This series of blogs has been focused on tips for reflecting, practicing mindfulness and working on reducing stressful triggers in life. The last quarter is looming at this time of year, and it can be hard not to get sucked into a stress hole as the day stretches on! Starting your day off on a positive and productive note can be the key to setting the tone for the rest of it, and inspire you to continue the pattern into the office. These actions should have a ripple effect on the rest of your colleagues, which will hopefully make your workplace more pleasant and productive overall. Even the office grouch might get inspired to say something nice!
Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
Seriously! It is one of the toughest habits to break, but if you start your day off immediately and pull yourself out of bed instead of languishing in a half-doze for an hour, you will feel much more refreshed. Try not to lay in bed checking your emails either. If you can get out of bed, lace up your sneakers and go for even a 15-20 brisk walk in the morning, your mind will be awake and your heart will get your endorphins boosted before most other people are even awake!
Set (achievable) goals
Now that you’re awake and ready, take five or ten minutes to enjoy some coffee and write out at least two things you want to achieve that day. It can be something like ‘return my client’s phone calls today,’ or ‘work on emptying my inbox.’ Make sure the goals are actually achievable so you don’t feel like a failure at the end of the day. If you can cross these two items off your list early, then you will automatically feel like you have had a successful and productive morning, setting you up for success later in the day.
You’ve had your morning walk, but try to carry that on through the day. Set a timer once an hour and get away from your desk. Do some laps around the office, or go up and down a flight of stairs. This is great for your heart health, but it also lets your mind take a break from getting bogged down in work. Moving around the office also gives your colleagues the chance to speak with you then and there on your break, rather than interrupting your workflow. If this becomes a habit, they will know they can reach you once an hour for a quick chat, which can improve your productivity for the rest of the day.
This goes along with setting achievable goals, but it’s more of a long-view to success. Try to avoid getting into a slump by finding new challenges, either in the workplace or elsewhere. These challenges should be something to expand your horizons, rather than emptying out your inbox. For example, you could try to read an article on a concept in your industry that you wish you knew more about. You could ask the IT department to help you learn a new program in your office. If you’re starting a side-hustle, take a coding class so you can set up your own website. All of these will make you a more well-rounded employee and person, and keep your stimulated and engaged in your professional life.