Make the most of each day with a new workout routine, midweek potlucks, and more
6:30 a.m. While most of us are hitting snooze, then stumbling out of bed clamoring for coffee, Carrie Sloan is bobbing in
San Francisco Bay in her tank suit, goggles, and chin-strap cap. The 33-year-old belongs to the Dolphin Club—a swimming and
boating club dating back to 1877—where the unwritten law, even in 50° water, is no wetsuits. Starting the day with a swim
is a way to reboot her mind, get inspired, and play before sitting down at her desk. It’s sort of like carving out a reverse
happy hour. But swap the margarita for sea lions and views of Alcatraz.
Lengthen the a.m.
An early start can “make you feel the exhilaration of your own aliveness,” Sloan says.
Folks place too much importance on waiting until the weekend for get-togethers, says Ivy Entrekin, a personal chef in Portland.
So midweek, Entrekin organizes “block dinners,” aka potlucks, with neighbors. Some contribute homegrown produce instead of
cooking; others bring simple foods like freshly picked blackberries or chocolate bars. Four days is such a long stretch to
wait for a friend’s meal, she says. “Having something to look forward to midweek gives me a little more momentum to push on
through. It’s a necessary exhale that we sometimes forget to take.”
Mingle on work nights
It can be as simple as ordering a pizza and making a salad, but Entrekin has other tactics for pulling off a dinner party.
Keyboard crumbs are about as depressing as a post-lunch coma from too much Mexican. Take back your hour, as Bend, Oregon,
resident Cathy Sassin does. The 47-year-old nutrition counselor spends her workday “Velcroed” to the computer and talking
with clients. But come lunchtime, she straps on skis and steals away for an hour of cross-country skiing. “Mind, body, and
soul, it’s a huge stress reliever,” she says. “I come back to the office invigorated, and, it sounds silly, but I’m ready
to take on anything.”
Play for 60 minutes
It’s a mere 5 miles between Nat Hong’s home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and his job in Bremerton—as the crow flies.
But by car, his commute is 75 miles round-trip around the Olympic Peninsula. So he got creative. Hong, who is 57, bought a
HydroBike. The 125-pound, propeller-driven bike with two pontoons for stability cuts his round-trip to 12 miles: 10 by land
and 2 by water. “Who wants to park in slot G-14 in a dark concrete parking garage when you can do this?” Extra bonus: Hong
got his fishing license and plans to pull a Rapala lure. “If I can catch salmon on my way home, that will be the culinary
frosting on the cake of my commute.”
Love your drive time
If you aren’t one of the 14 million working from home and if you can’t bike, carpool, or take public transport, you can still survive time behind the wheel. Coget shares tips.
We’ve seen enough drab office decor and cubicles to think they make for a more successful company. But Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh
was ahead of the curve with his early understanding that fun workplaces are more productive. At the Henderson, Nevada–based
company, employees express their funky sides by decorating in bright colors; camaraderie comes from open cubicles, high-energy
conference rooms, and play—lots of mandatory play.
Kit out the workspace
Office-design experts give tips for making your office a Zen den.