Professionals and small business/home office workers have tremendous freedom to schedule their days, arrange the furniture, choose the music and take care of themselves at work. Unfortunately, they also have all the responsibilities, make all the decisions, and carry all the burdens. The result is too often we forget to take care of ourselves. Use the advantages you have! The following tips can make the day go easier and help you work smarter, better and healthier.
1. In the morning, limit caffeine to one cup. Or better yet, switch to herbal teas! Start out calm and you're more likely to stay that way through the day.
2. Use up-beat music and humor (I love my daily Far Side calendar!) to get your morning off to a great start.
3. Make sure your first appointment of the day is a great one! Meet a friend for breakfast, greet co-workers with a big smile, schedule a favorite client first thing in the morning. Start the day with some fun!
4. At mid-morning, stand up, stretch and move around, at least for a moment. Take several deep breaths, wave your hands above your head, be silly, dance a jig, move your body!
5. Eat a light lunch of fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates. The traditional soup and salad is great, or a half-sandwich and an apple. Your body needs sustenance, not a heavy load, so lighten up!
6. Take a few minutes during your lunch break to do something totally different: read poetry, call an old friend, take a nap, go for a run. What you do is not as important as getting your mind and body away from your work. Take a real break!
7. During the afternoon, stand up and stretch at least once every hour. Gently arch your back, touch your toes, or touch the sky. Turn your head from side to side, and take some deep cleansing breaths. And while you're at it, smile!
8. When stress and work pile up, take a mini-vacation. Close the door (or go to the restroom, or a broom closet if you have to!) but get alone, close your eyes, and imagine a tropical island, or your favorite picnic spot. Life is good! Breath slowly, and relax.
9. Once a day, do something "extra" - call an old client to check in, thank a colleague for a referral, send a note to a friend. Have fun with this. Make it a game to combine business with pleasure and broaden your circle of contacts. (Hint: Send a quick 'thinking of you" email! People love 'em!)
10. At the end of the day, clean off your desk, and straighten up the office. The janitor will do the routine stuff, but take pleasure in closing down for the day. Develop a routine that signals the end of the day, it's time to quit, time to go home