Schedule a Happy Break

“What’s your Happy Break for today?” is a question I’m starting to ask those I work with. “Do you have a meeting or an activity on your to-do list that will bring you joy?”

We can easily slip into a victim mentality, feeling that our life is out of control and everything we do is simply to satisfy someone else’s expectation. And I suppose that much of life does revolve around responding to external pressures.

However, I was challenged and inspired by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey encouraged everyone to make regular appointments with a person that brought them joy, or strengthened them. We need energy for all the hard appointments, Covey observed. And to maintain that energy, we need to carve out time with those who replace our energy, rather than sapping our energy.

My application of Covey’s advice has been to schedule a daily “Happy Break.” I book 15-30 minutes with a person, activity, or Frappuccino that I know will restock my energy. Sometimes it’s a walk in the park during lunch. Often it’s a coffee break with a friend or colleague. Some days it’s sitting in my car, sipping my favorite drink or reading a book. (To be transparent, some days have no happy break, usually because I failed to plan one.)

No one will put a Happy Break on your schedule, but just about everyone has the freedom to book their own. The best part of a Happy Break is that the few moments doing some life-giving really does give energy for all the hard and boring tasks during the rest of the day.

What’s your Happy Break for today?

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