There are some things in life that you don’t necessarily understand how to successfully master until you do. One of those things in creating a work/ life balance. I, for one, know that I spend most of my week in the office. However, no matter if you love your job or detest everything about it, I feel you can make it work for you. Sidenote: If you hate your job, please actively look for another one that aligns more with things that make you happy. If not “happy”, a job that’s more tolerable than the one you have. Either way, one of the keys to a successful work day is to work smart.
Personally, I’ve been gainfully employed for over 10 years; after I got over the unpredictable, stressful life of freelance. Like most people, I’ve had and work moments that made me seriously contemplate just gathering my belongs and chucking the “deuces” to my job. However, as child of immigrants, that’s just not my mentally to give up security and money, because a co-worker tried to throw their work on me. Over the years, I’ve developed some mental notes that not only help me survive work, but work smarter.
- Show up early – allows you to comfortably and gradually get on a good pace. Although I don’t have to be at work until 8, I try to get here at least 15 minutes early to help me ease into my day. I’m usually one of the first ones in, which means the office is peaceful enough for me to check emails and enjoy my coffee. Also, due to me coming in early, most days I can leave early because I was able to get everything. Obviously, everyone doesn’t have that privilege of leaving early, but you may have the luxury of not feeling you don’t have enough time. Coming in early is making time to have extra time – if that makes sense.
- Don’t over plan your day – I’m a firm believer in having a daily to-do list. Write down what you have to do each and highlight the high priority items. This will help you see what all you need to do and have to do. Once you finish a task, scratch it off or highlight it in a different color to indicate it’s been done. Seeing things scratched off your to-do is a simple way to motivate you to keep going. The goal is to finish everything on your list, but it’s okay if you don’t. Just make sure you finish the things that have to be done that day.
- Take breaks – feeling pressured or boggled down? Remove yourself from your work space. Even a 10 minute break to inhale fresh air can make you and your mind feel refreshed.
- Acknowledge distractions – For me, scrolling Instagram can take up a solid 30 minutes of my time. So, if I have a tight deadline or something I want to finish, I put my phone in my purse and off my desk. Actually, there have been some days when I just leave my phone on my car. I might go check for any missed messages around lunch or on a bathroom break, but leave in my car afterwards. The whole “Out of sight, out of mind” saying is very true.
- Communicate – Speak with your boss and co-workers to make sure you’re not forgetting a task on your plate. Also, offer your assistance to co-workers. Doing this simple task shows initiative and that you’re a team player. Also, you can learn a new thing or two to help you advance in your current and/or future career endeavors.