These 4 Simple Habits Can Improve Your Work Day

These 4 Simple Habits Can Improve Your Work Day

We all get the same eight hours in a work day, but some people seem to get more out of those hours than others. 

If you find yourself distracted more than you’d like, or if you’d just like to be more productive while at work, it’s possible to do so with just a few little changes! They might even help alleviate some stress at the same time. 

Here are four habits you can adopt at work to make you more productive, less stressed out and even a little happier. 


  • Start each morning with a to-do list. Yes, it’s this easy. When you get to work each day, take a moment to think about what you NEED to get done that day. It might be one thing, it might be 10, but think them through. Break the tasks down if you need to. Write them down on paper, or type them up on a virtual sticky pad, and keep that list visible throughout the day. When you’ve addressed the first item on your list, cross it off and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment for a moment before moving on to the next one. That good feeling of knowing you’re getting things done can inspire you to want to work harder and more efficiently to get more done, creating a self-fulfilling goal! If you really want to help yourself out and save a few minutes, write the to-do list at the end of the day when you’re getting ready to leave the night before. 
  • Take your breaks. Your brain needs to rest, both between tasks and around mid-day. Lunch breaks are important because your brain can focus on something else while you fuel your body. Take the time to talk with your colleagues about non-work-related topics. It doesn’t need to be deep or personal, but having a lighthearted conversation about something can be a great way to allow your brain’s muscles to relax and reset, allowing you to jump back into work when your break is up. It’s important to get up from your workspace every so often during the day as well, to get water or use the restroom or even just to stretch your legs a bit. Expecting your brain to work for eight continuous hours without a break will lead to burnout and fuzzy thinking. 
  • Turn off alerts. It’s so easy to get distracted when a new email pops up. It’s almost Pavlovian these days to hear your phone buzz with a notification and want to see what’s going on. We’re so wired to feel like we’re missing something important when we’re focused on something else, it’s making it nearly impossible to fully concentrate on the tasks at hand. Instead, try turning off notifications across the board. If someone really needs to reach you immediately, they’ll call or come see you or otherwise reach out in a way that is harder to ignore. (You can also set this as a boundary and explain to people that if you’re not responding to notifications, it’s because you’re busy and need to concentrate and to only interrupt you if it’s an emergency.) 
  • Manage your time more effectively. Getting back to those distractions, a good way to retrain your brain to stop responding to them instantly is to schedule time to read your emails. Give yourself 10-15 minutes an hour, or every 90 minutes, to check messages. If notifications pop up after that predetermined amount of time is up, they’ll just have to wait until your next message break comes around. The more you practice this, the easier it will be to resist that impulse! Do the same with scheduling time on your calendar for tackling projects. This protects your time and gives you uninterrupted focus and concentration that will help you get more work done in an efficient manner without being pulled into meetings or whisked away into something else. During the times you’re the busiest and most stressed, be sure to communicate with your team that you’ll be blocking your calendar as a way to help make sure you’re getting your projects done on time. 

Time management and setting yourself up for success are so important when it comes to being more productive and less stressed out at work. You can get more done in eight hours than you realize; it just might take a little practice and effort to find what works best for you!

If these boundaries and practices aren’t enough and you’re feeling burned out or overworked, and your manager can’t help you find more time in your day (or help take items off your plate), it might be time for a change. Luckily, LeadingEdge Personnel can help! Take a look at the positions we’re looking to fill and see what seems like a good fit, then submit your resume and call our recruiters. We’re ready to help you find a great new job with a company that will help you grow! If you’d like to learn more, call LeadingEdge today!

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