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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 January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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