With everyone in the office thinking about New Year's resolutions and most people reflecting on the person they were last year and the person they wish to be in 2014, I thought it was a great time for this post. I wanted to share some of the things I've done throughout 2013 as well as some other things I need to remind myself to do better at this year that all factor into your overall impression in the workplace. The following tips are not from a health professional or Human Resources representative. They are a few simple reminders that have helped me (and others I know) to be a more positive person at my job. And we all know that it will not be easy every day, but following these tips will help reduce your stress level and maybe even make you more productive. Now who wouldn't want some of that??
1. Write out a "to do" list. You would be surprised how much this helps! If you do not currently keep a daily list, you might want to think twice. Having a list of tasks not only gives you some quantifyable information when someone asks, "What does your workload look like today?" but it will also help you with #2.
2. Prioritize your "to do" list & work on the hardest thing first! That list will get long and look more daunting by the day, but simply choosing the quickest approaching deadline will help you avoid last minute scrambles.
3. Schedule breaks & don't be afraid to take them. Most organizations allow for employees to take 2 non-scheduled 15 minute breaks per day, so find out if your company has such a policy! If you sit at a desk as a part of your full-time job, use these breaks to get up and walk around, even if you don't really have a destination in mind.
4. Ask questions when you're not sure & then listen. It might seem like this should go without saying, but I've run into plenty of folks in my own office that need reminding sometimes.
5. Say "good morning" back when someone says it to you first. Even if it isn't a good morning, you could be making someone's day a little brighter with this kind of small talk. And never underestimate the power of a smile.
6. Have a morning snack. Around 10 or 11am. Not only will it hold you over until that magical lunch hour (when the day is half over!), but it will get your metabolism moving ahead of whatever you do consume for lunch that day.
7. Join a new business organization or networking group. There are innumerable professional organizations out there dedicated to every subject matter you can think of. Bettering yourself at work will feel better than anything you can do for someone else. Not sure where to start? Try LinkedIn!
8. Avoid stressed people. You can take that to the bank. Avoid them at work, the grocery store, out in restaurants and now that you mention it, at the bank too. Seeing other people stress out is enough to make my own stress level rise. What better way to avoid unnecessary stress at work than to avoid those acting unnecessarily stressed?
For other ideas on being positive and productive at work, check out our pinterest board, "Workplace Wellbeing."