The easiest way to prioritize your life to maximize your enjoyment is to consider your day as being divided into thirds. Ideally, eight hours should be dedicated to sleep; eight for work, and the remaining eight hours are yours to what your heart desires.
Here are four ways to maximize your overall enjoyment of life and well-being.
Carve time to connect on your calendar. It may seem impossible to connect with esteemed colleagues, dear friends and family members as everyone’s level of ‘busy-ness’ burgeons. Make a concerted effort to connect with people whom you want to get to know better and those that you miss—just plan ahead. Ask if someone has a half hour to chat over coffee or more time for lunch or dinner. Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principle, ‘Create happiness for others,’ is important because we increase our feelings of happiness when we help others feel happy. People from everywhere around the globe recognize breaking bread with good friends as a powerful pleasure.
Maximize seemingly meaningless moments. Dale Carnegie said, “Everybody in the world is seeking happiness—and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.” Reframe your perception about chores and activities you must do on a daily basis so you begin to love—instead of loathe, them. For example, cooking nourishing meals for your family is an opportunity to unwind, have a thoughtful conversation with a family member or a virtual chat with a dearly missed friend. If you’re alone, play music or an entertaining video. You’ll enjoy practically any task when you approach it with a positive attitude and as an opportunity to take care of yourself.
Let nature guide you. In Rich Louv’s book, The Nature Principle, the author explains the benefits of taking in nature’s sights and sounds. For example, time spent in nature is known to reduce stress levels, blood pressure, heart rates and cortisol levels. Moreover, a sensory upload improves immune function and fosters good sleep. “The more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need to achieve natural balance,” the author states, meaning that because so much time is spent indoors in our work and home environments, it’s crucial to get outdoors and let nature be your guide.
Slow your roll. When driving too fast, we apply the brakes to slow down for safety purposes. In the same fashion, reducing your speed of life enables you to maintain a positive attitude more easily. This truth may be hard to believe into today’s hyper-connected, over-scheduled world, however decreasing your pace at certain times enables you to increase your enjoyment throughout the day. Downtime is required to nourish and nurture yourself and ultimately enhance your overall well-being. Allocating downtime allows you to better manage ‘up-time.’ For example, make time for things you enjoy such as reading or drawing, and consider trying new activities such as mediation or long walks.