Here’s How to Take Out Time for Yourself Throughout the Day

eating lunch outside
Photo by Estrada Anton

Whether on the clock or off the clock, these days it’s all about the hustle. Checking email, connecting with clients, collaborating (and sometimes competing) with the team, pressing pause is not a thing – sometimes even while on vacay. Since hitting the books and the beach simultaneously is only sort of a winning combo, over the last few years, the message has evolved. In addition to meeting high expectations and maintaining a flexible schedule, more and more professionals are being encouraged to find work-life balance.  

So what does this look like? Although work-life balance is commonly associated with two separate social spheres: work vs. non-work, it’s important to practice achieving the gem while on the job. Both emerging and established companies are embracing a community-based approach, benefitting from a shared work environment and breaking the (traditional) rules.

All dogs allowed, check.

A choice in games, check.

A fridge stocked with beer, check.

Whether tied to your desk or on your feet from 9 – 5, be sure to make me-time throughout the day. Read on, we’ve got you covered from morning til ‘eve.  

1. Hit the gym

Are you an early-riser? Even if you’re not a gym-head, start a free trial to find out what all the fuss is about. Take time to learn what type of workout style is your fav and how breaking a sweat is the perfect way to start your day. Bonus: in addition to clearing your mind and giving you a boost of energy in the AM, experience all the goods that come with getting into shape.

2. Maximize your commute

Depending on the length of time and the mode of transportation, commuting is not normally something to look forward to—so make it. Whatever your thing: snoozing, reading or tuning in, transform the ride/drive into a positive. Swap playlist for podcast, make a friend or indulge in an end-of-the-week treat.

3. First Things First

Switch out rush for routine. Rather than reaching your desk and diving into the daily list of things to do, establish a quick and easy routine. For example: hang up your jacket, fill your water bottle, organize your desk, water your plant(s) (or go green stat), say hello to your co-workers and check your calendar. Create a comfortable space before tackling a long-ish day.  

4. Take a walk (on the not-so wild side)

Whether the company owns a shared pet or you bring your pup from home, take time out of your day to play. Go for a walk, visit a dog park or get in on the lick-fest. Spending a sweet 15 with your furry friend will reset your mind and break down your day. Tip: invite a co-worker or two to join in the fun and you might even experience an unexpected brainstorm sesh.

5. Munch on Lunch

Although it’s standard for employees to receive a one-hour lunch break, it’s often cut short or mixed with mid-day to-dos. Make a point to chomp down away from your desk – and that doesn’t always mean spending extra money.

Head outside to catch some rays or move to the kitchen to eat and chat with others. More often than not, take the full hour and spend at least half of it on personal time like reading, socializing or crafting. It’s during down time that we have the opportunity to expand our creativity in an organic way. Let the creative juices flow as you enter the afternoon.