If you’ve ever wondered how to have a good day, this article is for you.
I learned more about myself and other people and really try to be the best version of what I could be. If you think about it, our days’ dictates who we are going to be 5 years from now.
These little 24 hours that we have, what we do in these 24 hours will be the indicator of what we would become. So I compiled a 12 rules of my own with the focus on a day. Generally, they would probably not make a difference in a span of 1 week.
But if you do them over and over again, you’ll start to notice that your life actually gets better…or at least not suck. I am not a psychologist nor a philosopher.
I’m just some normal dude who have a normal job and learned to apply these little things on my own life. I hope these 10 rules help you make your day a little bit better and more meaningful.
How To Have a Good Day
1 – Wake Up with a Grateful Heart…
I don’t know you or what your line of work is. But 95% of the world probably hate their job or the majority of the people around us most likely hate their jobs. That’s why it’s important that you start your day with a grateful heart.
Too many people are walking around like zombies just going to work that they hate, getting stuck in traffic and absolutely hating every second of their mornings. But if you want a more meaningful day, you gotta start with a grateful heart.
You have to think about the things that you probably don’t appreciate about your life. Remember, perspective is everything. Sure, you hate your job but at least you have a job! If you live in America, then you’re already the top 1%!
No matter how bad the situation is, there’s always something to be thankful for. I recommend that you write at least one thing you’re grateful for as soon as you wake up. Seriously, just one thing. It could be your car, your apartment, your parents or even the fact that you’re still breathing.
There’s never a shortage of things to be thankful for. Appreciate what you have while you’re in pursuit of what you want.
2 – 2 Glasses of Water Makes a Great Start
When you wake up, you are dehydrated. Your body hasn’t had any fluids for 7-10 hours. That means it won’t function as well as it could. Well this also affects your appetite. You’re probably gonna crave for something a little sweet. Maybe a pancake. You’re gonna crave for something addictive. Probably coffee.
But there’s a way to fight this. Drink 2 glasses of water as soon as you woke up. As simple as this task is, most people won’t do it. So what I want you to do is prepare your water in the evening. Just put 2 glasses of water on your fridge. Maybe even add some lemons on it (optional).
You’ll be amaze at how much less cravings you’ll have for foods and drinks that you know are bad for you. Doing this can help you lose fat and gain more energy throughout the day. A great start isn’t “everything” per se, but having a great start for the day can help you set up what you do for the rest of the day.
If you wake up with energy, then you can just effortlessly power through the day! You’ll be more productive, happier and you’ll get more things done. If you think 2 glasses is too much, then start with one! Heck, start with half! Then you increase the volume as you get into the habit of drinking water first thing in the morning.
Once you make it a habit, it’ll start to feel normal. You won’t feel bloated as you did in the beginning. Creating a habit usually takes a month, so keep doing it, push yourself to do it. I promise it’s worth it.
3 – Stretch as If Your Life Depends On It
Did you know that it’s been proven that your physiology has a lot of effect on how you think and feel? If you force a smile right now (don’t do it if someone sees you, :P), you’ll start to feel happier. If your force yourself to cry, you’ll start to feel sad and stress.
Stand up straight with your shoulders back. A part of this rule is about physiology. And the best way to control your physiology is via stretching. I know that not all of us have the time to exercise. Plus, it’s not particularly a fun thing to do. So I’m going to ask you for the minimum.
2 minutes of stretching every single day. Stretch your arm, your neck, your legs, your fingers, your feet and your waist. Look, I’m not asking you to lift something. Just stretch. You’ll be amaze at how this can impact your mood. And while you’re at it, listen at some EDM. Something that will make your heart beating.
When you stretch, start slow and deliberate. Then pick up the pace a little. Then go slow again to end your “exercise.” You’ll immediately feel more alive and ready to take on the world. Combine this with the first 2 rule and you’re unstoppable.
4 – Do the Most Important Task First
It’s hard to work 8-12 hours a day and still feel energized by the 6th hour. Sometimes, we just don’t have the “mental and physical power” to do it. The first 3 rules help with that. But you should still follow this one so you can get the best results from your work.
Always start with your most important task. This doesn’t mean the hardest. Sometimes, the hardest tasks aren’t even the most impactful tasks. Let’s say that you work for an ad agency. Your most important task for the day could be writing a headline for your assigned ad. Anything that has nothing to do with this task isn’t a priority. Writing your headline is the WORK. It would bring 90% of the results for the day.
If you never did anything else that day, you would still consider the day a success because you finished coming up with that headline. In most workplaces, there will always be things like this. Where 1 task will triumph them all. It doesn’t apply to all but as a general rule, it works. Obviously, if your boss asks you to talk to someone about something, then it’s probably important too.
But we will always have that one or two things that trumps every other tasks. Focus on doing that task and everything afterwards are just bonus.
5 – Take a Break Every 90 Minutes
We as humans cannot function non-stop. We have to re-energized and re-charged our batteries. So take a break every 90 minutes of work. Have you heard about the Pomodoro technique? Yep, probably.
But are you using it? Probably not. Well my days consists of repeated Pomodoro cycles. I work for 90 minutes and then take a break for 10-15 minutes (stretch, eat, drink water). This simple technique allowed me to increase my capacity for “deep work.” That means I’m more productive and I get to achieve more task in less time. In addition, I don’t feel super tired by the end of the day.
You work, then you rest. Super simple concept. I don’t care what your boss say. You need to take a rest. Even if everything’s on fire (not literally of course). You need it. It’s what’s going to make you more productive for the rest of the day. Not following the Pomodoro usually makes me tired by lunch time.
Not taking a break usually means I’m wiped out by 1-2pm (5th hour of work). That’s not good! That’s only half of the work-day. I still need to finish some task in the afternoon but how am I gonna do that if I’m already wiped out? The Pomodoro helped me do that. It’s amazing how these little breaks helps me re-energized not only my body but also my mental capacity for work.
6 – Take a 10-20 Minute Nap
You need rest! A meaningful day isn’t as meaningful if you’ve never achieved anything. And the dichotomy here is that you need to take a rest in order to finish your tasks. Part of that is taking a nap.
A quick 10 to 20-minute nap will recharged your energy like nothing else. However, don’t sleep more than 20 minutes or this will have a negative effect. It should be between 10-20 minutes for maximum effect. I once overslept for around 35 minutes and I feel tired all day long.
Usually, I do these naps between 12:40-1pm. So have your 12nn lunch and go back to a sleeping quarter if possible by 12:40. Set your alarm for 15-20 minutes. You’ll come back as if you’ve just woken up from a dream. Ready to beat the odds, achieve your goals and ready to get started.
Another benefit of this is you won’t feel antsy and sleepy after lunch. Have you ever had that experience where your co-workers just felt super irritating throughout the day? As if everything they do is wrong? Well you’re antsy. You’re tired and you’re not thinking straight.
You need to take that nap if possible. I know that not everyone can do this, but it’s a vital part for having a productive day.
7 – Treat Your Co-Workers with Respect
How you treat other people when no one is looking will tell everything about who you are as a person. If you’re a total d*ckhead to a stranger asking for directions, then you ARE A D*CKHEAD.
The way you treat a janitor should be the same way as you treat the CEO. Whether it’s a stranger or a co-worker, you should all treat them with the same respect. And it all starts with NOT gossiping. It’s natural for humans to gossip.
We like to talk about secrets. We like to talk about how Jenny (whom is not the nicest girl) from the other department got her heart broken. We laugh at others misery. We judge too much. We judge too often. This isn’t the way to live the right way.
Treating our co-workers with respect can trickle down to other aspects of our relationships. As I’ve told you, how you treat someone powerful should be the same way as you treat a stranger (morally speaking).
This makes you a better person. Someone who’s fun to be around. Someone whom others can trust. And trust is a boomerang. You gave it, you pass it around and it all comes back to you.
8 – Eat Your Dinner Before 7pm
There’s this famous rule that you shouldn’t eat dinner after 6pm. Since we all have different timelines for eating, I say we push it back to 7pm. And here’s why. Well not everybody can eat at that time. Some people are still at work or travelling home.
So let’s move it by 1 hour just for convenience. Now, why 7pm? Well if you eat at 7pm, you’ll still have 3-4 hours to digest your food before you sleep at around 10pm-11pm. And digestion is important. Never, ever eat and then sleep at night!
That’s a disaster for weight loss. It won’t help you sleep and it’ll facilitate fat gain. Eating so late at night also increase the chance of heart disease and increase in cholesterol and insulin. Not a good combination!
So do you want to stay healthy or do you want to feel groggy and be fat? It’s your choice. I recommend that we follow the experts’ advice and give ourselves a little leniency.
9 – Meet a Friend or a Family Member
We all need a mental break from work. We all need someone to talk to at the end of the day. It’s not always possible but if you can, try to meet up with a friend or a family member. Spend some quality time talking about anything else that isn’t work.
If you have a problem, go on and pour your heart out. If you have some issue that need solving, go ahead and ask for help. No man is an island and we all need that relationship – with friends, family, a life partner, etc.
If you can’t follow this rule every day at least do it once or twice a week. A companion is important and we need them to survive this crazy world. It would also help to meet with people with the same interest. Go find a hobby.
Go to book meetups, attend toastmasters, ride a motorcycle or attend some seminars of your interest. Meet some people. Talk to strangers (who can become friends). That’s the important thing here. Talk and Listen.
10 –End the Day with a Meditation or a Book
Just pick your choice and do one thing. You can either meditate or simply read a book (self improvement works best). The point of doing this is to relax our mind. To calm our brain from the exhausting stuff that we do for the day.
Ending your day the right way is as important as starting your day the right way. Whatever you chose, make sure that it’s something that relaxes you. You shouldn’t be forced to do any of these stuff. At first, they would feel un-natural if it’s the first time trying them.
However, in a week or two, it should come naturally to you. Again, just choose one. It will help you sleep better and it’ll clear your mind of worries and problems. It’s like detoxifying for the mind.
The rules that I wrote here are pretty simple and doable. Anybody can apply them. The more rules you follow, the better the results will be. But I don’t know for sure if they will all work for you.
But I trust my experience and my friends experience who applied these lessons. Go ahead and try them. Then go make your own rules for life.