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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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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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