How you start and end your workday can have a huge impact on your success at the office and happiness at home. A routine that bookends the office hours increases productivity and encourages a better work/life balance. The six suggestions below—three for before work and three for after—are great additions to your existing routines or can act as starting points for creating new ones.
- Lose the snooze—When you hit snooze, you restart your sleep cycle only to interrupt it again nine minutes later. This interruption makes sleep inertia—the mental fog you feel right when you wake up—last longer. If simply moving your alarm clock out of reach doesn’t work, see these other no-snooze tips.
- Meditate—Fighting the urge to open your eyes and immediately open your emails gives your nervous system a chance to awaken more gradually. In turn, you’ll be more productive, creative and energetic throughout the day. Find a quiet, comfortable spot and try this routine from Baron Baptiste.
- Reflect and write—Happiness expert Petra Kolber suggests taking a few minutes post-meditation to jot down three things you are looking forward to for the day. Doing so primes your brain for success and sets you on a path of positivity for the day.
- Reflect and write (again!)—Leave work at work by doing a “brain dump” before you go: Write down anything that didn’t get done or needs to get done early the next day. If you don’t already have a designated time in your day to practice gratitude, use your commute home to express thankfulness.
- Make a screen curfew—Shawn Stevenson, author of “Sleep Smarter” (Rodale Books, 2016), suggests avoiding tech devices, and the melatonin-suppressing blue light they emit, for at least an hour before bedtime. If you have an iPhone, press the Night Shift button after dinner to reduce blue light and ease toward your tech-free time.
- Stretch—In our always-busy world, it can be hard to wind down. Encourage the transition with yoga moves that promote relaxation and help you move you toward sleep. Ten minutes can go a long way in terms of getting the eight hours of rest necessary for optimal brain function.
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