1. Every single day, write down a list in two columns: what brought you satisfaction and what brought you frustration. Look at the patterns. This is how you should be adjusting your routine.
2. Figure out how to manage “dead time.” The 20 minute periods where you can’t start new things cause you have to leave, the time you spend mindlessly surfing the web because you need a “break.”
3. Buy the damn latte– whipped cream and all. If you’re going to have the calories, the beginning of the day is the time to do it, and it just sets a happier tone for the rest of the day.
4. Take a weekend to organize your living space in a way that allows you to go through your days without requiring a huge clean up every single night. It’s just easier when everything has a pre-designated place.
5. Replace exercise with something you actually enjoy that also gets you moving.
7. Decide what’s not essential and eliminate it. This applies to your living space, desk and life in general: clutter is mind-numbing.
8. Make sure that part of the routine is to carve out time for yourself. Time to read, to walk around the block, to do something that isn’t draining for once. To not be staring at an electronic for a while, to treat yourself to something with no other intention other than you want to indulge (moderately, of course, because excessively doing so each day is bad news).
9. Simplify your cooking. Between pre-prepared meals and other easy to grab-and-go snacks and breakfast items, you never have to be scrambling around to get something together again.
10. Have a few essentials with you at all times. Tylenol/Advil, your phone charger, an extra $20, etc. These may not play into your daily routine, but are necessities that can definitely save an entire day from going to shambles (you try to get past 3 p.m. with a wicked headache and nothing to take for it).
11. Make a list before you go shopping anywhere. Don’t mindlessly walk into a store and buy the same things you have at home because you forgot about them or worse, make a bunch of impulse buys to ease the stress of your day that end up messing up your finances for the rest of the month.
12. As a rule: walk when you can.
13. Give yourself reward-based incentives. It works better when you make these declarations in front of other people, or have someone hold you to your word.
14. Start single tasking. Getting one thing done at a time leaves nothing unfinished, and lets you forget about it afterwards so you can give your complete attention to the task at hand. Not to mention, completing one thing at a time gives you a sense of accomplishment, as you can see your to-do list being checked off throughout the day rather than just all at once (or not at all) at the end.
15. Don’t be so focused on the routine that you don’t get anything done. Let yourself have some ebb and flow. Don’t think about the routine as a “routine.” It’s just your life. Go live it.
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