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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 Ways to Have a Happy Workday

Everyone wants to have a great work day. You want to go to work, get the job done and head for the horizon with a smile on your face. It’s easy to have a good day at work if you prepare in advance and keep a good running list of how to get through with the most happy day.

Here are the top 10 ways to have a happier workday.

1. Eat breakfast - If you skip breakfast, you won’t be at your best during the morning. You will more likely gorge yourself at lunch and have a sleepy afternoon. So eat something, anything (within reason) so you can ensure a smooth start.

2. Get plenty of sunshine - Sun in the morning signals the body and mind to wake up. So instead of reaching for a big cup of Joe, put on your shoes and go outside.

3. Get Aerobic Exercise - while you are getting your sunlight, use it as an excuse to get a good walk or jog in. Excercise lowers stress, gets your blood moving and wakes you up.
4. Avoid RSS, EMAIL or phone before 10 am. RSS, email and phone demand immediate attention. Whereas your goals and work for the day can easily be brushed to the side. If you can avoid the urgent and uninportant until 10 or 10:30, you’ve got a fighting chance at getting all of the important tasks done.

5. Think positive thoughts not negative - Seems simple, but many people never do it. Instead of looking on the worst side, try to see the bright side. Ask yourself “what is the advantage of this situation?” “how am I benefitting from this? What am I learning?” These are all good questions that you can ask in all negative situations to turn them to the positive.
6. Take breaks - If you push on one task for too long you your work starts to suffer. It’s easy to become tired and frustrated. So every 30 - 45 minutes, take 5. Get up from your desk, stop what you are doing and get your mind off your work for awhile. You’ll find you’ll return with more ideas and renewed energy.

7. Go for a mid-day walk - again, I’m harping on the excercise. Getting a brisk walk in over lunch (even if for only 10 minutes) will get you to feeling better about your afternoon. Where most others are sitting around digesting, you can be energizing.
8. Avoid gossip - One drain on your day is gossip. It may seem fun and exciting to learn some juicy tidbit about your officemate or boss. But good gossip is always negative talk. Negative talk starts the pendulum swinging toward negativity.

9. List your top 5-7 objectives for the day and break the list down to 3 - It’s good to get in the habit of making lists, it’s bad to make long lists. If you’ve got more than 5 items on your list, break it down to the top 3 things (you can always go back and edit in another task or two). But with a list of 20 things, how can you not be overwhelmed? 3 is a managable, magical number. Break your list down to 3. Anybody can do just three things right?

10. Be slow to react to other people’s “urgent” requests. When someone else asks you for help, to do a project or to meet some other urgent need, practice saying “what’s your deadline on this? or when do you need this done?” THen schedule that day. Most people when asked one of those questions realize it’s not as urgent and will set a future date. That way, you can go back to working on one of your top 3 activities.

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