper and drinking a quiet cup of coffee, while others use this time to go for a run or exercise at the gym. A few simple minutes of food prep the night before, and setting the alarm for as little as 10 minutes earlier, will help set the right pace for your morning.
2. Prayer and/or meditation.
Studies have shown that regular mediation and/or prayer, can positively affect your heart and benefit your mind. Taking a five-minute break at the office, or taking a walk around the building to clear your mind is a daily indulgence that isn't expensive or caloric.
3. Family rituals.
You don't do your best work when you are feeling guilty and distracted. These feelings often come from grabbing nightly fast food for dinner, skipping after school performances and sports, and missing important parent/teacher conferences due to working late. Even if your nightly dinner is reheated leftovers from the weekend, rather than drive thru fries and a soda, it "feels" better to be in control of what you are serving your family. This is where a concise calendar and time management system can be very important. A schedule of meals and meetings is less overwhelming when you can look at it, and helps you to plan out your week accordingly.
4. Commitment to perform at a high standard during the day.
We often go through the day by the seat of our pants, counting the hours until it's time to clock out and go home. Rather than responding and reacting to whatever is tossed your way throughout the day, make a concerted effort to efficiently handle the daily minutia, and occupy the remainder of the work day thinking beyond what is in front of you, and creating a job you will look forward to coming to, day after day. Take a good look at what you need in order to excel and don't be afraid to ask your boss for the tools and training you will need to be your best as an employee.
5. Staying connected to friends.
Designate a few minutes every day to contact one friend you owe a call, or feel guilty for not speaking with in a while. Deliver a quick "I'm thinking of you" message, send an email or text a friend to let them know they are in your thoughts. Just a friendly check in is more than a valiant effort for most of us. Your core friends will understand that you don't have 30 minutes to talk every day, and normally don't expect daily conversations. Schedule a lunch or go out to dinner with a group of friends once a month to catch up.
6. An evening power down.
Going strong all day leaves little time for communicating with your spouse, working with your kids on homework, or even taking a leisurely bath. While the bath may be a luxury, making time to check in with the people in your home is a necessity in order to continue to build strong relationships. Asking three simple questions, "What did you eat for lunch?", "Have you talked to your mom?", "What would you like for dinner tomorrow?" indicates you are present and interested in the other person. Create your own list of questions, but make a nightly attempt to communicate. Stay away from your email and off of social media for the last few hours of your day, dedicating it your family and yourself. You will find you have a few extra minutes without that last post, tweet or Instagram pic.
I publish weekly business etiquette articles on my blog, including topics such as interview etiquette, technology etiquette, email etiquette, and everyday social etiquette topics. Connect with me here on the Huffington Post, follow me on Pinterest and "like" me on Facebook at Protocol School of Texas.
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