Too often in our lives today, we aren’t in tune with the environment around us; the air, the earth, the people, or even, ourselves. We forget to take time and focus, remain calm. We forget the important things in life: life itself. We begin to live by other people’s rules and ideals. We forget what makes US tick. We end up with a wide variety of people, all in different levels of connection with the environment around them.
Some are like the familiar co-worker – Let’s call him John. John is there every day when you arrive to work. He’s been there since daybreak, skipped breakfast, is drinking coffee, and has a diet consisting of, on a good day, pizza, soft drinks, and cookies. He often complains that there is not enough time in the day, he is scattered, unfocused, never giving his all to an item, and tends to stay later than everyone else.
Then, there others… the weird ones that seem to always have life under control, and exude a calmness around them we can’t quite figure out.
Let’s call the fella that embodies this Jeff. Jeff values work, but not more than his health. He realizes that in order to be effective at work, he needs to be healthy, both physically and emotionally. He has always eaten a good breakfast after a calming night of sleep. He is calm and collected, giving his full attention to any item or conversation he is involved with. When necessary, he stays late at work, but does not make it an expected, regular occurrence. He is supportive of others, and seems to always have a
thoughtful, alternative point of view.
Of course, these are 2 different sides, and there is everything in between. Which one are you like? Take a moment and think about this. Seriously. Do not read any further until you have thought about your day, your energy level, your ability to focus, and calmness under pressure.
Once you have thought about where you are, continue and take a look at some simple things that could create more calmness and focus in your day.
1. Drink a glass of water immediately after waking up. You lose moisture while you sleep, so you’re less hydrated in the morning. It’s kind of like working an 8 hour shift without any drink! A glass of water helps to restore this balance within yourself, feels good, and starts your system up for the day.
2. Take a minute to be calm, assess yourself, and your day. If you jump straight out of bed, and rush to get to work, there’s very good chance you rush through many things without thinking or being mindful of where you are at or want to go. Take a minute after your glass of water to sit there, look out the window, think about the day you have, and what you want to accomplish. If it takes getting up 5 minutes earlier, do it. Do not hit snooze on your alarm. Do not force yourself into rushing.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast sets the energy in your body for the day. Skip it, and you will rely on coffee and quick snacks to keep going, only to crash in the afternoon. Aim to have a high amount of proteins and some fruit for breakfast. This will help minimize the carbohydrate sugar hit and crash that can happen. Have a smoothie. Eat some eggs. Black beans with salsa. SKIP CEREAL. Cereal is usually starch and high amounts of sugar, with little to no protein, and leaves you hungry shortly later. For some more ideas and a breakfast I stick to that helps my energy levels, check out Tim Ferris’s blog about breakfasts here.
4. Schedule your work tasks as best as possible, and take breaks. Upon arriving at work, go over the important tasks you need to accomplish today, and focus on getting them done! Then work in 50 minute increments, making significant progress on tasks during those 50 minutes, then take 10 minutes to stretch, go to the washroom, drink some water, and go over the tasks for the rest of the day. By setting what you want to accomplish in advance of the work, and giving yourself permission to have a few minutes break every hour, you allow your mind to stay calm, more focused, and , in turn, accomplish more.
5. Do one thing that makes you smile, every day. This is key. Every day, we give ourselves and our energy to work, people, and thoughts. By taking the time to do something you enjoy, you give yourself some energy back. This could be exercise, writing, playing frisbee, calling friends, walking your dog, painting, carving, playing music. Anything that you truly enjoy and smile from! Even if only for 5 minutes, take the time to allow yourself to play.
6. Meditate, and consider the day you had. If you meditate, have a session before bed. Allow your self to be calm, and bring your day to completion. If you have never meditated, check out our simple Square Breath meditation here. If you do not want to meditate, then just take a couple of minutes and think about the day you had, bringing it to a wrap. Breathe for a minute, then pour yourself a glass of water for tomorrow morning.
Repeat daily. Read this post first thing every morning to help you remember.