Routines

A Small Way to Make Your Day Run A Bit More Smoothly

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I picked up Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin at an airport bookshop while on a layover several years ago, back when the book was first released. I don't remember too much from it, but one thing that stuck with me is her recommendation to intentionally add small things to your daily routine that bring you joy. 

I decided there, on the plane during the next leg of my flight, that from then on fresh flowers would be included in my weekly grocery budget and that French-pressed coffee would be part of my morning routine. And, six years later, I can attest that both things continue to make my days a little brighter, even if the coffee is decaf these days. Plus, I truly feel that fresh flowers bring a room to life in a way nothing else can. The ten extra dollars added to my budget each week (I generally just pick up whatever is pretty, cheerful, and on sale at the supermarket) has been money well-spent. 

This principle – choosing to add something to your day that makes you a bit more happy, allowing the day to go a bit more smoothly – can apply to both home life and business life. And it doesn't have to cost much, if anything at all: your happiness addition could be starting the day reading the news old-school style with coffee on your front porch, or it could be unwinding in the evenings with Coltrane and a cup of chamomile tea. At work it could mean adding a favorite piece of artwork to your office wall that brings up a cherished memory whenever you look at it or setting aside 15 minutes a day to connect by phone with colleagues you haven't seen in a while (only talking to people when you need something from them is a terrible way to network). 

I find that many entrepreneurs are pro implementing these tiny life edits when it comes to others but tend to skip them when it comes to themselves. While the additions may feel frivolous, they lead to a better mood which boosts productivity and optimism – and staying optimistic, of course, helps keep you open to new ideas and opportunities.

The little things matter in life, and being intentional about adding good things that bring more joy to (and don't distract us from) our daily routines is both a practical and doable form of self-care.