Ever thought about how the majority of your time is dedicated to working? You clock in at 9am, clock out at 5pm (if you’re lucky), go home, eat dinner, watch some Netflix, go to bed and wake up and do it all over again, desperately looking forward to the weekend. Work, however, doesn’t need to and shouldn’t be a miserable experience. Once you’ve grasped this fact, you’ll begin to understand the importance of creating an environment at work that’s as enjoyable as possible. Here are some pro-tips to make your work life easier, because you are after all investing a whole lot of time in it.
Learn to Manage Email
Email is a tricky thing when it comes to business. Late responses or a poor choice of written communications can end up in turmoil if you’re not careful. If you have a demanding job that constantly requires you to be online, try checking email bit-by-bit. This may mean checking the emails that come in at night so you’re prepared the next morning to address them first thing. Alternatively, if you’re one to get easily sidetracked because of an email, you should set specific times to check them. This way your colleagues or clients start to notice the pattern and learn to email you during certain periods for quicker responses. Also, always proof read emails—it’ll save you the headache from misinterpreted wording or typos due to slip ups, as well as establish the impression that you’re professional.
Make Exercise a Priority
Some of the busiest and most successful people in the world still fit exercise into their everyday routine. So if you’re one to insist you don’t have any time to work towards your health, it’s not really a good excuse anymore. Exercise not only benefits your overall well-being but can have a direct impact on your work life. Working out de-stresses and energizes the mind and body, not to mention it helps counter all those free work lunches you’ve been taking advantage of. Carve out, at the very least, 30 minutes a day for exercise. Run, walk, yoga, box—during your lunch break, before/after work—whatever it is, it’s crucial that you treat this as a part of work because it can be integral to the how well you do at work.
When there’s five different windows open (be it work-related or G-chat related), 20 different emails to address, and Snapchat notifications and text messages blowing up your phone, it can get pretty hard to concentrate on the task at hand, which is your job. Try putting your phone in your desk drawer or designating a certain time of day to check your personal-interest pages like Buzzfeed or your Gmail account. Furthermore, the rising popularity of open-office environments are fueling even more distractions and making it difficult to focus. Make an effort to try and block out unwanted office sounds like gossiping coworkers and meetings in communal areas by popping on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones—they will keep you zoned in on what’s in front of you rather than what’s happening around you. Additionally, you can utilize project management tools and applications such as Basecamp, a program that keeps all your projects in one spot and let you facilitate team communication of various action items to better execute multiple initiatives happening at once.
Build Positive Relationships
The amount of time you spend with coworkers often adds up to more time than you spend with your friends and family, so build positive relationships with them. Little things like bringing in donuts for everyone or proactively joining the office softball league can make your social life at the office a lot more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll begin to build trust between your colleagues which will translate into increased work productivity and a strong sense of teamwork where you know you’re supported.
Organize Your Work Space
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. File away important documents that don’t need to be sprawled out and throw away the unnecessary stuff like those takeout containers or old papers you’ve been hoarding. In addition to cleaning up the office space, cleaning up your personal life at home is beneficial. When you have both your professional and personal environment organized, you have one less item to check off the to-do list and more capacity to focus on the task in front of you.
Experience a world of difference in your work life by following the aforementioned tips. It’ll improve productivity which will thus pave the way for better business and ultimately make life both inside and outside of work all the better.
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Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and loves writing anything in the lifestyle, beauty, travel, and career realm both online and print. When she’s not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two.