8:30 a.m. Attack your day, be it at home or at work. One of the most important things you can do: create a clear game plan for what you want to (realistically) accomplish. Don't overwhelm yourself; just systematically tackle what you can today and save what you can't for tomorrow. The ubiquitous to-do list works because it takes the pressure off of you from forgetting the things you need to take care of but that may slip through the cracks. And be where you need to be on time so you can control the agenda. Maintaining the locus of control helps us cope with and reduce stress.
Make a note to greet everyone you meet with or talk to with a hearty smile—a genuine one. Upbeat people excel. Upbeat people have good relationships. Upbeat people feel good.
Take a quick audit of your environment, whether it's at home or work. A couple of things to note: The optimum work environment includes yellow light, lots of greenery, high air quality, and even a cube-mate who's unafraid to crack a joke every now and then (more details on page 276). While you're making a list of how you want to redecorate, you can fiddle with the thermostat. Research shows that optimal productivity occurs when the environment you're working in is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take a five- to seven-minute walk, and clear your head. Remember, the key to successfully managing stress and accomplishing tasks isn't about time management as much as energy management; it's about having the vitality to move fast, move efficiently, and move smartly.
Have a midmorning snack of nuts or green tea (the polyphenols can help thicken the epidermis). Besides helping you stay satisfied, they contain biotin, which helps you metabolize fat and carbs. Add an apple or carrot—nature's teeth whiteners.
Lunch break. Two good choices: an oil and vinegar–dressed salad topped with veggies and salmon, which contains carotenoids that improve skin elasticity so you -don't wrinkle. Or have a soup (not cream-based), which can help slow the time it takes food to travel through your system—keeping you fuller longer and helping protect against waist and weight gain. Even if you're rushed, practice slow and deliberate eating.
For the other 30 minutes of your break, take a walk. Put UVA and UVB sunblock on your face and the backs of your hands before you go. A little sun on your arms and legs helps generate vitamin D. While you're walking, make a mental list of three to five things that you can purchase over the weekend that can help you achieve your goals for inner and outer beauty. Some suggestions:
Water purifier, not only for drinking water but also for your shower (chlorine in shower/bath water can dry out your hair and skin). Decent shoes (even for guys). High heels are the most destructive piece of clothing you can own. Find shoes that have a big toe box and heels that are less than two inches. And make sure you have comfortable sneakers by trying on at least five pairs before choosing. Home kit to test for radon in the house and new air filters to make sure you're breathing easy.
Or, instead of walking: If time (and the environment) allows and your body needs it, take a power nap of no more than 30 minutes. It's the ultimate biological battery recharger.