8 daily habits that can improve your health and boost your career
How many of us look at our phone’s the moment we wake up, checking emails and responding to work queries? Today, it is routine to see at least one family member constantly accessing their emails or responding to calls amidst a family get-together during the weekend.
With work hours extending beyond the traditional 9-10 hour shifts, due to technology, an average employee ends up burning out faster these days.
This additional work pressure and hectic lifestyle make it difficult to keep stress at bay, which could result in a physical or mental breakdown. Unhappiness in any area of our life can reflect in others as well. Realizing the importance of building a happier society, UAE set up a National Program for Happiness and Positivity and appointed a Minister of State for Happiness.
However, a new wave is sweeping across the world. More and more voices for healthy work-life balance have started reverberating in workplaces. There is more awareness among people about leading a healthy life, and they are making a conscious effort to strike a balance and lead a full life.
Running away from a hectic lifestyle may not be possible for you, but you can make slight changes in your daily routine and/or habits to increase your productivity and become a happier version of yourself.
So, make these habits a way of life to improve your overall health and set you up for success at work:
Prioritize your To-do List
Start your day the right way by figuring out the top three things on your work to-do list. This lets you focus on the things that you just have to get done. Josh Davis, author of Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done, writes that having “a small number of things also make it easier [to accomplish the tasks].” Stress stays at bay, too.
Work in a manner best suited for you
What works for your colleague may not work for you. S/he may be able to multitask easily, switching from project to project over the day, but attempting to manage too many things at the same time isn’t for everyone. So, if you work best by focusing on one task at a time, do just that.
Find what you’re good at and do more of it
In our bid to be perfect, we often spend hours fretting on our weaknesses, things that we don’t naturally have an aptitude for. Studies have found that focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses at the workplace reduces stress levels, makes people happier and healthier, increases confidence and leads to faster growth and development. Not everyone's cut from the same cloth, and leaders who focus on the strengths of their team members benefit from lower staff turnover, higher levels of productivity and greater profitability. Try and put to use your true skill sets as often as you can.
Choose to be positive
Your mood at the workplace affects not just you, your day and your performance, but also those around you. Taking control of your mental attitude – choosing to be positive and optimistic – is important. According to Mayo Clinic, positive thinking and a “good attitude helps better your psychological wellbeing and helps you cope better under stressful situations at work.” Being positive will always keep you motivated and on track.
Counter your FOMO - go off the grid
Technology may be a catalyst for change, but too much of it can hamper your productivity. It may be inviting to check that email, like a Facebook update or re-Tweet something, but go off the grid to stay focused. Give yourself designated social media breaks during a workday — may be two or three lasting 15 minutes. This downtime can give your mind a break and let you pursue your work for the rest of the time. For those not sure what FOMO is, it is 'Fear of Missing Out.'
A well-known Chinese saying goes that if you “want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” Research has shown that happier workers tend to help their colleagues more than their less happy ones. So, go ahead and take on some tasks from your harried co-worker or get him/her a cup of coffee while you’re getting one. Giving back to your team will keep you happier and healthier.
Your brain won’t function at peak capacity without the fuel it needs. Consume plenty of good fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, whole eggs, and fish, and try combinations that keep you satiated but not full. Eating an excess of carbohydrates and dense foods may drain you of energy, as will endless cups of tea and coffee. Switch to green tea instead; it’s a calming beverage that wakes you up. Make it a habit to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Plan it right
A dedicated morning and evening ritual helps you get in and out of work mode quickly. Planning a "power hour" ¬- an hour that lets you take a deep dive into the most challenging thing on your list for that day - will take most of the workday's pressure away. Before leaving the office, review three things that went well for you at the workplace. This will help end the day on a positive note and steer your mind towards positive thinking. Informally planning your next workday makes it easier to get started.
Looking for a healthy life and an exceptional career path? Try the tips listed above, but if you still find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, it’s time to Find Better, Faster here.