The average working adult spends over 90000 hours at work over a lifetime (Source: Happiness at Work, Psychology Today). If you relate that number to your adult working life, it’s a huge chunk of your time spent awake. Isn’t is then absolutely crucial for us to derive happiness out of this time? I believe with conscious effort and some healthy practices, it is very much possible to control the tone of your workday. In this blog, I share a few tips and practices.
Gear up for the week
If you work week looks like the meme above, it’s time to make some changes. Going to bed on Sunday night dreading the week ahead is the worst possible thing to do. It sets you up in such a negative frame of mind and you are only worried about surviving through the five days. The key is to be as objective as possible.
- Create a to-do list for the week by day with priorities.
- List down the possible challenges and roadblocks you might encounter
- Write down your mitigation plan against each of those. If you don’t have one, no worries. You will figure it out when the time comes.
- Take time to be grateful for the weekend and the time you got to rest yourself.
- Go to bed with a clean slate and with no assumptions about the nature of the week ahead.
Start your day with some exercise
The workplace is a zone of focus, concentration, and intensity. It needs you to be mentally and physically fit and fresh. Starting your day with a jog, walk or bicycle ride is a great way to get your body and mind charged up for the day ahead. Add some music to the mix and it just becomes more enjoyable. If you are not the outdoors / workout type, you can do yoga or meditation right in the comfort of your living room. Remember that the true benefit of any practice is unearthed only when it becomes a habit.
Dress for Success
What you wear shows who you are. Getting dressed for the workplace shows interest and helps get into a good frame of mind for the day. The other day I read about a Sales leader who believed in being in all suited up on flights and how he ended up closing 3 large deals in 6 months with people he met on the flight. Your professional success is as much about attitude as it is about technical skills. And attitude comes with dressing for the part.
The commute is an untapped opportunity
The commute often is the most dreaded part of the workday. The Bumper to bumper traffic, the persistent honking, the constant lane changing and negligent drivers can get under your skin. It takes an hour for you to settle down and get into the frame of mind to start work. If you just look at the commute differently it might change things for you. Why not use the time to listen to audiobooks, the latest music, stock tips or just good music you have been wanting to catch up on. When there is chaos around, you can either add to it or take a step back and isolate yourself from it. The commute back is also the perfect time to reflect on your work day, take the good, learn from the mistakes and let it all go, so that by the time you reach home, you have switched off and are ready to wind down.
At work, it’s all about value
Over a period of time, work tends to get mundane and tactical. This leads to disenchantment and then the productivity starts dropping. The onus lies on the individual to have a mindset for creating value even in the most mundane repeatable tasks. As an individual contributor or manager, delivering value should be the top priority. Once you get into that zone every day, you will be motivated to learn more, work better with people, focus on outcomes and keep the distractions away. It’s the only way to keep moving forward.
Steer clear of distractions
The distraction epidemic is at its worst today in the workplace with gadgets and social networks taking over our lives. Imagine this: You are already dreading your week ahead, you start your Monday morning with a horrible traffic and you already behind on your deadline. This is the ideal breeding ground for distraction; check WhatsApp messages, go through your friend’s vacation pics on Facebook, discover new Instagram accounts to follow, indulge in some gossip over some coffee. And the result; you have made no progress on meeting the deadline, your frame of mind is worse than when you got into work and your day is about to get worse with all the stress that has added up. You have to decide who is in control, you or distractions. The one in control always wins!
Also read: Dealing with Distractions at workplace
Don’t bring your home to work and don’t carry your work home
There is a time and a place for everything; that’s how you live in peace. When you leave for work, you leave your home behind; your worries, your personal problems, your bills, your mortgage, your upcoming vacation and everything that’s outside of work. That’s how you get into the zone of focus and productivity. Power through your work for the day, meet your deadlines, add value to everything you do and before you leave, go through everything you did and leave it right there. On your commute back home, switch off your work mode and go back to your family.
I remember the time when I had just become a manager and some days were just overwhelming. I used to go back home thinking if I had made a mistake taking on a manager’s role. One morning, during my jog I had an epiphany. All I had to do was to focus on having a good day at work, every day. As the days would accumulate, they would become good months and then a good year. That day on, that’s all I did, wake up and work towards having a good day. It’s worked well for me so far and I hope it does for you too!
Celoxis is a comprehensive project management tool that helps companies streamline management of projects, timesheets, expenses and business processes, specific to their organization. Over the last decade, Celoxis has specialized in delivering improved collaboration and increased efficiency for teams of all sizes, both in SMB and Enterprise segments. To know more visit www.celoxis.com