A mid-day routine is like hitting refresh on your day.
Routines provide comfort and a sense of familiarity. These little rituals and daily activities help us reset and reconnect with ourselves. You probably already know that a morning routine sets the tone for a successful day. And that an evening routine helps you decompress at the end of it. But did you know that a mid-day routine can get your day to where you want it to be?
It’s so easy for your day to veer off track. Despite your best intentions and carefully laid plans, surprises and emergencies arise, and your day quickly gets away from you.
When your day is feeling chaotic, a mid-day routine helps you take a breath and re-align the anchor points of your day.
Below are some ideas for different types of mid-day routines. Whether you’re looking to feel more calm, productive, or thoughtful, you will find a routine that suits your needs.
1. Get some fresh air
You’ve been looking at a computer all day. Make sure to actually leave your desk and get some fresh air.
Take a quick walk around the block. Sit outside on a bench. Or do the 5 senses exercise to regain a sense of calm and bring your focus back to the present moment.
And if you’ve been stuck on a work problem or a creative challenge, getting some fresh air can clear your head and open your mind up to finding new solutions.
2. Make time for a friend
When your day is filled with emails and calendar reminders, you’re going to need a human connection. And there’s nothing like talking to a good friend to make you feel whole again.
Take a short break and FaceTime your bestie or check-in on a friend who could use some love or send a funny video to a friend just because.
And don’t forget to chat up your office besties as well. Studies show that having friends in the workplace is good for your job satisfaction, work performance, and even your health. So go ahead and gossip about your favorite TV shows in the breakroom. Or hang around before the Zoom meeting begins to catch up with remote colleagues.
3. Review your meeting notes
You’re diligent at taking meeting notes. But how often do you actually look back on them and study them?
Regularly reviewing your meeting notes will help the information stick. So read through your meeting notes from the past day or week. Underline and highlight pertinent details. Look up unfamiliar terms or jargon. Type up your meeting notes and save them online. Take note of any action items and add them to your calendar.
4. Nourish your spirit
It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our work days. So take a step back and find a quiet place to regain a sense of perspective. Maybe your office has a meditation room. Or maybe there’s a garden or place of worship nearby that’s open to the public. You could use this time to quiet your mind or recite a healing mantra. This daily ritual will help you recharge your soul and reconnect with a deeper purpose.
5. Review your weekly goals
A big chunk of the work day is reacting to someone else’s priorities and tasks.
So use your mid-day routine to get your priorities back in your line of sight.
Take out your planner and review your priorities for the rest of your week. What is one thing you can do today to help you firm up your weekly goals?
For example, maybe one of your goals was to read more books. Use your lunch break to read a chapter. Or maybe your weekly goal was to engage more in team meetings. Then make an effort to speak up at your next team meeting or brush up on your background materials to feel more prepared.
6. Pretend you’re on vacation (at least for a lunch break)
Recreate your vacation vibes by unplugging and getting in touch with your curious and adventurous side. Sit outside with a cup of coffee and a magazine. Don’t check your emails or texts. Eat an ice cream cone on a park bench and watch the world go by. Check out a new lunch place in the neighborhood. This much-needed break will help you replenish your tank and be energized for the rest of the day.
7. Check in with your boss
You want to impress your boss and let your work do the talking, but truth be told, your boss probably doesn’t really know what you do all day.
This is no slight on you or your boss. Obviously, your boss has their hands full managing a team, tending to their own goals, and trying to meet their own boss’s priorities. They’re not always going to know the ins and outs of your day.
So do yourself and your boss a favor by making an effort to check in with them either by email or dropping by in person.
A mid-day check-in is good because you can give them the status of something you’ve already been working on in the morning. And it’s not so late in the day that it’s too late to get their inputs or suggestions.
Keep in mind that not all bosses will be available for a mid-day check-in. It will depend on your boss’s seniority, the size of your team, and even their personal preferences. So start off slow and try doing this once or twice a week. See how your boss responds to your check-ins and adjust the rhythm of your check-ins as necessary. You might soon find that arranging a formal one-on-one meeting every week is best or that sending a weekly status email is more their speed.
Incorporating a mid-day routine into your schedule can help you get off the hamster wheel of your work day and do something restorative. Remember: these ideas are just jumping off points. See what realistically works with your schedule. Try one of these mid-day routines out for size and feet free to make it your own.Written by JiJi Lee