Soapy dramas. Bodice-ripping romance novels. Slap-happy pop music. And of course —pumpkin spice lattes with extra whipped cream.
Guilty pleasures? Everybody’s got ‘em.
They’re the things that give you tingly goose bumps. They’re fun, playful, addictive — an instant jolt of pure happiness.
Most people think guilty pleasures are something to savor once you’ve “earned” them.
A bit of mindless indulgence, once your “hard work” for the day is done.
I used to think that way, too. Until one day, a few years ago, I found myself binge-watching Gossip Girl … at 1 in the afternoon. On a weekday.
Guys? I was in deep. I didn’t want to quit. And at first, I felt totally bad + slacker-ish for indulging in my favorite TV show, instead of being “productive” and “getting things done.”
But then, just as an experiment, I decided to give myself full permission to enjoy every sexy, drama-packed minute, for as long as I wanted.
I savored three episodes in a row — three full hours of Upper East Side sauciness.
Then, when I finally sat back down at my computer at 4pm, I cranked out some of the best work I’d done all year — faster than I’d ever thought possible.
Hmmm … I thought. Could indulging in guilty pleasures actually make me more productive + creative? There might be something to this.
The next day, I repeated the experiment. This time? Three episodes of Gossip Girl with a delicious pot of French Press Coffee … followed by two hours of laser-focused work, plowing through emails with glee, cranking out a new blog post and checking to see how my latest product launch was rolling along … all while channeling my inner Chuck Bass.
I’ve repeated this “guilty pleasure experiment” pretty much every single day, since then.
Business has never been better. And I’ve never been happier.
What I’ve learned?
I can accomplish more in two hours when I’m happy (fueled by a big dose of my favorite guilty pleasures!) than I can in twelve hours when I’m bored and miserable.
And I bet — if you do a little experimenting of your own — you’ll discover that you’re wired exactly the same way. (Actually: it’s a proven fact.)
So, try this:
For one full week, I want you to enjoy one of your favorite guilty pleasures in the middle of your workday.
Not the very end of your day — right smack in the middle. That’s the only “rule.”
Your guilty pleasure might be a luxurious mani-pedi on Monday, an hour of totally hysterical Tina Fey clips on Tuesday, a wicked-delicious Devil’s Food cupcake on Wednesday … or, the same guilty pleasure every day! (Nothing wrong with crazy-fun consistency!)
Need some inspiration?
Here are 50 little guilty pleasures to light up your business …
1. Read a trashy, page-turning work of fiction. (A few crowd favorites? Right here.)
2. Binge-watch a scandalous TV drama (have you seen Reign yet? It’s Gossip Girl meets The Tudors. Yep. You’re welcome.)
3. Get pumped watching epic movie trailers.
4. Crack up at hysterical comedy shorts.
5. Master some foxy new dance moves.
6. Blast the top 50 hip hop jams of all time.
7. Take a fun online class that has “nothing to do” with your profession.
8. Enjoy some amazing chocolate … dripping with caramel … and sea salt … slowly.
9. Take a nap on soft sheets. (These? Amazing.)
10. Soak in a bubble bath surrounded by lavender-scented candles.
11. Read a glossy magazine (preferably while sipping your favorite beverage.)
12. Get lost in a super-addicting gossip blog.
13. Bake something delish … then eat it while it’s still warm, fresh from the oven.
14. Give yourself a sparkly mani / pedi (or treat yourself to one.)
15. Write a poem. (Or maybe even … a dirty poem.
16. Get a blow-out from your local salon (BEST $35 you’ll ever spend.)
17. Hit up Kayak Explore + plan a guilty pleasure-packed vacation. (Even if you don’t go right away … planning can be ridiculously fun!)
18. Take an improv or stand-up comedy class. (Or just watch a master at work.)
20. Eat lunch outside on a checkered picnic blanket. Let the sun wash over your face.
21. Choose one person you absolutely freaking LOVE + send them an awesome hand-written note.
22. Sit in a local cafe and eavesdrop on other peoples’ conversations (like a super-sexy spy!)
23. Plop yourself on a park bench and snap photos of cute doggies that pass by. (It’s not creepy…really.)
24. Call a girlfriend for a chat, and make a pact to NOT talk about “work” for twenty minutes.
25. Get ice cream delivered to yourself. Act surprised when it comes to your doorstep.
26. Draw a picture of your favorite celebrity. (Ryan Gosling fan art, anyone?)
27. Swing by a couple of open houses + check out some local real estate … just for fun. (The more opulent + glamorous, the better!)
28. Research an author, artist or actor on Wikipedia. Let yourself fall deep, deep down the Internet rabbit hole, and learn evvvverything about them. Get obsessed.
29. Decide which superpower you’d want to possess.
30. Channel your inner girl scout and learn some outdoor skills.
31. Bookmark photos of super-stylish celebs + recreate their outfits using pieces from your own closet.
32. Enjoy a mid-day glass of wine, outside, in the sunshine. (How European!)
33. Sneak away to catch a mid-afternoon movie. (Cell phone? Off.)
34. Order a super-fru-fru drink at your favorite coffee shop and savor every sip.
35. Hunt for hidden treasures at a flea market or vintage store. (Or an online boutique!)
36. Put on a gorgeous outfit, do your hair + makeup … then go to the grocery store. (Prepare for appreciative glances + smiles.)
37. Throw a ball, romp around, or cuddle with your pup.
38. Play a totally addictive online game.
39. Be deliciously disruptive + “interrupt” your honey at work with a flurry of racy texts.
40. Put your favorite PJs and blanket in the dryer, then snuggle up inside the warm cozyness.
41. Daydream about your fantasy life + career, and write down the whole scenario.
42. Eat breakfast in the afternoon … fresh squeezed juice, blueberry pancakes, real maple syrup, poached eggs … the works!
43. Buy yourself fresh flowers and arrange them in your workspace.
44. Break a sweat with a playful new sport. (Ultimate Frisbee, anyone?)
45. Write that novel burning inside you.
46. Lie in the grass, dig your hands into soil and inhale the scent of fresh grass. (Ahhh…)
47. Test drive that car you’ve been lusting over. (Tesla Model S … drool.)
48. Google to find out which pop songs were a smash hit when you were in high school. Crank ‘em up + and sing at the top of your lungs. (Then, contemplate how awesome it is … NOT to be in high school, anymore.)
49. Swerve off the highway exit when you see a Krispy Kreme sign.
50. Take photos of things that make you smile, blush or sigh, and create a guilty pleasure gallery. Re-visit it whenever you need a reminder to pause … and just play.
What’s YOUR all-time favorite guilty pleasure?
Spill it in the comments below!