1.Wake up 30 minutes earlier
Giving yourself time to start your morning slowly, unstressed and unrushed will set the tone and carry with you the rest of the day. Don’t immediately check email, the news, or social media. Take fifteen minutes to read something enriching, to meditate, or to take a walk. As Monk David Steindl-Rast, writes, beginning the workday with conscious clarity and high intention is vital to the quality of our lives.
2.Take a different route to work
Breaking up routine fosters creativity and helps pull us out of ruts. If possible, take back roads and avoid rush hour traffic. Again, the decreased stress will increase your ability to handle problems with grace later.
3.Make a plan of action
Even if it is a simple as writing down 3-5 things on a sticky note, know what your goals are for the day and the order in which you are going to accomplish them. This gives you purpose, promotes focus, and will lead to a better sense of satisfaction as you mark them your tasks as you complete them.
There is a saying in the medical community that “sitting is the new smoking.” Heart disease is more than double for people who sit all day at work compared to those whose jobs require them to be on their feet. When we are hunched over our computers, we don’t engage the diaphragm and we breath shallowly, which makes us fatigued, cranky and irritable. If you can install a standup desk, do so. If not, then stand up when you talk on the phone and take breaks often to get up and move around.
5.Perform a small act of kindness
Studies have proven that even mundane acts such as opening the door for someone, providing an honest compliment or a sympathetic ear increases self-worth and positive feelings. Both for you and then person you have helped.
6.Remind yourself why you are doing your work
It’s easy to get swamped in the minutiae and the drudgery that often plagues any work. When this happens, pause to reflect on the big picture, whether that’s solving client’s problems, making the world slightly better or providing for your family. You have a good reasons for what you do, or you wouldn’t do it. Remember those reasons.
7.Write down the top three things you accomplished that day
At the end of the day, reflect back on what you have done. Relieved Mrs. Johnson’s concerns about her child’s health. Helped Megan finish her report. Protected a stream from pollution. Took a walk with a coworker and got to know her better. Even in a whirlwind day that held nothing but stress, if you focus on the positive, incremental achievements, you will leave with a heightened since of accomplishment.
8.Organize and clear your work area before leaving for the day
If you walk in to your workspace the next morning and it is in disarray, you mind will begin in disarray. An organized space is an organized mind. An organized mind can handle stress better and is more focused. Put files away. Clear your desk. Put your equipment away.
9. Give Yourself a Break
We rarely finish everything we set out to do in a given day. Accept that and know that you can tackle it again tomorrow. The world will keep spinning even when items are left undone. What we do is important, but have perspective.
Have a great day, everyone.