By now you've probably gathered that my day has mindful self care sprinkled throughout. It's not that I take an entire day off to treat myself. I truly believe that mindfully nourishing myself can, and does, happen every day. I talked about some aspects that create my Wake Up Routine, Mid Morning Routine, and Lunch Routine in previous posts. This week's post is dedicated to a time of day that is the most difficult for me to find routine in. So as I write this, and as you read, please take these ideas, suggestions, encouragements with a grain of salt, as I also truly believe that there are exceptions to absolutely everything. But when I'm on, and things are groovin', these ABC's (or JKL's) will always show up during my afternoon routine.
Just like I mentioned in my Mid Morning Routine, daylight is important to feel alert. This is true in the afternoon as well. I love taking walks just after lunch. My body feels lighter, my mind is clearer, and from questionnaires that I've been sending to an special group of Reclaim Your Day fans, some feel anxious, overwhelmed, and fidgetey during lunch. A great way to ground those sensations is to breath fresh air, feel your feet on the earth, and to soak up the natural light in the afternoon.
**I'm taking my own advice this afternoon and going for a walk around the block in the rainy PNW before I continue writing the rest of this post.**
For most of us, the afternoon is a time of distractions, interruptions, and low productivity. Returning to work after lunch usually entails checking social media, fumbling around for the next task to complete, and getting interrupted by others making sure you received the latest "TPS Report." Am I right?!
Imagine what it would be like if you had a mindful plan of action when you came back to your desk. One that encouraged you to work on a project with total engagement. Maybe even some excitement. Okay, let's not go that far. But what I'm encouraging is to know when to say no. The late Steve Jobs once said: “Focus is about saying no.” No to endless scrolling. No to needless distractions. No to useless conversations. Here are a few suggestions of how to set these boundaries.
When you are interrupted by someone or something else, use these time management tools to help you out.
When you are your own worst distraction, play with this option to hold yourself accountable.
Recognize that your time is valuable. If you are distracted by constantly saying yes than you are giving your value away for free. Just something to think about.
The afternoon slump can be a real thing. Especially if you stay inside, behind your desk, getting interrupted every 15 minutes. Turning to your trusty cup of coffee seems like the only thing to keep you alive, alert, and enthusiastic, right?!
Not for me anymore. There was a time when the 3pm coffee run was what I thought I needed, but after tuning into my real needs, I learned that I am super duper affected by caffeine. If it have it after 11am, I have trouble falling asleep. This consequence was enough for me to decline the mindless invitation (aka distraction), and figure out what I really needed. When I started giving myself permission to get outside, eat a nourishing lunch, limit distractions, engage in interesting work, this break wasn't needed anymore.
What would you like to incorporate into your afternoon routine so that caffeine isn't the only option?
Not sure how to get started? I'd love to help you build an afternoon routine that energizes you and leaves you feeling vibrant! Click below to gain early access and receive discounts to Reclaim Your Day, a method to balance the crazy busy of your schedule.
What is your biggest workday challenge?
I am on the journey to create joy and live with full happiness. And my wish for you is to do the same!
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