All professionals have work habits, which directly impact their productivity, affect their mood and might sometimes add more stress into their daily lives. Once I became aware of how I behave at work, I was able to pinpoint habits that made my life more difficult or stressful and proceeded to exchange them with good habits that helped me to be more productive. Here are 6 small changes I made to be happier at work.
This one is clear – despite what you might be thinking or what others told you, multitasking doesn’t work. One good study that showed exactly why this approach is so bad was conducted at Stanford University, which demonstrated the true colors of multitasking.
Our culture favors an image of a professional who is constantly busy, but keeping track of several tasks at the same time caused me to make more errors. I also found it harder to switch from one task to the other and experienced more stress. Once I stopped multitasking and chose to unitask, I noticed a great difference in my daily focus.
Being messy isn’t worth it – I wasn’t able to find anything on my desk, I was constantly losing important files and then would lose even more time to look for them. Good organization isn’t about being clean – it’s actually more about the functionality of an office.
I focused on ordering my work space in such a way as to ensure that I can find all things easily. I kept my desk clean of distractions, took the last 10 minutes of my work day to clean up and set auto-filters in email inbox to correctly prioritize my correspondence.
Stop Responding To Messages
We tend to respond to every message that comes our way – it’s like an instinctual reaction to a beep or vibration. This will only serve to distract you and make you less productive. Instead of stopping my work every minute to respond, I gave myself 10 minutes per every hour to take a look at my email and phone. In effect, I was more focused and effective at completing my tasks.
Indulge in Sports
It sounds obvious, but it’s so important that it deserves to be repeated. Sports isn’t just about looking good – it’s mainly about being healthy. Regular exercises help us to gain strength, have more energy and get sick less often.
Returning home, I would turn into a couch potato, convinced that this is the best way to relax. Soon I learned that taking a walk instead was a far better idea. Sports help us deal with stress and anxiety – all the pressure that builds up during the day will just vanish once we get physically tired from exercising.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A bad diet takes a toll on our productivity and health – I was in habit to eat high-calorie meals with little nutritional value, drink lots of coffee and avoid eating breakfast in the morning. I would pay for all these transgressions with headaches, stomach-aches and mood swings. I felt tired, annoyed and unable to work towards my professional goals.
I decided to change my diet. I made sure to have a nutritious breakfast every morning. I stopped buying snack at the vending machine, and brought healthy snacks from home. Fruit, nuts or vegetables are just perfect and they help our brains to focus.
Take Breaks to Relax
Taking regular breaks is important for our concentration. I used to spend my breaks in front of a screen, scrolling through my news feed, but soon I discovered that having a short walk, visiting my colleagues on the other side of the building, doing a few exercises or having a healthy snack were a much better alternative.
Ever since I re-examined my work habits, I was able to significantly improve the quality of my life at the office. Now it’s your turn!