When we’re on island time, it’s easy to relax and enjoy life. We look forward to waking up in the morning. We embrace the day and we feel satisfied and at peace when we go to bed at night.

When we’re not on island time, we tend to be on a work schedule 24/7. We wake up in the morning and most of us just think about how we wish we could sleep just a little bit longer. It’s probably a rare occasion that we think that the day ahead of us holds such great things that we should get up right now or maybe even wish we had gotten up a little bit earlier. At night we either crash and go to bed early or stay up way too late because we don’t want the only part of the day that’s ours to end.

We tend to set our alarms to allow us just enough time to get up and get ready for work. Sometimes, we may set the alarm earlier with the best of intentions, but we hit the snooze button until we can’t risk delay any longer.

We rush to shower, eat breakfast, get the kids off to school and then drive off to work in stressful gridlocked traffic only to make it to work just in time.

There’s no time to enjoy the morning, enjoy your family, the outdoors, your pets or maybe some reading or time to create. You can’t even really enjoy your breakfast or your drive to work. You may eat while you drive and then do stuff on your cell phone at the same time: email, text, phone calls, check calendars, etc.

This is no way to start a day and is no way to go through life. It’s bad for you and those around you- friends, family and even strangers. You don’t devote the time to the things you should. You endanger your own health and happiness, you endanger your relationships and you may even endanger others because you are distracted instead of focused.

This is because we set start our days with the wrong goal in mind.

Sure, its important to get to work on time and get your kids to school on time, but that’s not how we should look at the start of our day and think that’s all it means. And while it may not be realistic to think you can be on island time all day, there are parts of it when we can: our mornings and our evenings. There are great things to do, to see and to enjoy in those parts of the day.

Wake up with a different goal in mind. A goal to relax and enjoy each part of the day in the way that makes the most sense for that part of the day: our mornings, our time at work and our evenings. Seize the day and make it your own.

Seize your life.

Get up early. Enjoy quiet. Read, write, create. Relax.

Make coffee and breakfast. Eat healthy and with your family. Avoid feeling rushed.

Exercise. Go outside.

Avoid distraction. Disconnect… and by disconnect I mean no cell phone, email or Internet. Connect with yourself, with your family and with life instead. This is your island time.

When you do get to work, it is also important to establish specific habits or rituals to ensure productivity and satisfaction, but that is for another post. For this post, the next part of the day to focus on is the end of the day.

Finish work between 5 and 6. Earlier if possible, but 5 is the norm. That extra hour I mention is simply to be realistic for you to put in extra effort and to keep your job. You don’t want to lose your job and sometimes that extra effort is important for you, your customers, your boss or your company.

However… other things in life are important too.

Don’t try to get caught up on work at home or by staying late. You won’t get caught up and don’t want to. Having work to do the next day is a good thing. If you can get caught up, then you should worry and may need to look for more work.

Once you leave work… don’t do more work. Stop when you get home. Work is over.

Don’t even check email. If you must get on the computer or get in the phone, do it do it for personal stuff. This should take no more than an hour of your time. If you have kids, do your homework when they do theirs. Keep in mind that part of your doing homework might include helping them with yours and fitting in some chores as well.

Get home early enough to make a good dinner and eat with your family. Find some time to get outside and play. Watch the sunset. Play a game. Have a glass of wine or a cocktail. Make time to spend time together doing something. Draw, read, play, even watch TV together (I know… some say this doesn’t count, but you can watch feat stuff together to laugh at together, learn together and talk abut together).

Now just because you you’ve freed up time at home by not bringing work work with you, this doesn’t mean you fill your time with meaningless stuff. You should minimize things like texting, video games or social networking.

Enjoy. Relax. Escape.

Go to bed early enough to read, write or create and still get 8 hours of sleep.

Get your stuff ready for the next day before bed so not control the start of the day.

End the day as you started.

You can control the start and end of your day. This is your island time each and every day and you owe it to yourself to make it so.


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