Five Ways to Jumpstart Your Day

Feeling overwhelmed? Too busy to function? In this articleJanice Marturano shares five opportunities to pause, recharge your batteries, and stay on top of your game.

Here's how to stay productive — and connected — when you work from ...

1. Start your day with a drink

When I described this Purposeful Pause to a group for the first time, I got some pretty strange looks. I had to clarify that I wasn’t advocating alcohol for breakfast! What I actually do suggest is that the first Purposeful Pause of the day be a mindful cup of coffee or tea.

2. Use the door

Workday mornings can be pretty hectic. Even if the alarm goes off on time and we’ve had our mindful morning drink, there’s always something: a sick child or one with lost homework, a car that won’t start, an unexpected phone call. Even without family or domestic crises filling our mornings, there’s still no predicting how traffic will be or what mass transit delays we may encounter. Such unexpected life challenges can mean we arrive at our workplace feeling stressed. This is the perfect time to use the door.

3. Resist becoming a monday-morning quarterback

A Monday-morning quarterback is someone whose critique depends on hindsight. How often, after a string of meeting-filled days, do we Monday-morning-quarterback ourselves, wondering how time slipped away while we attended to the loudest screamers and never managed to get around to what’s really important? In each play, a good quarterback needs to see the big picture and know the best way to allocate resources, using foresight more than hindsight. For us to be good quarterbacks in our lives, we need to become “every-morning quarterbacks”—we have to take a closer look at what’s happening day by day, and keep the big picture in mind. An every-morning quarterback makes conscious choices about the way each day is met.

4. Power lunch, anyone?

The words “power lunch” used to conjure up an image of men in expensive business suits gathering in an upscale restaurant to have a drink, eat lunch and make a deal. But having a different kind of power lunch is an important part of cultivating your capacity to lead your life in a more focused, clear, and compassionate way. In this lunch, the power is about taking a Purposeful Pause to actually set aside time to nourish your body, connect with some colleagues or friends, and punch a hole in the constant busyness of the day. In today’s power lunch, the idea is to make a conscious choice that powers your body, mind, and heart.

5. Walk it off

The day is well underway when you notice that a familiar tightness in your neck and shoulders has returned, or you feel your heart racing as your mind fills with judgments, worries, and planning. This is a great time to do what athletes do, and walk it off. Only in this case, instead of walking the sidelines waiting for physical pain to subside, you make the simple act of walking—to the break room or the bathroom or even to your next meeting—a Purposeful Pause. Take the time to engage in a mini-practice, to explore once again, as you did over your morning coffee, what it’s like to nourish your body and mind using a routine, simple act as a prompt for mindfulness.

Read the full article with detailed “how tos” at mindful.org.
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