From Manic Monday to Twisted Tuesday to Wacky Wednesday, it seems like there’s no escaping the chaos of a whirlwind work week. By the time we finally reach Friday, we’re ready to give thanks with that celebrated saying, “TGIF.”
Yes, weekdays can drag on, and on, and on -- but they shouldn’t have to. You should enjoy every day of the week. Together with Buick's 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, we’ve found 24 ways to make your next 24 hours productive, enjoyable and -- gasp! -- even relaxing.
Nightcaps (Things You Can Do The Night Before)
1. Meal prep isn’t just for athletes or CrossFitters -- anyone can benefit from making food ahead of time. Whether you prepare breakfasts and lunches for the week, or just make lunch the night before, being able to simply grab food and go will save you much-needed time in the morning.
2. Picking out your outfit the night before and packing your bag for the day can shave precious minutes off your morning routine. Don’t forget to check the weather, and plan accordingly!
3. Unless you tend to sweat in bed, shower at night. Not only will you save time in the morning, but research shows that a warm shower in the evening can regulate your internal temperature as you doze off -- which means you’ll be on the receiving end of more uninterrupted shut-eye.
4. While some research suggests that late afternoon is the best time to exercise, working out in the morning can ward off food cravings, jump-start your brain and increase your energy for a great start to the day.
5. Take some time to yourself in the morning before you face the hustle and bustle of a busy day. Practice mindful breathing, reflect on the day ahead and appreciate a quiet moment before your day begins.
6. Catch up on the news while you eat breakfast. Newsletters like The Skimm will keep you up-to-date on the world’s biggest happenings (and deliver them to your email inbox), so you can start your day knowing what’s going on -- and how it affects you or your business.
7. You should probably wait until you get out of bed to check your email, but scanning your calendar and email messages to prioritize your most important task(s) can give you clarity and focus for your day’s game plan. Plus, you’ll avoid any unforeseen (and unwanted) surprises.
8. Stimulate your mind on your commute to work by listening to a pump-up playlist with your favorite feel-good songs, or a thought-provoking podcast.
9. Get a head start on dinner by assessing what you have in your fridge, and what (if anything) needs to be taken out of the freezer to defrost during the day, or purchased on your way home.
10. Start your day with a smile. Not only is it a warm way to greet your co-workers, neighbors and family, but it’s also contagious -- meaning your whole office morale could improve!
Beat The Midday Slump
11. Arriving to work 10 to 15 minutes earlier than the majority of your colleagues do will give you time to settle in, assess the day’s work and maybe even complete a few action items before you get pulled into meetings, presentations and endless email chains.
12. One way to completely sidestep the 3 p.m. slump is by skipping caffeine to begin with. By slowly nixing your morning habit, you won’t fall victim to the much-dreaded caffeine crash.
13. Office chair yoga might sound like a bizarre concept, but it’s possible to get your stretch on midday without freaking out your co-workers. Really! These five inconspicuous stretches will leave you tension free and energized.
14. Never underestimate the power of a snack. Pack healthy munchies that will help you feel full -- think almonds, yogurt or a banana -- in case you need an energy boost.
15. Switch up your setting. Go for a walk, take a call in a coffee shop, or answer emails from a conference room for a brief portion of your day. With a new environment comes a fresh perspective.
16. Fifteen minutes before you leave work for the day, write out a to-do list with your top priorities for the next morning. That way, you’ll be prepared for the following workday and won’t let important tasks fall through the cracks.
17. Before stepping out for the day, declutter your desk or organize your workspace to ensure you’ll arrive to a productivity-boosting environment the following morning.
18. Don’t let staying late at work become routine. Leaving work on time consistently will motivate you to be productive during the day, and help prevent your work life from interfering with your home life.
19. Over 24 hectic hours, it can be difficult to remember all the good things that happen. Make the unexpected, happy moments (like when the car ahead of you pays for your Starbucks order, or you get a raving review from your boss) more memorable by putting $1 in a jar along with a quick note documenting the experience. At the end of the month, you can count your blessings, literally -- and treat yourself with the cash.
20. Taking care of unwashed dishes and tidying up your home before heading to bed can help relieve unnecessary stress and allow you to wake up to a clean, organized space.
21. Finding a way to relax and wind down is key. Taking the time for a brief meditation can help you nod off, even when your mind is in overdrive.
22. This might not work for everyone, but setting your alarm to the same time every morning may help your body adjust to a rhythm, making your morning wake-up call less jarring.
23. Set your cell phone to airplane mode and put it away before getting in bed (along with your laptop, tablet, etc.) -- after you set your alarm, of course. Place it face down somewhere out of reach, so you won’t be tempted to check it, nor will it wake you if it buzzes.
24. You probably use an alarm to wake up, but have you ever used an alarm to cue your sleep? Set an alarm one hour before your desired bedtime. You’ll get into the mindset of winding down and you’ll get to bed at a reasonable time.
Buick knows that it takes more than a spin around the block to decide whether a car is right for you. Just leave your car and test drive one of ours for 24 Hours. It’s a better way to take a test drive. Learn more here: www.buick.com/testdrive.html