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10 Ways To Have A Good Day At Work

10 Ways To Have A Good Day At Work

Work doesn’t have to suck. Be happy and productive in the office with these 10 ways to have a good day at work.

Start Your Day Strong: Preparation

“Give me 6 hours to chop a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

1. Get Your Stuff Ready the Night Before.

It takes longer to get ready in the morning (i.e., when you’re still half-asleep) than it does to prepare the night before (i.e., when you might be sleepy but haven’t yet reached Zombie mode).

Does it take you a bit to decide what to wear? If so, get the next day’s outfit ready as part of your bedtime ritual.

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Going to the gym before you go to work? Go ahead and pack your gym bag before you go to bed (you could even lay your gym shoes and socks next to your bed if you want to make your life super easy).

Want to make positive eating decisions at lunch? Pack a lunch including fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats for lasting energy that will carry you through your day. If you’d like to include some healthy foods that make you smarter, click here to optimize your brain power.

2. Wake up 15-30 Minutes Early.

If you followed the first step, you should find yourself with an extra 15-30 minutes every morning, but let’s go ahead and double that. How you start the morning can make or break your day, so let’s give yourself plenty of time for a positive start.

3. Start Your Day With Sunshine and Deep Breathing.

Feeling groggy? That won’t last long. No matter how cold it might be, march yourself outside to soak in some sunshine. The sun’s rays will boost your mood, increase your alertness, strengthen your immunity from sickness, and help you sleep better at night. While you’re out there, take 10 deep breaths in and out to start your day calm and cool.

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4. Seek Positive Input.

Inspiration is a wonderful (but fleeting) thing. Because you can’t expect to become inspired and stay that way indefinitely, take about 10 or 15 minutes to read a book, watch a video, or listen to a podcast that moves you. It will be a lot easier to have a good day if you fill your head with positive thoughts before you go to work.

5. Get Psyched During Your Commute.

Don’t be one of the many people who throws away the valuable asset of the drive (or ride) to work. If you listen to the news (dreadful thing where they never have anything positive to say), expect to find yourself in a bad mood that you can’t shake. Instead, listen to music that makes you happy and excited (if it makes you belt out a tune or shake your butt, this is a good sign). Don’t depend on the radio, unless you like listening to the same thing over and over and over again. Make your own ‘Get Psyched’ play-list, save it to your iPod or burn it to a disc, and update it every month or two to keep things interesting.

Have a Good Day at Work: Execution

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

6. Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes.

I know, I know: your job would be great if it wasn’t for the %&@^ing customers.

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While some customer behavior is nothing short of annoying (as evidenced above), be understanding to all customers. Think about your expectations if you’re eating out, shopping, or calling a customer service hotline for help. Now point that mirror at yourself; are you meeting your customers’ expectations? If not, it’s time to shape up. Just because you’re tired or grumpy doesn’t mean a loyal, paying customer should receive subpar service.

7. Do the Important Thing First.

Choose from the below options and do one of these tasks first thing:

  • The task with the most urgent deadline (if its importance trumps all else, act accordingly)
  • The task that is the largest source of stress (if you’re going to be dreading it all day so get it over with)
  • The task that will take the most time and energy (because then the rest will seem easy in comparison)

Avoid the temptation to check your email any more than every few hours. If they really need you, they will call. Starting and stopping a task adds up in a lot of wasted time and an overwhelmed feeling, so get the important things done without distraction.

8. Remind Yourself of Your “Why.”

No matter how much preparation you do, there’s no escaping the fact that all work can be super stressful sometimes. If you find yourself so stressed you want to pull your hair out and run out the door screaming:

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  • Get away (preferably outside but anywhere you can be alone in a quiet place works)
  • Close your eyes
  • Massage your forehead (because I bet it’s super tense)
  • 5 deep inhales and exhales

After all of that’s done, remind yourself why you go to work. How does your job fit into the Big Picture of your life? Whether you’re working to support your family, help your customers, get experience, or whatever; remind yourself why you’re there and realize that the stress of this day is a temporary setback that you’ll forget about before you know it.

9. Focus on the Positive.

If you spend your workday spreading gossip and thinking negative thoughts, it’s no wonder you feel stressed out and unhappy. I know it’s awfully easy for negativity to sneak in, so give yourself this goal: for every negative thought/feeling/saying, there should be 3 positive thoughts/feelings/sayings.

10. Smile.

It’ll make you feel better (even if you fake it!). Speaking of smiles, click here to check out 9 surprising benefits of laughter you need to know.

How do you make sure you have a good day at work? Tell us in the comments!

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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