Crush It At The Office Every Single Day
We’ve all been there as the torturous alarm blasts its way into our conscious. We are disturbed, jolted. Our reality phases in slowly. Its Monday, it’s the start of the week. And it’s time for work. Another day another dollar, or so they say.
We’re not ready to head to the concrete jungle. We worked 5 long days for a measly 2 off. But none of this is a choice, we are tied to the city and bread must be won.
Its Monday morning and energy and motivation are lacking. We just know it’s going to be a hard day. We will need time to adjust from the freedom of the weekend to the routine of the Office. It’s going to drag and a copious amount of coffee is looking increasingly likely.
It follows, that if we want to become our best self, health, wellness and fitness must be prioritized. So I reject the assumption that enjoying oneself at the weekend causes us to sacrifice any one of these three things. We can enjoy the weekend, and we can let ourselves go every once in a while. All the while, waking up fresh for the new week and being ready to perform in all the aspects required.
And work needn’t be the chore it is often made out to be. How we wake up, how we mentally prepare, how we go about our day; these all will dictate the happiness and satisfaction we are to receive from that day. Our experiences follow our mind-set.
Here I present 5 practices that will help set up a great day in the Office; every day. They will transform how we enter the office and our actions within it. The results will be profound, both for personal and professional reasons. We can eliminate the Monday Blues:
Tip 1: Get Your Sleep
Our environment has changed and been set up in such a way that the hours we spend awake are extending. Even the founder of Netflix’s named sleep as their prime competition. As an office worker, it’s tempting to check your email, watch an episode of this or that to unwind after a hard day, or knock back a few Red Wines to calm the nerves. Everybody knows the importance of sleep, but few appreciate its importance for health.
The pleasure you will receive from sleeping on a consistent schedule trumps anything that can disrupt it. Getting sufficient sleep will boost memory, help you to retain any new learnt skills, and keeps the brain healthy and functioning optimally.
So set a bed time – when you go to bed at the same time, you’re more likely to wake up without needing an alarm. Your day doesn’t start with a jarring alarm and a subsequent blast of cortisol (the stress hormone). You’ll wake up more refreshed, more relaxed.
And how can we forget, a good night’s sleep is pleasurable. There’s nothing quite like sinking into bed at the end of the hard day and falling gently asleep.
Get to bed before 10pm – absolute latest – no slacking. Every evening. Try to keep this up at the weekend if possible.
To help feel tired and sleepy earlier:
- Cut the coffee by 12 latest
- Dim the lights,
- Have a warm shower or bath,
- Avoid technology after 8 and limit the presence of circadian-disrupting blue light.
- If it must be used, trigger flux on the computer
Tip 2: Love Thy Colleague:
It is more than likely that you spend more time with your co-workers than with anyone else. What a depressing thought in itself. Your best friends, your family even your pet dog. It is therefore imperative that if you want to increase your happiness in the office, that you build great relationships with the people inside it. Foster an environment around you that is positive, welcoming and relaxed. Make it that you want to attend work; you want to be with the people you sit opposite.
Creativity will thrive – as you brainstorm together, new viewpoints and feedback can help you overcome your challenges in your role. Perhaps you will find a quicker way of doing something and streamline old and ineffective processes.
Learn New Skills – What each individual learns from their experiences is entirely different. Working close with others therefore ensures shared knowledge which will help you to learn new skills. This will not be unique to skills in the office, like software, but even personal skills such as communication and relationship building.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” — Michael Jordan
Tip 3: Manage Your Stress – No Matter the Source.
Stress can come from a variety of sources, and can lead to a variety of outcomes. Too often we try to illuminate all sources of stress – but this is in fact the wrong approach. Stress is inevitable and it is also required. It is actually through stress that we become stronger and more resilient, that we make progress. Our body simply experiences the stress, and becomes more efficient at dealing with that stress in preparation; as if it was to happen again. There is actually a key differentiation between the two stressors:
Eustress: (also called good stress) is when you perceive a stressful situation as an opportunity that will lead to a good outcome. This positive expectation is in contrast to:
Distress– negative stress or when you perceive a stressor as a threat that will have a poor outcome.
To have a great day in the office we therefore need to ensure that our stressors stay under a certain threshold. Imagine all the stress you experience being poured into a bucket. If the bucket overfills, we are going to run into problems. We therefore need to ensure that our stressors are managed and that if one stress was to increase (more working hours, less sleep) another stress is decreased (less intense exercise, increased meditation). This way the bucket stays in balance.
Another approach runs the other way – we tactically manipulate the stress equation. We lower distresses (such as: get more sleep, increase sunlight exposure, decrease sitting) and increase our eustress’s: (seek challenging work, take risks etc.)
Ultimately, we want to achieve:
Hormesis: A biological phenomenon whereby a beneficial effect (improved health, stress tolerance, growth or longevity) results from exposure to low doses of an agent that is otherwise toxic or lethal when given at higher doses.
Tip 4: Read Interesting Articles/Self-Development
Throughout the day, there is going to be time going spare. Failing this, there will be at least one time in the day when a change of pace or topic is required. For our sanities sake, the brain wonders and begins to seek for its next Dopamine hit. Something to invigorate and reignite the neurons that are misfiring and have since gone stale.
We all know how it feels, we’ve had our heads down for a few hours and we just want to read something other than a report, an Excel spreadsheet or another email. So we start to browse the internet. What starts out as something innocent, an inquisitive search, before we know it we are hooked. We fall victim to link after link, ad after ad. We end up on sites and on topics we never set out on doing. Sites that offer no real value to our learning and development, progress or reaching our goals and ambitions. They are simply fillers. Filling time. But this is a highly unproductive behaviour. It zaps our mood and energy and more often than not is anxiety provoking.
Instead, reach for interesting articles that will be of use to your personal life or your career. Sites like Alison and FutureLearn stand out here. You can sign up to free courses instantly and complete them at your own pace and at your own leisure. You can learn a wealth of information in a variety of topics; from new skills, to a new language.
Failing that, or if you just don’t have enough time or energy, read the classics. How to Win Friends and Influence People. Books of that nature. Books that will help you from the very minute you pick them up. Timeless and forever effective.
So stop wasting your time on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. Start using your time more wisely.
Tip 5: Avoid Boredom and Chase a Challenge.
The office is too often, boring. Many tasks seem like a complete a waste of time. Things that arouse no passion will kill motivation, will kill passion and will zap the energy away from us.
But by chasing a challenge, if something is new, makes us nervous, we should look into it. We often become too complacent in our daily routine, our daily habits. Never stray just in case we made a mistake or upset the boss. But it kept us bored, it kept us stagnant. Look for projects that involve risk. They are the ones that will really pay off.
This isn’t going to be easy. It’s downright scary and anxiety-inducing. But facing your fears offers many returns.
Once it’s all over and you’ve impressed your boss, happy days.
Once it’s all over and you can handle more difficult challenges, happy days.
Once it’s over and achieved something thought previously impossible, happy days.
You’ve become a better, more confident office worker.
Okay – so those are my 5 favourite practices and philosophies for becoming a more effective and happy Office Worker. I’m always on the lookout for more, and will keep you posted on my progress.
What are your habits? How do you ensure you achieve at the Office that doesn’t compromise your health? Let me know down below!