Right now, all over the world, millions of people are either at work, or preparing to be. Think of all that energy. Think of all that focus. Think of all that whining. Sure, I get it--very few of us head into work excited and invigorated. Some days, maybe--but overall, work is kind of the place that takes us away from the people we love, and the things we would rather be doing. Sadly--we all have to go and face the workplace, so how can we make that process a little less painful? Here are seven tips to help make your work life more successful.
Image via Pexels
No matter your workplace, you can establish a routine so that the moment you walk in, you signal to yourself that you are in work mode. If you're in an office setting, it can look something like the image above. Get to your desk. Turn on your computer. Go grab coffee while it boots up. Log in to check personal email, any news outlets you like for a brief check on the world, and a quick peek at Facebook, Twitter or whatever other social sites you frequent. Set up your music, refresh your lipstick or straighten your tie and bam–you're done.
It's time to get started. Establishing this quick routine will knock out any personal curiosities you have about either your personal life or the world in general, and set you up to focus on the tasks in front of you.
Plow in using the same format every morning, in a way that makes best sense to your position, and after a few days you'll have more focus. For me, my routine is this: check email, check my task list and then check my phone messages. This order is a balance that allows me success, but putting your tasks in a different order may work better for you.
If you work in a store, restaurant or other more free-range type of environment, you can still do this exercise. Enter your workplace. Greet those around you. Put up your things. Wash your hands, check your hair, check your uniform and then head out onto the sales floor. Bam. You're ready.Get the work you dislike the most out-of-the-way first.
That's right–get the junk out of your way first thing. Whether it's the cold calling you dread, the Excel spreadsheet that gives you heartburn, or any other task you dislike, knock it off first thing when you get there. Getting it out-of-the-way first thing frees up your energy, because you don't have this horrible task lurking in the background of your mind, impacting the rest of your workday.
Maybe you need to call customers to let them know their items are ready to be picked up. Maybe you need to tackle the enormous pile of dishes the last crew left behind. Maybe you need to have that meeting with your employee who is not performing as expected. Whatever it is that you're dreading, knock it out-of-the-way and move on to better things.Move your body as you work.
If your job involves moving, that's great. Working in a restaurant, child care center, retail environment, any maintenance or repair jobs–you'll get plenty of movement, which is something your body needs. If you work at a desk though, this can be very difficult. Here's what I use any time I'm in an office setting, and I swear by it. You simply put it underneath your desk, and pedal away. You can adjust the tension, so that you're not grunting into your telephone headset, and it makes an enormous difference in your well-being.
A recumbent bike that fits underneath your desk is a superb way to get some movement while still meeting the demands of your job, and won't knock out your budget. Seriously–get some movement. A treadmill desk would be ideal, but they can be expensive. Here's one that isn't too expensive, so even if your workplace won't purchase it for you, you might give some serious consideration to getting it yourself. And how cool does it look, anyway?Take breaks from your work every forty-five minutes.
Seriously–give yourself some breathing space. Here's how I do it. From the top of the hour until forty-five minutes after, I'm a beast. No distractions, no interruptions–total go-mode. Then, after forty-five minutes, I get up and stretch. I refresh my coffee, I greet my co-workers, use the restroom...whatever. After my quick break (and I might not take all fifteen minutes, it depends upon what I have going on that day) I jump right back into beast mode. Knowing I have this pre-set break helps me from getting distracted, and having this established schedule in place helps break up the day.Put up things to remind you why you need to work so hard.
Family photos, post cards from places you've visited, ticket stubs from that fantastic concert you went to–whatever tangible item you find motivating needs to be within your sight. Don't go crazy, please...this is your work environment, not your bedroom, but a few things here and there that inspire you to work harder are ideal. And here is some clarification–these aren't office decorations. Bling to jazz up your workplace is fine, but what you need are things that make sense only to you. Things that are a quiet message to you and you alone that there are things out there that matter, and you need to get to them.Make plans outside of work, instead of just going home to collapse.
This can be hard. At the end of your workday, no matter what your workday looks like, it's easy to just flop once you enter your home. Don't. Make plans, tangible plans, for your free time. Plan to go to the park on the weekend. Plan to see a movie, have dinner with friends, take a cooking class or go fishing with your buddies. Add some goals and structure to your free time, just like you do to your work life. Approach your free time with some intent, so that it doesn't just slip away from you, unappreciated, because you will never feel fully restored if you allow yourself to waste the hours away from your office.Treat yourself out to lunch with friends from work every so often.
Perhaps every pay-day, you and some work friends can run out and go get a meal together. Or why don't you find someone to mentor, and treat that person to a coffee every Friday morning. Find something social, outside of your work setting, (but somehow still connected), and it will help you merge the two halves of your life. Find a way to balance your need to work with your need to socialize, and you'll have that fun time as a goal during the hard times at your job.
Knowing you've set up a time to commiserate, network or shop with a like-minded shoe addict from your department will give you a bright spot in your calendar that you can anticipate.
Yeah, work is tough, but necessary. Implementing these tools will help improve your work life, so you can enjoy more of your free time. Because that's why you're working so hard, right?...To have a life with some free time?...
**This was originally published on my site, here: http://www.teamjeffers.com/a-better-day-at-work/. Check it out, and subscribe!
**Chanler Jeffers has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent and was a single parent for many years. She has survived cancer, and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way--one more thing. She's married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.
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