Mid-Week Motivation: How To Improve your Work-Day in 5 Simple Steps

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Heading into colder winter months isn’t always the most inspiring thought knowing that we’ll be making our way in and out of work in the dark and cold, with working days seeming longer and that bit more relentless. BUT it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. We’ve got 5 simple ways to improve your work-day and power you through the winter weeks with a bit of gusto and positivity...

 

1. Prioritise. Buy yourself a new notepad, sticky notes, or to-do-list chart, whatever works for you. Every day get into the habit of listing everything you know you need to achieve and then prioritise them. It may seem easy to start with the little, more mundane, tasks, but tackle those big things first. If you think of it like building blocks, you need the solid, larger foundations at the bottom, before you can start filling in your structure with the smaller and less important pieces. Then, aim to get to lunch time and have crossed something off. Some days it may be half the list, other days just one thing, and some days you may double the list by midday. Whichever way it evolves, it is so important to feel like you have achieved something by lunch time to motivate yourself for the rest of the day without getting too overwhelmed and stressed; and crossing those tasks off can give you that perspective.

2. Focus. Allocate yourself 2 hour blocks to focus on a task without distraction. Studies suggest it takes you 20 minutes to properly engross yourself in a task and if you’re distracted just a little bit away from the task in-hand it will take you a further 20 minutes to get back to the point you were at. If people come up to you and ask for help, it’s easy to divert away from what you were working on. Don’t be afraid to say you need an hour to finish off what you are currently working on and will then be able to start on the next task.

3. Control. Turn off notifications for your social media on your phone. It’s so tempting to flick on to your Facebook or Instagram when you’re feeling a bit tired and in need of a break. If you save up your guilty little look for lunchtime or your 4 o’clock break it’ll be far more satisfying and your headspace won't get distracted. 

4. Treat yourself. It might be a new tea, a new coffee, smoothie, chocolate or snack, but have something lined up for 4pm when you need a little pick me up. Don’t feel guilty, be it about the snack or stepping away from your desk. Plan it and know you’ll be back in action after 10 minutes feeling revived and with a bit more energy.

5. Communicate. When you make that cup of tea, make sure you say hello to someone. Just a quick interaction will break up your day and clear your head. If you’ve got time, take a lunch break with someone a couple of days a week. Or, if you’re eating at your desk, co-ordinate with a neighbour and take a break away from your screens together. 


Why not tune in, or have a read, of Caroline Webb's book How To Have A Good Day: The essential toolkit for a productive day at work and beyond for her tips at how to be at our best every day in the work place. Applying scientific research behind her ideas, Caroline provides step-by-step guidance to help us prioritise, interact, sustain our energy, and become more successful at work under pressure. With real-life success-stories of people who have used her guidance to improve their working performance, Caroline makes it easy to see how simple science can indeed transform our lives and careers in a few easy steps.  

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