In the modern workplace, the pressure to perform optimally at all times can feel overwhelming. With demanding deadlines, long hours and back-to-back meetings all adding to the average office worker’s stress levels, it can become difficult to drum up the positivity you need to work at your best – but it doesn’t have to be. Perfecting the balancing act between productivity and positivity can be tricky, but take a proactive approach to happiness in your professional life and you’ll work better and feel better in the long run.
From top tips on organising your desk to advice on finding happiness in the little things, in today’s post from the productivity experts at Novell Coffee, we’re sharing a number of ways you can master job satisfaction and productivity – giving you all the knowledge you need to perform at your very best.
- Start the day right
If you’re looking to improve your productivity, the mornings are the best place to start. The precious time before you sit at your desk shouldn’t be wasted – and that also means giving yourself time to wake up properly so you’re not arriving at the office half asleep. Use this time to make some food – eating a proper breakfast won’t just keep a rumbling stomach at bay in meetings, but can also increase alertness, provide the essential energy your body needs to take you through to lunch and stop you reaching for high-fat, high-sugar foods that can cause a crash later in the day. Stick to whole grains, yoghurt, fruit and high-fibre cereal to receive the most benefit from your breakfast – and avoid anything fried for your first meal of the day, too.
Whether you walk, hop on a bus or drive in your own car, your daily commute to the office provides a window of opportunity not many tend to take advantage of. Avoid checking your emails – they can wait. Instead, make the most of your morning ‘me’ time by doing something that makes you feel good. From reading a favourite novel as you sit on the train to calling a close friend for a pre-work catch-up while you walk, use this time wisely and arrive at work fresh and ready to face the day ahead.
- Make plenty of time for fresh air and natural light
The outside world might feel a long way away when you’re sat at your desk, but exposure to fresh air and natural light actually offers numerous benefits for office workers. With recent studies suggesting improved office ventilation can dramatically increase cognitive function – as well as our ability to make quicker decisions – it’s clear that fresh air is something many of us could use a little more of. With recent studies also concluding that natural light improves your mood, creativity, productivity and ability to sleep, there’s an obvious case for stepping outside on your lunch break whenever possible – or at least grabbing yourself a seat by the window.
- Tidy desk, tidy mind?
The ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ philosophy has long been popular with office workers, but how much truth does it hold? While the jury is out on an entirely conclusive answer, research over the years suggests that the tidiness of a desk space affects different people in different ways. For creatives, it seems that a cluttered environment could fuel your imagination – so don’t worry so much about mess if you’re in need of bright ideas. For those who require focus, an organised workstation could prevent your mind from becoming distracted – which means your productivity could improve as a result, too. However your desk currently looks, don’t worry about conforming to your colleagues’ standards – simply do whatever works best for you and your mind and work output will thank you for it.
- Treat yourself
Just because you’re at work, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a treat every now and again. From keeping pods of your favourite coffee blend handy in your desk drawer to heading out to a local café on your lunch to relax in peace, there are many ways you can indulge in a little TLC during the 9-5 – and, by doing that, you can destress and find enjoyment during usually difficult times. It’s often the little things you do that can improve your wellbeing, motivation and state of mind, so don’t be afraid to indulge yourself in something that might make you a little bit happier during the working week.
- Give yourself a manageable day
While most of us stay back every now and again when we need to, getting into a routine of long nights spent in the office is undeniably unhealthy. With staff in the UK now working a whole day a week for free on average, this is a common problem across the country. Whether it’s a looming deadline keeping you pinned at your desk or your workload is simply insurmountable, taking a step back from work is essential if you want to be at your best – which is why you should prioritise your personal life if you want your professional one to succeed. If your problem is the latter, communicating this to your boss is critical if both of you value your performance.
And if you find yourself confronted by several tasks at once, don’t be tempted to juggle them all at once. You’ll work more productively by focusing on one at a time, and prevent yourself from becoming overworked and stressed – which means you’ll finish the day feeling more accomplished overall.
A day at work doesn’t have to equate to a day of stress – and, with today’s advice, you can be both productive and positive in your office.