Bookending your DayYesterday, we talked about working on a morning ritual and hopefully you embarked on that this morning.  Your Daily Shoring tip today builds on the idea of a morning routine–“bookend” your day!

Bookending your day means that you have defined transitions from 1) your morning ritual to the productive/busy part of your day, and 2) the productive/busy part of your day to your leisure/family time.  Bookending your day is a step toward building “mindfulness” into your daily habits.  Suggestions:

The work/productive part of your day begins at the end of your morning ritual.

Don’t drag your feet–get going with your day and you’ll enjoy the sense of accomplishment!

Decide how to mark the end of the work/productive part of your day:

  1. If you work outside your home, this is more defined–it ends when you leave work!  When you get home, try to take a few moments to unwind and transition.  This can be as simple as having a quick snack or beverage, reading the mail, or taking time to get out of work clothes before jumping into home/family responsibilities.
  2. If you’re not working outside the home, this is a challenge but very important for your emotional well being.  Decide on an “end of the productive day” task–planning and organizing for the next day?  Then decide on a transition activity that marks the beginning of your leisure/family time.  See above.

The goal of bookending your day is to train yourself to be more focused and productive when you should be productive, then transition so you can fully immerse yourself in your relaxation/family time.

This is what is referred to as mindfulness–fully engaging in what you’re doing when you’re doing it, whether it’s work or play.  I’ll be writing more about mindfulness in future posts because it’s an important part of emotional well being.

Here’s a link to a great article on bookending your day from The Art of Manliness (female readers–this article is applicable to you, too!).

I know I’m throwing a lot at you over the past few days with all these rituals and routines–if you feel overwhelmed, break it down by thinking about what’s realistic for you in terms of a morning routine and activities for bookending your day.

Then pick one easy thing to add and try it for a day or two.  It’s okay if all you do is mentally note the transitions in your day, i.e., “The workday is over–I need to take a deep breath and shift my thoughts from work to home.”

Each step helps to build new habits.

Want to share what works for you?