March 11, 2019
8 ways to make your day more meaningful
It’s easy to let time pass by without us really noticing where it’s gone and what we have achieved with it. By finding meaning within each day, you’ll be on your way to leading a happier and more meaningful life.
1. Establish a morning ritual
You’re more likely to get more out of your day if you start it off right. Waking up early each day will give you time to establish a sense of order and calm before you get thrown into the usual busyness of your waking day. Having a structured start to your day is something often recommended by health experts and entrepreneurs.
Did you know that your levels of willpower are at their highest right after sleep? By establishing a morning routine, you can take control of your willpower at its peak and use this to help you to carry positive energy with you throughout your day.
For instance, eating a healthy breakfast, going for a run or practicing mindfulness as part of a morning ritual will help you to develop self-discipline and manage stress. It’s important to follow a routine that works best for you – this will involve trial and error. Be realistic, but challenge yourself.
2. Plan your day
By starting your day with a good idea of your main activities, you’ll be able to ensure you have time to complete your most important tasks and are less likely to waste time. Effective prioritization isn’t just about doing the most important thing first; it’s also about making the most of your ‘peak’ time to ensure that you can complete all your daily tasks to the best of your ability. For example, you’ll probably want to do your most important tasks when you are at your most alert (perhaps in the morning) especially if any mistakes would be costly.
Because careful planning will help to boost your productivity levels, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals – whether these are daily or more long-term. With closer control over your professional and personal success, you can find happiness at work and at home.
3. Practice a hobby or skill
Making time for yourself and your goals is one of the most important things you can do for personal growth. Spending as little as 30 minutes each day solely to focus on a hobby, skill or project will keep you on track on your pursuit of happiness.
As well as giving you a sense of accomplishment and pride, learning something new, such as a language or a technical skill, actually changes your brain chemistry. The process of learning can help to improve your performance on a number of tasks, increase your learning speed over time, and it can even help to prevent dementia.
4. Spend time with ‘meaningful’ people
To inject meaning into your day, make time for people who are meaningful to you. Surrounding yourself with people who support you will bring positivity into your life. In a similar way, bringing positivity into someone else’s day by doing a good deed, or making someone smile will help you to feel joy which will immediately add value to your day. Even if you haven’t achieved much else in that day, you’ve made someone else’s day more positive.
5. Practice self-care
This is something that’s easy to neglect – partially because it’s often misinterpreted as an excuse to go shopping or binge eat chocolate. Whilst treating yourself is an important part, self-care goes beyond its commercialized version. Self-care is an investment of time in yourself to preserve and improve your health.
Start with self-awareness; this is a skill and is something that can be learned. By reflecting on your day, and your thoughts and emotions, you’ll have a good idea of what you did well and what you can improve upon tomorrow.
Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to practice self-care and can help you to find meaning within your daily life. It has even been suggested that mindfulness meditation practice can help to ease anxiety.
6. Do one thing at a time
Being able to multi-task is often considered a sign of ultimate productivity. But, constantly flitting between tasks is actually counter-productive and will ultimately result in the production of lower-quality results.
Doing one thing at a time will help you to sustain your focus on a single task, resulting in a more quality outcome. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to limit your distractions.
Implementing a digital detox – even just at peak times throughout your day – will help to fixate your concentration so you’re able to complete single tasks to a high standard, rather than half-heartedly tackling multiple tasks all at once. Something as simple as turning off your notifications once in a while can do wonders for your productivity levels.
7. Go outside
If your job involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, you’ll probably be familiar with the many negative impacts this can have on both your body and your mental health. By taking a break and stretching your legs regularly, you can help to counteract some of these effects.
Even the busiest of people have ten minutes during their day to step out and get some fresh air. This will give you a chance to take a moment away from the chaos of your day to breathe, recompose yourself and go back into your day with fresh eyes and a clear mind – so you can take on your tasks to the best of your ability.
Something as simple as fresh air can actually have very beneficial effects on your physical and mental health such as aiding your digestive system, giving you an energy boost and it can even make you feel happier.
8. Treat your time like you treat your money
“Live as if you’ll die today” is an unrealistic cliché – no one has that much willpower or energy. Having said that, it does carry an important message. Although not immediately obvious, your time has a value. Unlike money, wasted time cannot be made back – there are no refunds and no exchanges.
If you learn how to value your time (like you value your money) you can have more control over what you spend your time doing. Spending your time on more valuable activities will ensure every minute of your day is more meaningful.
In order to treat your time as an investment, you’ll need to learn to say no – both to yourself and to others. For instance, when asked to complete a task by a colleague, it’s important to ask yourself ‘will this add value to my personal growth, my company, or to my day?’ – if the answer is no, you’ll know how to respond. This also applies to questions that you present to yourself; saying no to procrastination and other low-quality activities will keep you on track to leading a more meaningful life.
Our visual and collaborate whiteboard tool, Ayoa, is a great way to provide structure to your day, allowing you to make your valuable time more meaningful through its clever task management features. Try Ayoa for free today.