flickr photo by tauress shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Time is our most valuable asset. We all know this, but how often do we really sit back and soak in what it means? Life can truly change in an instant, and as a bartender it’s easy to forget that fact because days sometimes seem to blend together.

In order to make the most of your pre-shift time (and avoid the awful feeling that comes when it seems like your life is based around serving others and not yourself) here are five things you can do everyday before you clock in:

Eat a Filling, Nutritious Lunch:

As the saying goes, “you are what you eat” so before you pick up a quick, overly processed meal, think again. Food is the fuel our bodies need to keep going, so before each shift fill your body with a nice healthy meal. This will give you the energy you need to work for eight to 12 hours.

Minimize prep time by preparing and packaging several days worth of healthy meals on your days off. This way you can just open your fridge and quickly plate your lunch.

Do Something for Yourself:

Take a walk in the park, read a few chapters of your new book, create a piece of art or partake in whatever activity pleases you. By investing time doing things that make you happy, you will be a happier person. This is especially important because it is too easy as a bartender to sleep in late, rush to work and then spend the majority of your time serving others. Remember, you are important too.


Spend five to 30 minutes each day meditating. You can do this when you first wake up or at any point before or after work. Sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If your mind starts racing, refocus on your breathing. Breathe in and out, and allow yourself to relax fully.

When practiced regularly, meditation has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and negative thoughts. Mediation will prepare you to enter each shift in a calm and positive mindset, which is important for being able to navigate the unpredictable nature of bartending shifts.

Run your Errands and Do your Chores:

Do you need to go grocery shopping? Mail a package? Do laundry?

Whatever your errands or chores may be, try to complete them before your shift begins. Not only will you feel organized and accomplished, you will also be able to focus on your present shift because your mind will not be creating internal ‘to do’ lists. In addition to this, when you get home after a long shift you will feel so relieved to know your clothes are clean and your groceries are stocked!

Learn Something New:

Commit to learning at least one new thing everyday. By doing this you will be on a continuous path of growth, and you will be rich with knowledge. For example, as a bartender perhaps you want to memorize the history behind your favorite cocktails. In this case you can pick one cocktail before every shift, and research how it came into creation, and where the ingredients originate from. Then, during your shift you can share your newly gained knowledge with your co-workers and customers.

Remember, there is nothing more valuable than your time so take some for yourself everyday. You will be happier and healthier when you invest in things that matter to you and make you feel good, and you will walk into every shift with a positive mindset and upbeat attitude.

flickr photo by tauress shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Antasha Durbin

Antasha is a seasoned bartender with more than seven years of bartending and hospitality experience. She is also a spiritual writer at, where she writes free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living. You can follow her on Twitter @cajspirituality for daily inspiration.