Remember the feeling when you come home after a long and tiring day. All you want to do is to take a long bath and throw on some comfortable ugly clothes. Remember the feeling you get when you change your bed-sheet after a long time. It seems to brighten up the room and your mood. Or, the feeling you get when you make time to have a quiet undisturbed breakfast without checking your phone or being on conference calls. These experiences make your day better and make you happy. Being able to move about your day in a relaxed and unhurried day may not always be possible. But, it is always possible to make time for the little things which matter.
Following are some of the things I try to make time for no matter how busy I am:
Eating breakfast with no interruptions: Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, probably because I love eggs, bread and tea and that’s what I eat every single day. I love sipping my tea in peace without any interruptions. Hence, I try to stay away from my phone and laptop during breakfast. I also try to never miss breakfast, because my day goes haywire if I miss it. The fifteen minutes of peace I get while I eat helps me get into work mode for the next part of the day.
Keeping things where they belong: I know this sounds boring, but it really makes a difference. I don’t mean cleaning and organizing my home on weekdays. What I mean is, putting my office clothes where they should go, keep my bag where it belongs and things like that. This makes a difference because a cluttered home really drives me mad. And, things tend to get cluttered real quick, if you’re not careful. And, very soon the living room table is full of papers, and the chair in the bedroom is strewn with clothes. And, you’ll be in a rush one day in the morning, and this will drive you crazy.
Reading: I try to read a little everyday, even if it’s just a page. It’s impossible to read in office, obviously. Previously, I would not read for days if it was a hectic period at work. However, nowadays I try to read during my commute. Rather than staring out of the window and fretting about the traffic, I try to read. I do have motion sickness and get a headache in the car. However, I have seen that reading on the Kindle is still possible. Personally, I prefer the good old paperbacks any day! But, at least the Kindle allows me to catch up on my reading. And, some reading is always better than no reading!
Calling my family: I call my family every single day, and I’m proud of myself for that. I know they wait for my phone-call and nothing in the world is more important that the brief conversations I have with them in the morning. The days I delay in calling them, I mentally curse myself. It makes me happy to talk to them, and I want to keep calling them regularly every single day.
Exercising: Even ten minutes of exercise is better than no exercise. Some days, I’m terribly busy and I really don’t get time to exercise. On such days, even 10 jumping jacks makes a difference. You can come back from home, exercise for a few minutes and then get on with your work.
There’s something else which I’m practicing lately:
Detaching from worries: I tend to worry a lot. I worry about work when I commute to office and on the way back home. I worry about what will happen in the future. And, I generally worry about “what will happen?”. And, I tend to overthink a lot. In fact, I sometimes think so much about something, that I get fed up and take a random decision just to make myself stop thinking “what should I do?” So, what do I do?
I’ve never really been able to meditate. But, something which does work is focusing on something else, something relaxing. Nowadays when I tend to worry about work and I can’t really do anything about it (especially during commute times), I switch to reading a book or thinking of a new recipe or start on my to-do list. Detaching is really important. Especially, when worrying doesn’t help. Of course, if you have an urgent deliverable at work, you must think about it. But, when it’s not necessary, what’s the point. Get off your laptop and don’t keep looking at mails which you can’t action till the next day.
By detaching, I give my mind a break and I feel more fresh when I approach a new problem. Or else, I’m tired and jittery and nervous. And, then I make wrong decisions and I don’t give my best. Hence, keeping your mind occupied with relaxing things is a great way to detach if your mind is the type which can’t stay still without filling itself with random thoughts.
And, don’t forget music! I love listening to music, however, not too late at night or else the lyrics tend to go on in my head and prevent me from falling asleep. So, try and find some peace and quiet in the week, and see how that helps you focus and function in a better way.
The little things really do matter…