Conference season is ramping up, fall weather has FINALLY arrived, the kids are back in school, traffic is back with a vengeance and my calendar is so full that I can’t even read what all the appointments are. The two weeks I spent building sand castles on Cape Cod and playing in the waves on Martha’s Vineyard are a distant memory. I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but every fall I try to recalibrate a bit and stay level headed in the face of the sprint from Labor Day to Christmas Eve…Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to get more sleep or eat more vegetables – though you probably should.
- Drink less coffee: While scientist have been debating the benefits and detractors of coffee for some time, recent studies are leaning towards the finding that coffee is in fact “good” for you. However, I find that drinking more coffee makes me more anxious and less productive. The first cup in the morning is the ritual and helps me get my engine going and start the day on a productive note, but I find that leaving it at that is actually better. When I get the urge for cup two, three, maybe even four – I get up to for a walk, get a snack, fill up my water bottle, or otherwise distract myself. At the end of the day I feel better and sleep better.
- Read a book: If you’re an over-achiever you can read a book about marketing, or leadership, or whatever you feel makes you look smarter, but I suggest reading a memoir or a novel. There is nothing that helps you unwind and leave work behind than digging into a novel on the subway. I find reading gives my brain a rest and helps me get away from my phone.
- Laugh: I think we take most things way too seriously. I generally find myself glued to my computer at 6AM furiously typing out and firing off emails. By the time I step out the door my heart rate is elevated and I’m thinking of a thousand things I need to do the second I arrive at the office. Lately I’ve been taking a moment to read The Onion Twitter feed for a few moments in the morning because it keeps things in perspective and also it’s hilarious and laughing is simply – well fun.
- Go outside: This is one of my mottos. I make a point every single working day, no matter how busy, to go outside for just a few minutes. You need to clear your head in order to be productive and there is nothing like a breath of fresh air – even if it’s 95 degrees and humid, or snowing…I <3 New England. Even if your calendar is packed, suggest that your next meeting be a walking meeting, or return a call on the go.
- Plan your next vacation: If you’re back from you summer travels and you have nothing on the books, plan something, no matter how far out, so that you have something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but even just a day off that you plan to spend at home. Book it, make a plan and then spend time looking forward to it.