Here is a sure daily schedule to maximize your happiness.
Daily Happiness Schedule
By Bill Cottringer
People start their pursuit of happiness with many different definitions of what it is and engage in many ways to get it, not to mention spending varying amounts of time and effort it its pursuit. After studying happiness for years, I have come to the conclusion that it has more to do with how successful we are in arranging our daily schedule. And when we have happiness we know it and we realize it comes naturally as a result of doing the right things to get it.
There are 24-hours a day and if you arrange the right quality and quantity of activities in the right proportion during this 24-hour period, you are guaranteed maximum happiness. The easiest way to do this is to divide the daily clock into three equal parts: (a) working (b) eating, relating and playing, and (c) sleeping. Here is a schedule that guarantees genuine happiness, but it is so simple and obvious that it is usually ignored.
Working should be seen as a ‘holy’ endeavor, because of its importance in everything else we do. Work is meant to be more than a job and a paycheck; it is one-third of your life. But, it wasn’t designed to take up more time than that or the pie gets lopsided and runs the risk of souring the other two-thirds of the day. Like most other things, what you get out of work is directly proportionate to what you put into it, up to the 8-hours.
If you are not happy in doing work that is meaningful, challenging, tiring, fun and rewarding, you really can’t enjoy the other 16 hours a day. We are all born with a particular intelligence and “gift” that can help us fulfill a valuable purpose in life helping others in some way. Finding this purpose and carrying it out is the best way to work to be happy. Dreading work is the quickest and surest road to unhappiness.
EATING, RELATING, AND PLAYING
There are 8 hours after work, to manage three other very important human activities—eating, relating, and playing. These things are important to do right—eating healthy foods, not over-indulging in alcohol or drugs, exercising physically, relaxing and having fun in play and hobbies, and having good relationships and conversations with family and friends. Of course meditation, communing with nature and church or spiritual worship falls into this pie slice too.
This third of the day is a good time for stress-busters to do their magic when done right. Unfortunately they can add more stress to life and work and cheat us during the last 8 hours a day (making the total 24-hours go from bad to worse), when they involve junk food, substance over-use, lack of exercise, no playful relaxation and/or turbulent relationships.
A good way to see the sequence of these three main segments of a day is to taper off the energy each step of the way: work hardest, lighten up for sleep, and sleep easiest. And it you do the other 16 hours correctly, and have a comfortable mattress and bedroom, sleeping does come easy. Once well-rested, you are ready to start the next day right and continue this easy happiness schedule.
But, if you allow yourself to get out of balance in the other two-thirds of the day, then the likely lack of sleep throws your next whole day out of balance. This can get to be a hard habit to break.
Divide your day up into these equal parts and see how much happier you become. It will never get too old or too familiar to enjoy! All things are not meant to be difficult and such a good schedule will make that reality apparent. Note that this schedule can fit in with any work shift.
Bill Cottringer runs a security company in Belleview, WA and writes self-development articles and books aimed at increasing people’s success and happiness in work and relationships. Sleep has always come easy to him. His latest books are The Bow-Wow Secrets and Do What Matters Most. He can be reached for comments or questions at bcottringer.pssp.net or (425) 454-5011.