Is your day starting awful or has it just started becoming so after a few hours? I’m about to show you how you can make it better and more productive.
If you start the day on a good note, life is easier throughout the day. You are happier and more focused on your goals. You want to sustain that tempo throughout the day, but sometimes, the unexpected happens. Someone from nowhere, or one crazy event just comes to ruin the day. I totally understand because I’ve experienced it too, but there is still hope.
Whether your day got ruined from the beginning, the middle, or towards the end part of the day, you can make it yet better, better than the earlier hours and yesterday. Amazingly, making your day better does not require so much. The very simple little things matter.
Here, you are going to see 19 brilliant, yet simple things you can do to make your day better.
Whether you just want your day to be better than yesterday, or you want to raise it up from where it was ruined, these simple acts will make your day better than ever.
19 simple things that make your day better
These are simple inexpensive things that can turn your day around. Carefully go through them and make your day shine again.
1. Start on a good note
The first goal is to make your day better than yesterday, and for it to bring us the best luck it ever has, and to achieve this, start the day on a good note.
Starting the day well entails that you planned adequately for it the previous night. Shed off your disappointments before you sleep. Sleep early enough after outlining your plans for the next day. Once that tempo is set, everything should go normally the next morning.
On waking up, do your morning routines, including saying your prayers, exercising, reading (if you usually do), and so on. This will get your engine started for the day and enhance your mood, memory, and productivity throughout the day.
2. Do routine morning exercise
Routine morning exercises as simple as jogging or push-ups can boost your productivity and make you happier throughout the entire day. Exercise helps to warm up your muscles, and increase blood supply to your heart and brain, as well as other vital organs. Engaging in a few minutes of exercise in the morning goes a long way toward making your entire day better and more productive.
Routine morning exercises also help you in controlling your weight, giving your more confidence about your body as well as burning off body fats that may impact your cardiovascular health.
Visit the gym if it is available to you, or do a few minutes of jogging around the city. If you do not have much time or access to these, there are simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your bedroom.
3. Prioritize breakfast
Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. This is true for several reasons; you just had a long overnight fast, your stomach acid secretions are highest in the morning, etc.
However, we sometimes skip breakfast due to understandable reasons. Maybe you need to get to work or school very early, or you don’t have the necessary requirements to make breakfast, or you just intentionally want to skip breakfast. Whatever the case, you should prioritize eating breakfast as much as you can.
Based on your eating habit, you might want to have a lighter meal or eat later in the morning. Several people have complained that heavy breakfast dampens their productivity. You may want to consider these factors in your choice of breakfast diet.
Getting adequate nutrition in the morning helps your day get better. Asides from the essential nutrients and energy it provides to your brain and body, it eliminates hunger; the single most potent distraction that affects every one of us.
4. Clear your desk
If you spent the last part of your night working or reading on your desk, you want to clear up your desk in the morning before you set out. Arrange books and stationery, and remove your coffee or beverage cup/can, as well as other things you littered off in your sleepiness.
Clearing up your desk makes you feel organized and focused by creating in you a sense of orderliness. The impact of these small things goes a long way into your day without you realizing it. You should start trying this today if you already don’t.
5. Do the routine arrangements
Each time you wake up in the morning, there are some things you naturally want to put in place. These include brushing your teeth, preparing your breakfast, bathing water, packing lunch snacks, and so on. These routine morning arrangements do not often feel so important but here is how they impact your overall daily productivity.
When you work, you put both your body and mind into the job for it to be accomplished successfully. Your body constantly needs energy and nourishment in the form of food and nutrients, while your body feeds on motivation, passion, drive, etc.
Getting done with your routine arrangements in the morning gives you a sense of self-motivation and fulfillment, especially when you see that you have already accomplished some tasks early that morning.
6. Make your bed before leaving
“When you make your bed in the morning, you may have accomplished the first task of the day. That will give you a sense of pride, and encouragement to do another and another and another.” These were the words of Admiral William H. McRaven, a retired US Navy, during his commencement speech to the graduates of the University of Texas, Austin on May 17, 2014.
He opened by saying, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed”. Hilarious, but this simple act in the morning can significantly impact your day in the following way.
Just like in keeping your routine arrangements described above, making your bed gives you a sense of fulfillment that you accomplished a task so early. And in the words of the Admiral, “If there is a chance you had a bad day, you can come back to lie on a bed you made”, another gesture that will erase your disappointments of the day and prepare you to have a better tomorrow.
7. Engage in things you love
There is nothing worse than doing things you hate. You don’t enjoy doing them but they also spill out to affect other aspects of your life. Moreso, you start doing the things you love as early as possible. This is because your energy naturally wanes as the day ages.
Sometimes, we are forced to do things we don’t fully enjoy. After all, you don’t always get what you earnestly want, do we? But you should always resort to doing things you find interesting when your mental energy is beginning to drop during the day.
For example, watch a movie after a long work session to cool off a bit. It will re-energize you for another session of productivity. Also, don’t forget to take your lunch when you are hungry.
8. Harness your peak periods
Peak periods are times of the day when your mental energy and productivity are at their peak. They are largely similar for most people but you need to identify your own peak periods and how to harness and maximize them.
When you are productively harnessing your peak periods, your productivity is enhanced and this in itself gives you satisfaction about the day making it better and making you happier.
9. Avoid negative energy
The people around you are some of the most common factors that affect the quality of your day. The only role some people have is to ruin other people’s day as if they derive some satisfaction from doing so. These are broken people who are frustrated but they want to drag other people along with them.
Once you’ve identified someone or a group of people as belonging to this category of negative energy, you should do your best to avoid them as much as possible in subsequent times. It’s wisdom to avoid what makes you feel less energetic, less confident, less productive, worthless, and less hopeful.
10. Learn to get rid of toxic experiences
You have tried your best to avoid negative energies, but you found yourself falling into one. Sometimes, we cannot totally avoid negativities but what you do after the experience is what makes the difference.
Learn to get rid of toxic experiences as early as possible. People will wrong you, you will experience some failures, and your expectations might get shattered, but you must learn to move on fast enough.
Moving on from toxic experiences involves you forgiving quickly, not necessarily because the person deserves to be forgiven, or the experience deserved to be overlooked, but it is for your own mental health and sanity.
If it’s so hard to get rid of toxic experiences, tell yourself that you are capable, that no one can determine your success except you, and that you will emerge in victory in the end.
11. Put up a smile more often
Smiling is an expression of internal joy and pleasure. It is normally produced when you encounter a pleasant experience or you see someone display affection or happiness towards you.
Smiling helps relax the muscles of your face, relieves stress, and induces the release of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone, thus, helping you to overcome stress and pressure. These effects give you a general sense of relaxation and comportment which will enhance your day and make it better. Smiling also attracts people to you and increases your social presence.
While it is a reflex response to “good” experiences, the decision to smile more often lies in your hand. No matter what the experiences are, you can choose to maintain your smile. See it as a way of tricking the body to stay happy at all times, because of the important reasons to stay happy and cheerful.
12. Listen to calming music
If you have been having an unpleasant day so far, it is time to change the frequency. Deliberate decisions to make your day better often turn out fruitful but many people wallow in the ruined-day experience because they are not confident enough to turn it for the better.
As simple as listening to good music you enjoy can reset the trajectory of your experience of the day. Studies have shown that listening to music can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress and enhance mood. And these are grossly true.
So, if your day is taking a negative turn lately, it’s high time you plug in your headset and play your favorite playlist on your music play.
13. Sniff a lemon
Scents have been observed to enhance productivity in the workplace. People who are aware of this simple productivity hack always surround themselves with good scents when working. However, if you desire to turn a rather unfortunate day around, or to make it better than the previous day, good scents might once again come to the rescue.
You can make your day feel a lot better simply by sniffing a lemon in the morning, or at other times of the day. Japanese researchers have established that linalool, a component of lemon when inhaled, helps to relieve stress and calm your nerves down.
When you are stressed by unfortunate events or physical stress, it sets up a cascade that leads to more and more stress if you do nothing about it. This is because of the body’s hormonal mechanism for dealing with stress through the production of the stress hormones: epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Inhaling lemon preparations can help suppress stress responses. Other natural scents that can help soothe your nerves include basil, juniper, lavender, etc. Sniffing lemon on a tough day is one more confirmation that when life gives you a lemon, you can turn it into a lemonade.
14. Get some rest, take a nap
The body is like a rechargeable battery. One moment it is full strength, the next it is halfway drained, and the next it is running low. You need to always recharge your body before it gets to critically low levels.
Rest and sleep are good for everyone, and while you may think they are not necessary, you may be very wrong about that.
When it begins to feel like the day is getting uninteresting, get some rest and if possible, sleep. This should revitalize you for another bout of productivity.
If you had a bad day, try to sleep early at night after the day’s job. It will help you recover from the day, and prepare you adequately for the next day.
15. Do a stretch
As the day progresses, not only does your focus gradually decreases but your muscles might get fatigued as well. If you are involved in sedentary work, your muscles might require some periods of inactivity for a good stretch.
Bend your waist forwards and touch your toes with your fingers. Then, stretch your arms over your head while raising your shoulders. Lower your shoulders and arms and repeat the entire process a few times.
Stretch your shoulders by looking sideways and bending back and forward.
Also, try stretching your legs while sitting, by raising your hip joint above the ground to as high as possible. Repeat the process across all your leg joints.
If there is enough space and this is something you can do, bend your waist backward and touch the floor with your hand behind your back. These stretching exercises will help relieve excessive tension in your muscles and make your day feel a lot better afterward.
16. Do some meditation
Meditation is a mental exercise that helps remove your focus from the worries and stress of life. When you are meditating, you are essentially trying to keep a blank mind free from any intrusions.
The process of meditation can be difficult for many people, but if you effectively engage in meditation, especially when you are stressed, it can help to turn your day around for the better.
To do this, sit on your chair or assume any known yoga or meditation position, close your eyes, and make efforts to block all your thoughts. You simply don’t want to think anything at all. It can be difficult to do but it can help declutter your mind from negative experiences and memories that stand in your way of productivity.
17. Keep a gratitude diary
We often focus too much on the problems that we forget the many good things that have happened to us. What exactly makes us forget our pleasant experiences so quickly but hold on to the negative ones? However, gratitude makes us more satisfied and productive in our life.
A gratitude diary is a journal that helps you rethink and remember the things you are grateful for in your life. At the end of everyday, take your pen to document the good things that happened to you. By reinforcing your blessings this way, you motivate yourself to do better and make the next day more productive.
18. Turn off the news and social media
While electronic gadgets have brought in some platforms where we get ourselves entertained, these media can also carry distressing news, particularly when you are already stressed.
Social media also tends to make you keep less in touch with real people around you, while you are super-glued to people you’ve only met virtually. This behavior can negatively impact your relationships with people and your productivity.
Except you have been able to verify the type of information that would come from a news channel or social media platform at the time you are visiting, you should avoid the media temporarily.
19. Learn from yesterday
“When history is forgotten, the mistakes of the past will surely be repeated”. When keeping your evening journal, reminisce on the lessons you learned from the outgoing day. And when tomorrow comes, take the lessons you learned from the previous day into consideration.
You can only truly make your day better than yesterday if you learn to apply the lessons you learn to your everyday life. Know the things you did rightly, the things you did wrong, the people that ruined your day, etc, and then put all this information together into making the new day better, brighter, and more fulfilling.
There will always be times when you need to make your day better than the previous hours or the previous day. These simple tips, and many more, will help to simply take over your day and turn it around for the better.