(l to r) Terri Marcoux Massengale, Nike Roach, Tim Jones, John McPherson at Coldwell Banker Triad Realty. Credit Rob Cook, Russell Insurance
It can be ever so easy to forget our once exciting and sometimes new professional objectives and fall into a daily routine of the same mundane activities to get us through the work day. Once this routine occurs, it can be difficult to break the cycle or find the time to re-focus ourselves and regain motivation. The following 19 points looks at ways to address and rectify such negativity and maintain a positive vibe, along with a high level of productivity. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.
Do you make the most of your commute to work? Begin the day by doing something you enjoy; this creates a positive vibe, leaving you in good mood. Examples include reading, writing, creative note taking; if you are driving then choose an engaging audio books or podcasts. I personally listen to personal development audios by Dani and Hans Johnson.
2. Arrive Early
The worse way to start the day is by rushing in late and to give your fellow colleagues the impression your time is more valuable than theirs. Leaving you diving into whatever task springs to mind and giving others the cold shoulder. Before you know it, you have spent the first hour working on a task that has no real relevance to your day’s objectives. Arriving at least 10 minutes early, you can focus and prioritize which tasks need your attention, and if you are like me, enjoy a coffee to rid that early morning tiredness.
Stop! Naturally the first thing we do upon sitting at our desks is check emails. Unless, absolutely necessary, try to focus on completing a task first, leaving the checking of your emails to assigned times throughout the day. Avoid opening new emails as soon as they pop up, as it will only distract you from your current activity.
Effective scheduling of the day will allow you to achieve your goals in a more productive manner. Begin each day by writing a set of objective you wish to complete, in order of priority. Feel free to schedule a couple of breaks in there, to make everything seem less daunting and not rushed. You never want to bring negative energy into a new task or project.
5. Time usage
Scheduling will also help plan your time effectively, allowing you to realize if you are making the most of your time. It is important to focus efforts on what matters most, and leave additional tasks for when time allows.
6. Pace Yourself
If tasks are piling up, then the worst thing you can do is begin to rush through your work. There is a higher chance of you making errors and deliver sub-par work that inevitably will require fixing. Instead, pace yourself and concentrate on completing the task at hand to a high standard that you are proud of. When we are proud of the hard work we put forth, we begin to enjoy what we are doing.
7. Break Time
Taking breaks is proven to increase your productivity, as they allow you to mentally recover and re-focus on current tasks. If possible, try to move away from your workstation and into a comfort or neutral place.
While professionalism is important in the workplace, it is commonly believed that it requires you have to be serious all the time. Infuse positive emotions into your work and with your colleagues. This essence of joy will be contagious in nature and spread throughout the office environment.
Okay, we all have those co-workers that no matter what, they seem to suffer from a never ending irrational sense of negativity. However, usually people are negative for a reason and whether this is professional or personal, it is important to remain compassionate. Rather than being influenced by negativity, ensure that your positivity influences the other person. On a side note; if you are the negative colleague reading this, then read over the list a few times and start to make changes!
Office politics unfortunately can affect the best of us, but until divisions are removed, it is impossible for a business to take huge strides forward. Make a conscious effort in trying to not get caught up in ‘being right and proving others wrong’, instead focus on what is needed to move away from the conflict and towards making progress. Stepping aside from the situation mentally and looking at the problem from a non-biased perspective is key.
11. Rock Your Vacation Days
Use vacation days wisely and don’t be afraid to mix it up by engaging in activities that you wouldn’t usually do. Unless it’s essential, remove work from your thoughts entirely. Give yourself time to recharge and reap the benefits once you return to work with an upbeat and positive mindset.
12. Share Results & Support Others
It is important to feel valued at work and sharing achievements with colleagues allows them to understand the importance of your role. Likewise, be supportive of others’ achievements and realize that every success promotes the business that you are part off.
Make it a point to collaborate with others, to achieve mutual goals and influence the business with greater results. Never be afraid to ask for help and realize that in doing so, you are learning skills and improving your own work.
14.The Boring Jobs
Every so often we are faced with a mind numbing task that we preferably would like to avoid. Instead, bite the bullet and face the task head on. Avoiding the task will propel you into a cycle of using your time less productively. This can also cause issues with other co-workers, who are waiting on the completion of your portion of the activity.
Meetings can be a huge time consuming activity and simultaneously the least productive. It is suggested in research, that ‘walking meetings’ help focus on current tasks, as well as all parties leaving with real and achievable objectives. If you are asked a question during a meeting that you are unsure off, never be afraid of responding that you need time to research the appropriate and accurate answer and that you will promptly return with a well thought answer. No one wants to give or receive incorrect information that can lead to incorrect actions or decisions.
From time to time others will criticize your work, either formally or informally. Rather than rejecting these opinions or taking them personally, understand what is being said and use this information as a base to improve your own work and think outside of the box.
17. Changing Environments
As we all know, businesses face change at an ever rapid rate and those who do not keep up will fall behind and suffer the consequences. Make sure you are open and adaptable, and if you are a senior colleague, use your experience to guide you, rather than to resist change.
18. Health & Wellbeing
Exercise is proven to reduce stress, the resulting ‘feel good factor’ can boost productivity by leaving you with a healthy and focused mind. So next time you have a spare evening or weekend, get up and get active! If you are really feeling adventurous, do what lawyer David Dagget does. Hot, cold, rain, snow or shine, you can often find him running during lunch past 6th Sense Health and Wellness Center on Brookstown Ave. Personally, I go running, and while I may be crying every step of the way, by the end I feel so relaxed and focused on my goals.
19. Massage Breaks
A 5-10 minute seated massage in the office, at least once a week helps people reduce stress, increase productivity and improve their disposition. Even under the most challenging conditions, a massage of the neck, back and shoulder may be a wonderful way to break up the routine of many office tasks. As a manager or business owner, treating your employees to a seated massage, is a wonderful way to boost moral and show teammates how much you truly appreciate all the hard work they put forth.
Nike Roach,MS, CPT, LMBT
6th Sense Wellness Group