How many of your days and weeks seem to run together? You start fresh on a Monday morning and then by Friday you have no idea what happened to your week. It all becomes one big blur to the finish and then you start all over again after a brief weekend reprieve. Does any of that consistent running sound familiar? If you’re sick of the running and remembering your weeks as one big blur, there may be a solution that could work for you…
You need to create small purposeful pockets of time in your day. These pockets of time will help you to pause. This pause is like an aid station at a race. Aid stations allow runners to refuel in a race; they can provide water, snacks, sports drinks…anything that will help a runner get to the next station. These small purposeful pockets of time will help you do the same. They will help you fuel and the refuel throughout your day so that you don’t continue feeling like all you’re doing is running toward your weekend with no break in between.
Now, you can create these pockets of time anywhere in your schedule, but it’s helpful if they are done purposefully and consistently so that they can fit into your schedule relatively seamlessly. Here is a suggested daily schedule of how these pockets of time can be built into your day:
Take five minutes to just sit, listen to music, focus on your breathing, or anything else that can help clear your head for five minutes before you officially start your day. This will start your day with focus and ease. Finding these five minutes can be as easy as locking the bathroom door for five minutes so that no one else bothers you or you can have a space where you go each day.
Write down an intention for your day. This can be a focus area, a goal, a task you want to accomplish or some way you want to care for yourself while you are moving throughout the demands of your day. It’s helpful to keep this intention somewhere that you can refer to it throughout the day so that you can check in periodically. Your intention could be something as simple as “My intention is to take three deep breaths every time I am frustrated and feel my body tensing” or “My intention is to take a work-free lunch break” or “My intention is to get outside for a few minutes at some point in the day”. The idea is to create a specific intention for your day so that you have a focus area and don’t just go on autopilot.
Either do a five minute writing or mental check in with your day. What went well? Try to name one thing that was positive. What would you change? End each reflection with naming or writing down something you are grateful for in your day.
Before heading home, create a transition to give yourself a clear distinction between home and work. Too often work bleeds into our home lives and that is when we never feel like we get to refuel. So take a walk, do a five minute quiet time sit, get a cup of coffee, drive a new way home, do something that gives yourself a few minutes to refuel, refocus and get ready for the next part of your day.
So hopefully by creating these small purposeful pockets of time into your week, you begin to refuel throughout your days and weeks instead of just running on empty and hoping to make it to Friday’s finish line.
If you are interested in learning more about how to integrate these pockets of time into your schedule, please consider signing up for Teaching Well’s free guide “Twenty Minutes to Wellness.” This guide will provide you with a variety of how to really create a routine that refuels your body, mind and soul through integrating these small purposeful pockets of time.