What is your go to for energy at work?
Coffee? Tea? Soda? Jumping Jacks?
When we think about energy, we are often thinking about the basics: how to feel MORE awake so we can get MORE done.
Well, I think about energy in a MUCH broader sense.
Here’s an example. Have you ever in your youth stayed up late (or maybe all night) with friends or someone you were dating? You are laughing until the sun rises, telling each other stories, and you are, in a physical sense, pretty darn sleepy. But you still feel full of energy. You don’t want to go to sleep and you don’t want to stop what you are doing. Because you’re happy!
In The Untethered Soul, Michael A. Singer talks about how energy is a construct more than a measurable and purely physical thing. When you are in love for the first time, or riding the high of a major success at work, you feel like you can conquer the world, and you don’t need much sleep or coffee to get you through.
Your source of energy at these times is your joy, not your caramel latte.
So let’s talk about how to bring THAT kind of joy into your day to day, using the power of small habits.
To create a joy habit at work, we need to break a habit down into its components: cue, behavior, reward.
The reward is the burst of joyful energy, so that part is easy.
How about the cue? Cues are the things that trigger or prime you to do something. I wrote a post about how they work here.
For small workday habits we want the cue to be something we already do, often, during the day.
Not constantly (don’t choose clicking your computer mouse or breathing) but OFTEN. Here’s a few things that I do pretty often at work: refill my brita, make tea, go to the bathroom, grab a snack or meal.
I’m going to choose one of these and make it my cue. Let’s go with sitting back down at the computer after going to the bathroom. I do this several times throughout a day.
I invite you to get out a pen and paper right now if you can and write down a few daily cues that you could use for this mini joy habit.
Now I choose something or someone that makes me smile. Something simple and easy to do or see while at my desk. Think scents, people, songs, places, pretty much anything.
I made a free worksheet today to help you brainstorm small ways to fit more joy into your day, so make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for that if you want more ideas!
For now, here’s one of mine: I love the smell and feel of peppermint. Tingly on the skin, and the scent is delicious and lively. So my habit is going to be putting a nice all natural peppermint lotion on my hands, rubbing the lotion into my skin, and placing my hands to my face to inhale deeply.
It’s such a small action, and I like putting lotion on my skin anyway after I wash my hands, but it’s the INTENTION that I’m bringing to the choice in lotion and the small ritual I’ve made out of putting it on that makes all the difference.
Intention is the key ingredient in your joy ritual.
These might seem like small actions, but small bursts of joy throughout the day are more powerful than shots of espresso, because they are all-natural sources of energy that you create within yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I also grab a chai latte (and even ask for it “dirty” – aka with espresso) from time to time when I want an additional boost. But it’s not an either or situation.
You can have your coffee AND your joy.
I’ve put together a worksheet that will help you identify small ways to add more joy into your daily life. So you can enjoy more of those bursts of vitality that help you stay productive and aligned with your values consistently.
What is one small thing that brings you joy? How can you weave that into your workday today?