I’m always looking at ways to improve my life, to keep up in today’s fast-paced culture. As professional women, we know there are many things we should be doing and balancing, such as:
Seriously, just the thought of it is exhausting. But sadly, our quality of life can suffer if we’re not careful. To ensure that I’m operating at my best and look after my self-confidence, I’ve introduced into my daily routine 7 simple habits.
Don’t worry; these habits are designed to be implemented into even the busiest professional woman’s daily schedule.
What I’ve discovered is they help optimise efficiency and provide the satisfaction of daily progress.
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So, if you’re ready to improve your life and see great results, read on.
1. Improve Your Life With Meditation
Before I was properly introduced to meditation four years ago, I considered it to be a bit woo woo. Images of a monk sitting on a rock, whispering strange incantations to the universe sprang to mind.
But meditation has become mainstream amongst everyday women like you and me.
What’s great about this practice is that it’s so adaptable; it can be done anywhere and anytime. Meditation is often ill-defined, often made out to be time-consuming and overly spiritual. But this isn’t true.
All you need to do is set aside a modest amount of time in your day (this could be five minutes or an hour) to sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and simply let your thoughts flow through your mind.
As thoughts come to you, don’t judge them, good or bad, you just let them come and go.
There are many meditation guides available to get you started including apps and websites to cater to all needs. I use Headspace and meditate for 20 minutes each morning and finds it sets me up for the day.
And there are lots of benefits to it.
According to Health Line, implementing daily meditation into your schedule can improve your life in the following ways:
- reduces stress
- controls anxiety
- lengthens attention span
In addition, it’s also suggested that it can reduce age-related memory loss.
We often do a body detox of food for diets, so how about a thought detox for the brain with a simple way to improve your life.
2. Drink More
Wine ahem, Water
I’m sure you’ve heard the statistic that our bodies are made up of 60% water, and we lose a lot of that during the day through:
- Having a pee
Now, I’m the first to confess that I’ve not been good at following the 8 x 8 rule – you know the one, drink 8-ounce glasses 8 times a day.
But, as with the other items on the long list of things we need to do, but somehow expertly avoid, there are benefits to drinking more water.
Health Line has a great article on How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day. Which looks at how our water intake affects our energy levels and brain function.
If you want to improve your life, then drinking water is an easy way to achieve it. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration caused by heat or exercise can affect both physical and mental performance.
The benefits of more water consumption include:
• Improved mood
• Better concentration
• Increased oxygen delivery to the brain
3. Red Alert On Blue Light
Screens dominate our world, whether they be
- Desktop monitors
- Cell phones
If you want to improve your life, then your screen use must be reduced.
I’m not suggesting that we turn analogue and hide in caves but dialling back screen time when the sun sets is an absolute game-changer.
Without getting too far into the science of the light spectrum, as I’m not an expert, I do know that digital screens emit a type of light know as blue light. This type of light is known to decrease the body’s natural production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and allows us to sleep properly.
Most professional women work beyond the usual 9 to 5, responding to email late into the night. I’m sure some of the women I know are surgically attached to their phones or laptops. But focussing on your phone or laptop right before bed kills your sleep.
We need sleep to be able to perform at our best. If you want to improve your life, then it’s time to switch off those devices and break free from the damage blue light causes.
By the way, that also includes binge-watching Netflix.
Besides keeping you up far too late, Harvard Medical School has found a correlation between increased blue light exposure and diabetes and obesity.
4. Improve Your Life With Efficient Scheduling
How many of us wake up every morning knowing we have a hectic day ahead of us and don’t even know where to start? Without a plan, trying to manoeuvre through a busy life is futile.
This is where the power of scheduling saves the day. I am a self-confessed planning addict – I love a good plan. One of the simplest ways to improve my life was a simple adjustment to my end of day routine.
At the end of each day, I do the following:
- Create a tentative schedule for the following day (we all know how things can change overnight!)
- Write 3 things I want to get completed
- Put out what I need to complete the first task on my desk
I prefer to write things down in a notepad, so I’m not tempted to do it on my mobile phone – remember the warning about blue-light! You can use something as simple as a post-it note on the desk.
A quick note is all you need, don’t think you have to obsessively list every detail of your day, just the essential items.
I promise you’ll be amazed at how much more efficient you become and will wonder why you now seemingly have increased hours in the day.
5. The Power Of Audiobooks
Leisurely reading is crucial to our growth as individuals. Books are not a way to fill up space on the coffee table or make a bookshelf look esteemed and intellectual. They can improve your life.
You may ask how you can possibly fit in time to read for the sake of reading when you are being pulled in a hundred different directions. The answer is audiobooks.
These brilliant creations allow you to pop in some headphones during your daily:
while still allowing you to reap the benefits and the wealth of knowledge available via literature.
Reading can improve your life by helping you
- Improve social skills
- Slow cognitive decline with age
- Improve sleep
I’ve found housework is more bearable when I’m listening to a good audiobook. Makes the time go quicker too!
Also, learning new things has many benefits. Have a look at my article to discover 8 Great Reasons Why You Should Learn Something New Everyday
6. Improve Your Life: Ditch Toxic People
The phrase, “you are the sum total of the 5 people you surround yourself with”, is more than a nice little quote to add to your office desk. If you want to improve your life and optimise your time, avoid toxic people who drain you.
You know the people I’m referring to the
- woe-is-me type of individuals
that can singlehandedly dull the sunniest of days.
When you avoid toxic people, you’ll experience a vast reduction in stress levels and even fatigue. If you take anything from this habit, please remember that it is perfectly OK to cut certain people and situations out of your life.
I also mention how toxic people can damage your confidence in my article If You Want To Be Confident Avoid Doing This.
7. Wake Up Earlier (Just A Little Bit!)
You might have read the bold print above and been immediately tempted to stop reading. However, hear me out. Think about most of the habits we’ve already discussed that are incredibly beneficial to your individual growth and which will improve your life.
How many of these would be easier to implement if you gave yourself extra time in the morning, before:
- the family wakes up,
- your mobile phone starts buzzing uncontrollably?
Set your alarm 15-minutes earlier (30 minutes is better), and use this time to follow through on some of these habits.
I have no doubt the minimal reduction in sleep will be a drop in the ocean compared to the benefits you’ll experience.
Ready to put some of these habits into practice to see how you can improve your life? Here is a quick checklist on how to implement them.
- Look on YouTube for a meditation practise that suits your personal style
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up, or fill a 2-litre bottle the night before and sip it throughout the day
- Create a night-time routine by having a blue-screen cut-off point at least 1 hour before you go to bed
- Plan your day the night before with your first task of the day laid out on your desk
- Download an audiobook
- Think about the people around you – are they an energy vampire?
- Set your alarm clock 15 or 30-minutes earlier