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  • Writer's pictureAndrea McGeachin

Little habits to make your work day better

We’re not huge believers in New Year’s resolutions; it can feel a bit like setting yourself up to fail. But we do love the idea of making new, positive habits. A small ‘new habit’ to make your working day feel a bit nicer will help beat the back-to-work blues and might even change your whole outlook.

Idea notebook with lightbulb

Here are a few of our ideas for Little Habits To Make Your Work Day Better. Do feel free to borrow one of ours, or make up your own…

1. Get up half an hour earlier and walk some of the way to work, whether that’s getting off the train a stop earlier, parking a small distance from the office or just going for a walk before you begin a work-from-home day.

2. Get someone to write you a note for your lunchbox to make you smile at lunchtime. If you live alone, write yourself a collection of little notes, quotes, jokes and wisdoms to keep folded in a jar, and pick one for your lunchbox each morning to open as a surprise.

Woman reading on e-reader

3. Make time to read. A good habit to get into is to read for the number of the year, so in 2023, read for 23 minutes each day. It’s easy to fit into a lunchbreak or commute and will make you feel you’ve stretched your brain a little each day.

4. Record your ‘high, low, buffalo’ each day. This is a trick some of us with children use to find out what they did at school, get them to think more deeply about their day and to act as a daily record, but it works equally well for grown-ups. Each day you record your high, your low and your buffalo (something that surprised you). Well, no one expects a buffalo, do they? So you might have “My high was I closed a deal. My low was the meeting that went on too long. My buffalo was discovering a new app a client has launched that will help me choose what to have for dinner.”

Park bench in sunlight filtering through morning mist

5. Notice something new in nature each day. Studies show that spending time outdoors can reduce stress and make you feel calmer. You don’t have to go on a hike. Just spend 20 minutes having your morning coffee outside or take time to note down the changes you see in nature in your garden. We’re going to join in with #1stbirdoftheday this year, an online community of people who tweet the name of the first bird they see or hear each day.

6. Get a work buddy. We all became a little less connected at work during the pandemic so now’s a great time to build work relationships. Ask if anyone would like to buddy up to use their lunchbreaks better. You might go and discover somewhere new with them, share book or TV recommendations or just have a walk and a sandwich together. Even if you all work from home, a 20-minute Zoom with your work buddy while you eat a sandwich and have a mental break from work can ‘reset’ you for the rest of the day.

7. Before you get up each day, tell yourself something you’re good at or a reason why you are valued at work, and try to remember to use that skill during your day.

8. Learn something new. If your company is amenable, you could instate a DEAL (drop everything and learn) hour once a week where you all pick an online course to spend some time on. If that’s not possible, you could download an app like Duo Lingo to learn a language. Or listen to a piece of classical music a day, following the book 'Year of Wonder' which has an accompanying Spotify Playlist - lots of fun. Or simply sign up for an online course. Whatever you choose to do, make it something you can achieve in a short burst each day. A little soon adds up - by the end of 2023 you could be a virtuoso in a subject you know nothing about now.

Water bottle with motivational words

9. Get a Fancy New Drink. If you’re wanting health benefits, it might be a snazzy water bottle that measures how much water you’ve drunk or ‘scents’ your water, like the Air Up, or a travel blender cup such as the BlendJet. Or maybe you’re after an interesting new cuppa (try Bird and Blend) or an ethical coffee (try Volcano Coffee Works).

10. Start an End Of The Work Day routine. It can be really simple - last cup of tea, tidy your desk and make a to-do list for tomorrow, for example. It will help you feel more organised and creates a mental marker for the end of the work day and the beginning of ‘home’ time, even if you’re working from home.


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