For a Positive and Productive Workday
There are many elements of work that can be stressful or difficult. We spend a lot of our time at work, so it’s important to learn how to cultivate a workday that is more positive and more productive.
These actions can also contribute to better physical and mental health.
The best way to prepare for work is a good night’s sleep the night before.
Sleep helps regulate your weight, your blood pressure, and your mood. Your concentration and your memory are also at their best when you are well-rested.
Additionally, getting enough sleep protects you from getting sick and missing work altogether. According to one study, participants who regularly slept 8 hours or more were three times less likely to experience symptoms of the common cold after being exposed to the virus.
Exercise not only improves your physical health but also releases endorphins - chemicals in your brain that boost your mood and relieve stress.
Encourage an active atmosphere at work by joining a 5K with your colleagues, participating in a Lunch Time Mile, or joining a nearby gym to visit before or after work.
Besides its mental health benefits, exercise also protects you from heart disease, strengthens your bones, and reduces your risk of cancer. It can also help you sleep better, which ties into our first tip.
Natural Light / Green space
Natural light increases attention and alertness. Views of green vegetation have also been shown to correspond with higher attention levels. If you don’t have a big window by your desk, consider placing a few small plants in your work space.
Alternately, visiting a nearby park or other green outdoor space at lunchtime may help perk you up and give you the energy to focus through the afternoon.
The positive impact of friends on mental and physical health is well measured. Studies show that friends may help you live longer, improve health measurements such as blood pressure, reduce your suffering during hard times, and keep your mind sharp as you age.
Social interaction with co-workers can be just as important. Having people to talk to and laugh with at work can protect you from burnout on the job and make the workplace feel more positive and enjoyable.
Work in sprints
Some productivity experts recommend taking short breaks after a period of intensive, focused work. This allows you to concentrate and then refresh your mind during the period of a short break.
Sitting at a desk for much of the day can be tiring, despite the apparent lack of physical exertion. It can also increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Taking a short break to stand up, stretch, or take a quick walk around the office can contribute to a healthier body, as well as a healthier mind.
Moderate your caffeine intake
Caffeine, often consumed in the form of coffee and tea, has been shown to make people more productive short-term, increasing memory retention and alertness.
Despite its benefits in the workplace - increased alertness leading to more focused work and concentration - caffeine is a double-edged sword, and it’s important not to over-indulge. Caffeine can cause a crash that makes you feel more tired later. Also, drinking it in excess can lead to feelings of anxiety and affect a person’s sleep schedule - both of which would negatively affect your work life and your general mood.
So, while you may joke that coffee needs to be given intravenously to survive the day, consider drinking it only as needed at key points of the day (right in the morning, to perk up after lunch, etc).
- Caffeine: 5 Ways That Coffee Affects Productivity
- Natural light: Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants
- Green space: The urban brain: analysing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG.
- Exercise: Benefits of exercise
- Social: 7 Ways Friendships Are Great for Your Health