Happy Employees Are Productive Employees
Stress in the workplace is unavoidable. However, you don’t have to let it get the best of you. Instead, take control of it and watch your productivity soar. Find ways to create peace of mind and focus before, during and after each work day. You will find that not only will your work day become more enjoyable, but the balance of your life outside of work will also reap the benefits.
Not Another Meeting
Before you go into another “meeting about meetings,” ask yourself two things:
- What do I want to get out of this meeting?
- What do I want to contribute to it?
Having clear goals for yourself will help you stay on track and guide your colleagues down the path of achieving the original goal of the meeting. This keeps them short and sweet, so they don’t take up time needed for other projects.
Don’t Get Stuck at Your Desk
We sit far too long from the ride to work, to our desk, back to the car, to the couch … maybe you’ve squeezed in a short walk or a trip to the gym. Therefore, it helps to set aside time for taking mindful walks every day that will increase brain functionality and spark creativity.
Try taking a walk for 10 minutes or turn it in to a “walk and talk” meeting. Keep the meeting to no more than three people. The change of scenery and fresh air will help the creative juices flow.
The best time to schedule these walks is around 2 or 3pm when everyone’s energy levels are dropping. This quick burst of activity will be the perfect pick-me-up to finish out your day.
Check Your Posture
At least three times a day, take notice of how you are sitting at your desk. Are you slumped over your desk? Are both feet on the floor? Or do you tend to sit on one foot?
Make adjustments to how you sit at your desk to reduce neck pain, eye strain and even backaches.Try sitting on a ball or switch to a standing desk.
At minimum, you should stand for five minutes for every hour you sit to boost your energy and productivity, as well as lower your risk for disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.
Before you leave write, down three “must-do’s” for the next day. I am sure your inbox is overflowing with things that need to be done yesterday – but narrow the field down to three items. When you come in next day, you will already know exactly what you need to focus on without having to stare blankly at the ever-growing count of unread emails in your inbox.
Clear Your Mind – Not Just Your Inbox
Take two minutes for some mindful meditation. Close your eyes, sit relaxed with both feet on the floor and focus on your breathing – in through your nose (notice how cool the air is) and out through your mouth.
While doing that, try to think, “At this moment, my job is to experience THIS moment as fully as I can. Everything else can wait.”
Yes, the client can wait for two minutes for that email response.
Often times, we have our nose to the grindstone, so focused on work that we forget about essentials like food and water. Set a reminder or a timer to remind you to take those breaks and nourish your body and mind. Be mindful when you do eat: Rate your hunger level on a scale of 1-10 (1 = not hungry; 10 = ravenous). If you are over a 7, try drinking a glass of water. In many cases, our minds confuse hunger with thirst. When you have completed the meal, rate your hunger again and ask yourself:
- Did I over do it?
- Did I savor the meal?
- Did the food get tastier with each bite?
- Do I remember the taste?
Don’t forget to savor your drinks as well. Pick one drink a day to savor that isn’t water – maybe a soda or latte or an herbal tea. Then ask yourself:
- Was it satisfying?
- Did it taste good?
- Did it leave me thirsty?
- Am I now craving sugar?
- Why did I chose that drink?
To Be or Not To Be: That is Your Question
Start a “to-be” list. Focus on who you WANT to be: loving, present, calm, generous, creative, grateful, etc. Choose one quality a day to focus on and then ask yourself:
- What is in my life that cultivates these qualities?
- What activities bring me joy?
- What makes me happy to be alive?
The activity doesn’t have to be work-related. It could be gardening, cooking or baking, playing sports or even listening to music. The goal is to identify what brings you joy and how to incorporate it more into your life both in and out of the workplace. Enjoy gardening? Add a plant to your desk. Enjoy cooking? Pack yourself an amazing lunch to look forward to.
Each morning, set an intention to focus on one quality from your list. Close your eyes and create the feeling of what that quality will feel like. How you will feel. How others will feel.
And make sure to dedicate at least 30 minutes a week to doing something that you love. Take a class. Create a group. Put it in your calendar. Just do it.
Create an Attitude of Gratitude
Begin a gratitude journal: List three things every day that you are thankful for, that went well today or both. This will shift your outlook from, “Is today over yet?” to, “Thank you for today”. Changing your perspective will help you look forward to workday ahead of you. Thus, it will help you focus and increase your overall productivity.
Remember not to just focus on your own gratitude – but to be thankful of those around you. Get into the practice of “random acts of kindness” to your co-workers. If you are headed out for break, offer to pick something up for them or invite them along. And never underestimate the power of a simple “thank you.”
The Little Engine That Could
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
In the story of the Little Engine, those words became, “I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could.”
Pick an affirmation every day that inspires you and repeat it three times throughout the day. Write it on a Post-it note, jot it on the napkin in your lunch box or set a reminder on your phone – however you can get that affirmation in front of your eyes again and again.
Spruce Up Your Space
Add items to your space that give you joy – pictures of family and friends, trinkets, postcards of travel experiences from the past and yet to be done. If you don’t like clutter on your desk, change out your desktop wallpaper and change your phone or tablet wallpaper too. Swap out your mouse pad or get pens that write in your favorite color. Keep your favorite mug at the office.
Life creates its own stress. The trick is learning how to redirect the bad stress into positive vibes and break through the roadblocks in our way.