We’ve all heard how 8 cups of water a day will keep your body hydrated, how stretching and exercise helps your circulation and organ function, how sleep solves all your skin problems, etc. but how often do we practice these recommendations? When you’re busy at work and all you can focus on is how there’s not enough time in the day to finish everything on your plate, how can you possibly down 8 cups of water and not visit the washroom every 30 minutes? Is there a formula to attain high productivity and good health simultaneously?
Allow me to introduce my own formula (of sorts):
KEY CONCEPT: Schedule your day around water-drinking.
Keeping your body regularly hydrated with proper fluids will guarantee a healthy body and good skin, not matter what you’ve been eating or how little shut-eye (or none at all) you clocked in the night before. By dividing my day into 2-hour blocks, I can a) keep track of time, b) take regular breaks, and c) be productive in setting mini-goals in those chunks of time. My schedule looks something like this:
[Block 1] 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Wake up and drink a thermos of hot water (cooled overnight) to wake up my system (usually at 7:30 a.m.). Fly to get ready to head out the door by 8:30 a.m.
[Block 2] 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Get to work by 9:00 a.m. and drink another cup of water before 10:00 a.m. while checking emails, outlining to-be-done-today tasks in order of time-sensitivity, planning the chunks of the day, etc. I recommend putting your thermos or water bottle right next to your keyboard area so you can see and reach for it easily, making it a habit to reach for it when you pause in your work.
[Block 3] 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Get up to take a water break, including going to the pantry to heat water in the public kettle and using the washroom, as needed. After refilling my thermos, I let it cool down while I continue doing individual work and chug it down by noon.
[Block 4] 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
I avoid drink water during my meals so after lunch, at around 1:00 p.m., I refill my bottle like before and down it in the hour after my lunch. I try to stretch and rotate my limbs and muscles while standing in this block as it’d help my digestion (and keep my from “itis-ing” – sleepiness from a full stomach). Updating my spreadsheets and data sheets are usually done now since I’ve had time to do my own work and check on tasks sent to other people.
[Block 5] 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
It’s a struggle to not stay stiff in front of a screen for hours on end when you’re focused on work but I manage to finish my cup of water for this block in time so I can have enough time to boil water for the next thermos. Cracking my neck and stretching my shoulders and upper back muscles tend to relieve some of the pressure and allow my eyes to wander from the screen a bit. Email follow-ups from morning emails are best done here because there is still time to work on those tasks before the end of the day. The ones that aren’t done can be scheduled for the next day’s to-do list.
[Block 6] 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Oh, the wonderful sound of 5:00 p.m. when we all get to leave work! However, before that happens, I ensure that my refill of thermos water has time to cool down before I pack it with me in the car on the way home. This way, I can have enough water to sustain me through any extended commute due to traffic.
[Block 7] 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Once home, I drink a cup of water and go the washroom to gear myself to help around the house, be it cooking dinner, cleaning the house, laundry, or go out to run errands. The water keeps me going and the exercise of chores allows me to ease the stiffness out of my body through constant movement. I tend not to drink water, maybe some green tea, during dinner, but I like to focus on the food and drinking fluids afterwards.
[Block 8] 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
While evening time is more relaxing and chill, having a thermos of warm water is always soothing and comforting just because ours is a talkative family and we all need refreshment for our active throats. Any drinking after 10:00 p.m. isn’t exactly a good idea for bladder concerns throughout the night, but it’s a personal preference and if I must drink something, I opt for a bit of milk (3%) to help me sleep.
So that’s my formula! The main idea is to have scheduled breaks for your body and eyes throughout the day at work. Not only does this boost your internal hydration level, but it lowers your toxin level because you are regularly getting them out of your system. I created this habit for myself ever since I got facials for a whole year to treat my acne and committed to drinking those 8 cups of water a day to speed up the healing process, as my beautician recommended. My skin completely cleared up in that year and now I no longer deal with acne or with ANY scars left from it! Boy, am I ever glad I listened to her!
Have a wonderful weekend (especially with the Sephora VIB Spring Sale and Spring Beauty Week in Toronto)! Maybe a haul is in order 😉
See you next week!