Everything I need to know I learned from the Dead Milkmen. As guitarist Joe Geraro (aka Joe Jack Talcum) once sang on the song, The Secret to Life, “The secret to life is no secret at all.”
Well, it has been sort of a secret, but I’m going to let you in on it right now. It’s all about setting up little milestones in your day to look forward to doing.
I’ve got four things I like to do on each work day to maintain my productivity and a sense of sanity.
I like a nice sit-down breakfast of eggs, home fries, bacon, and all of that good stuff, but I usually can only manage to make that happen on the weekends.
So, I settle for liquid energy to start most work days. It’s typically an Atkins shake and Diet Dr. Pepper or Rock Star sugar free energy drink. Later on, I mix in a banana here and a cheese stick there. Plus, lots more Diet Dr. Pepper and occasionally coffee.
Is this ideal? No, but I like it and it gets me going. So don’t go and send me a link on Facebook to some article about how bad artificial sweeteners are for me.
I make it a point to start most days of the week with some exercise. I’ll typically run, hike, or cycle. But occasionally, when I am crushed for time, I will use the treadmill desk that I set up in my garage.
I get in no less than 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days per week, and it really sets the tone for my day. I count on the exercise time to shake off stress and start my work day clean. Plus, when I am on the treadmill desk, I get work done.
In order to get the most out of my day, I need to step away and not work for periods of time. One of my favorite breaks is to take a nap in the late morning or early afternoon. I am ridiculously refreshed after I nap without an alarm, whether it’s 20 minutes or two hours.
Another out of the office thing I like to do is to meet friends or family for lunch. It can be a quick half hour or whatever.
Other days, when I am caught up and anxious for some sun, I’ll get out on a boat (with my iPhone to stay up on emergencies). All of these breaks help to reboot me, so I can start fresh into my work the next time I am at my desk.
My schedule is crazy from time to time, but there is one constant on most any work day, and that’s sitting around the dinner table with my family.
I really value this time to catch up, decompress, and goof around with my wife and kids. When I’m camped in front of a computer for much of the day, this people time is so important, too.