Remarkable Results With A Routine
“Manners require time, and nothing is more vulgar than haste.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When we make time for manners during the day our dispositions are so much better. We aren’t frazzled or rushed and have the time to showcase the best versions of ourselves. Think about it, aren’t you more kind, patient, and forgiving when you have the “time” to be so?
A prerequisite to having time to be well-mannered is to provide some structure to the day.
A schedule, routine, or plan of sorts allows us to do what we need to do and meet our obligations while also finding time to do what we want to do and have the energy to do it.
One of the most helpful tips in this regard is to bookend the day with a morning routine and an evening ritual.
In the morning we get up earlier than we have to so that we have time to stretch or exercise, drink a HUGE glass of tepid water before our coffee, do one thing for ourselves (something that we can’t seem to find the time during the day or evening to otherwise do) and get into a positive mindset by reviewing our personal mantra (describing our personal brand) that serves as our guide to our behavior and the prism through which we view and make all decisions. When we do these steps, our day always goes better because we are satisfied and feel more in control.
And then in the evening we turn off our electronic devices so we can properly unplug and we make sure we get enough sleep. Being sleep-deprived does not help one be well-mannered!
After brushing our teeth and completing our skincare routine, our evening ritual includes creaming and gloving our hands, putting on our eye mask to ensure absolute darkness and jumping into bed where we decide what we’re going to do tomorrow morning (so we don’t waste time in the morning trying to decide), say our prayers and review what we were grateful for that day. Author and public speaker Rachel Hollis speaks on this subject and advises what we should be looking for are the really small, simple things for which to be grateful not the big and general “family, friends, work, health and my home”. Those big things don’t focus you and the exercise becomes rote if you’re grateful for the same things every day. When we know we need to come up with a few specific illustrations of gratitude at bed time, it spurs us to joyfully seek them out and name them during the day because, let’s face it, no one wants to go to bed without being able to recall one single thing they are grateful for. For us it can be, that a particular presentation went well, we receive a surprise phone-call or text from an old friend, or the fact that a new dinner recipe actually tasted good!
The truth is that these two concrete steps, in turn, help the rest of the day run much more pleasantly and smoothly. How?
Downing that HUGE glass of water in the morning makes it more likely than not that we'll remember to have more water throughout the day. Hydration is important to looking and feeling good.
Reviewing our mantra and personal brand sets us up to make good decisions that are consistent with and well-reflect our brand.
Our routine helps keep us on time and when we aren't late and frazzled we look put together and polished. We are poised.
Our skincare and hand routines remind us to respect and take care of ourselves. It's hard to serve others when you don’t take care of yourself first. This isn’t selfish, it’s self-care that helps you to be more gracious and kind to others. And this isn't advice only for the ladies - men need self-care too!
Carving out special “me time” fills the soul and then makes it easier for us to concentrate on the tasks we “have to do” because we’ve already done something we “want” to do. This puts us in a more positive and cheerful mindset for the rest of the day.
Getting enough sleep helps us have enough patience with others during the day.
Managing your day enables you to have time to be the thoughtful person you are meant to be. You'll show yourself grace by treating yourself well. At the same time, you’ll be considerate of other people, which is at the core of being well-mannered.
So let’s end where we began this post, with some wise words from Mr. Emerson,
“Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson