As a college student, I struggle with fitting everything into my day from homework, this blog, freelance work, personal obligations, and food. It gets very stressful to manage all of these tasks and I know you struggle with this too. After conversing with friends and family about how to have an amazing and productive day, I got the idea to sum up the main ideas into five easy-to-follow steps.
- Show thanks as soon as you wake up or before you go to sleep. Regardless of where you are and what you have, you can always show gratefulness for the life you have right now. There a few ways to help harness this powerful emotion that will make you happier. I promise.
- Write out a list of people you are thankful for in your journal
- Reflect/pray/meditate in the early hours of morning when you first wake or in the late hours of the night when you are going to sleep. Positive thoughts in the morning will ensure a great day while positive thoughts at night will ensure a great sleep.
- Always write thank you notes. This move is not only well-mannered and well- deserved to people who help you out but just kind. You can make someone’s day ten times better by sending a thank you note.
But don’t take my word for it, take Harvard’s word for it. Yeah, like THE Harvard. Click here for that link.
2.As soon as you wake up, drink at least 16.9 oz or 500 mL water. If you sleep for at least seven hours a night, you’re likely not drinking in your sleep or if you wake up (unless you’ve developed some sort of apparatus that does this). This’ll help rejuvenate and enliven your mind and body since you have not consumed any water for quite some time. You wouldn’t go without water for seven hours while awake, would you?
3. Smile.This one is simple, free, and fun! Go ahead, smile now. Do you feel happy? Of course you do! Okay, okay. You can stop now, nice work on wearing your retainers.
4.Exercise. Exercise. I cannot stress this one enough. Now, I do not mean you have to exercise every single day of your life but it’s a worthwhile goal to try to exercise at least four times a week. In the digital age, it is ridiculously easy to find short workouts to fit into your busy schedule. I know you’re busy and may not feel like going to the gym or paying for a membership so you think, “well I guess, I can’t do it.” Wrong. Here are some links to get you started with calisthenics or body-weight training.
5. Be productive. You know that feeling when you binge watch an entire season of the Office on Netflix while eating Ben & Jerry’s while you contemplate the meaning of life? No? Yeah, me neither…BUT, if that sounds like you (be real with yourself), do you feel happy at the end of the day because that’s how you spent it? Probably not, so it’s time to switch gears. Instead, I urge you to be productive and set up work periods during your day in order to make the most of it. Before I forget, your first work period should be the task you are dreading to do the most or else it’ll just hang over your head and be dreadful.
How should you set up these days?
First, all work and no play makes anybody a dull boy/girl. So in order to prevent a breakdown similar to the one in Stephen King’s The Shining, break up your work periods into sessions. Carve out time in your days to handle 52 minutes of work at a time then 17 minutes of resting, breaking, looking at memes, or reading.
Why 52 minutes of work and 17 minutes of play? A startup company analyzed their worker’s productivity using an app called Desktime in order to see which workers got the most work done. The results were astounding. The workers who completed the most work would rest frequently and focus only on work during the work periods. This led to greater productivity which leads to more revenue for the company which leads to more happiness for all employees as the rewards trickle down.
In order to optimize this, I’d say take a step away from your desk or wherever you’re working while on your break. For myself, I like to read a book or indulge in a quick Call of Duty game. But, I’ll leave that up to you. Remember, the magic number is 52 minutes on and 17 minutes off. Use a timer on your phone for this. When it goes off, get back to it or take a break (no excuses).
If you do only three of these, I guarantee that you will go to sleep with a smile on your face because you put in a good day’s work. You cannot beat that feeling.