A lot of us are crazy busy, constantly jumping from task to task. While it's nice to get a lot done, the truth is that when we’re on our deathbeds, we're not going to care how many to-do items we checked off.
Here are 10 ways you can fit in both productivity AND pleasure in your life:
1. Give yourself 15 minutes every morning.
If you set 15 minutes aside for yourself every morning, it sets a great tone for your day. You'll feel more grounded and structured. You’ll also know that even if the rest of the day slips away from you, you’ll have done something to benefit yourself.
Every morning, just ask yourself what 15-minute activity will bring you the most pleasure. You might decide to have a dance break, read a gossip magazine with a mug of tea, meditate, take a bath, or go for a walk. Whatever feels good to you, do it — with no judgment.
2. Schedule pleasure in your calendar.
Schedule in massages, time to connect with friends, or anything that brings you joy , just like you would schedule dentist appointments and meetings with bosses.
3. Choose a guiding word for the day.
Every morning, choose a word that you’d like to feel for that day.
For example, if you decide you want to feel "ease" in your day, then every time you don't feel it, ask yourself how you can shape whatever you're going to through to feel easeful.
It sounds deceivingly simple, but it works. Very well.
4. Realize that feeling stressed can actually be laziness in disguise.
I know this is a weird concept, but the truth is, it's easier to be go-go-go than to stop and take time for yourself. It's a lot easier to ride the momentum of being busy. If you consciously stop and take time to care for yourself, it requires some upfront work, but the payoff is more than worth it.
5. Stop trying to maximize everything.
Don’t try to constantly make the most of everything you do.
You don't need to listen to audiobooks or podcasts on your morning walk. You don't need to clean while you're on the phone. When you have a spare minute, you don't have to catch up on email.
Simply stop and enjoy whatever you're doing. And if you do end up having some spare time, do something that brings you pleasure.
6. Create self-care goals.
If you respond well to goals, create some around making time for yourself. You might set a goal to schedule two massages this month, go to three yoga classes, or have five dance breaks.
7. Make pleasure a nonnegotiable.
Just like you brush your teeth and eat dinner every day, make pleasure another "have to do" each day.
8. Work with what you've got.
Use whatever your circumstances are to your advantage.
If you have kids, for example, it can feel really tough to take time for yourself. Instead of fighting it, work on doing something that brings you AND your children pleasure. Ask yourself, "What can we do so that we both have fun?"
You may decide to blow bubbles together, dance together, color, finger-paint, play with water guns, make snow angels, fly kites, or act silly.
9. Create a pleasure center.
Create a go-to basket or tub full of things that bring you pleasure that you can keep on hand for any time you need a dose of feeling good.
To get your mind going, here are some things you can include: bubbles, an iPod full of songs you like, essential oils, a guilty pleasure book or magazine, some delicious chocolate, a tea bag, a comedy DVD, nail polish, a yo-yo, a candle, a book of yoga stretches, a journal, thank you cards, punching balloons.
10. Have a cutoff time for work.
Set yourself a "stop working" time that you adhere to as often as possible. Make it so that after that time passes, you do things that you enjoy.
This is a great way to make sure you sleep better (devices before bed don't do you any favors), and it also feels like a nice reward you can look forward to all day.