There’s nothing more satisfying than closing your laptop for the day and thinking, “Wow, I had a really great day.” But have you ever stopped to think about *what* made your day great? If you get into the habit of reflecting on your day–both the good and the not-so-good–you’ll be better equipped to recreate those days on the regular.
Today, I’m sharing with you the actionable and easily repeatable steps I use to consistently enjoy my workdays so you can have great days every day, too.
Establishing workday startup and shutdown rituals is key to optimizing productivity and promoting overall contentment with each day. When you’ve created (and stick to!) a thoughtful morning ritual, you set a positive tone for your day–by doing this, you allow yourself to ease into your working mindset instead of feeling the need to jump right in as soon as you wake up. If you don’t give yourself this transition time when you wake up, you’re going to feel like it’s more jarring and you need more time to adjust. This is especially important for those of us who work from home, since we don’t have a commute or coffee run to start getting into a working mindset.
Some of my favorite workday startup rituals:
On the flip side, a well-defined shutdown ritual helps in wrapping up the workday, preventing the blurring of professional and personal boundaries. This will give you a psychological cue that you can transition out of your working mindset and truly take the time to relax and enjoy your evening with family, head to a workout class without the guilt of leaving your laptop behind, grab dinner with friends–whatever you want to do.
Some of my favorite workday shutdown rituals:
When you give yourself the time to transition back into your personal life, you’re creating a more balanced and satisfying lifestyle, contributing to your happiness throughout each day. You’ll have an increased sense of control, reduced stress, and good days ahead.
Tracking the positive aspects of your day is essential for creating a happier work life. This can be in the form of gratitude journaling–which I HIGHLY recommend–or just quickly jotting down the best parts of your day in your iPhone notes app. By consciously acknowledging and recording moments of success, joy, or accomplishment, you create a tangible records that you can reference when needed.
This will both boost your self-esteem, but will help you reflect on these good days during challenging times. And when you see a theme of something you did that contributed to a better workday, you can start incorporating those things more reguarly. For example, you might notice that every time you workout before jumping into work, you feel a lot happier overall. Or, the days you drink tea instead of coffee, you feel more calm, focused, and ready to make progress in your projects.
Check in with yourself, and your notes, on the regular, and schedule your day accordingly!
I think it’s important to acknowledge that there WILL be things that happen that are outside of your control, which can impact how you feel during your workday. And that’s okay! We can’t possibly account for everything, and sometimes, we just have to take the L.
You might have a project rescheduled due to a client’s change in timeline, you might get sick, you might lose power at your house–it happens! Don’t let these little things get inside your head, and just focus on what you CAN control.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you NEED to prioritize self-care–every single day. I can tell you one thing for sure: if you’re feeling burnt out, hungry AF, stiff, tired, and overwhelmed, you sure as heck won’t be signing off at 5pm feeling like you just had a great day.
I think there’s a misconception that self-care needs to take a lot of time, but you can squeeze it into little 5 or 10 minute time slots thorughout your day and still show up for yourself.
Some of my favorite ways to care for myself during the workday:
So there you have it! Each of these small steps will make a HUGE impact on your feelings of happiness and contentment as a business owner. I know you’re a badass, but even badasses need to care for themselves to get good results.
Share your favorite way to inject happiness into your day in the comments!