Using this time to create healthier working habits

This extended period of disruption is the perfect time to audit, edit and augment how we approach work. Try these small changes to heighten awareness and maximize productivity.

Creating healthy workday habits

It’s hard to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel right now.

Even as companies and community staples slowly reopen, nothing seems anywhere near normal. It’s deflating to say the least. Meanwhile, most of us are still stuck at home, just trying to keep it together and remain relevant at work.

Regardless of your employment status or home situation, no matter your current mood, there are tiny tweaks and minor adjustments that can help you achieve more, feel better and regret less.

Wherever you are, take this time to work on wellness—to shed bad habits, shore up your psyche and sharpen coping skills. Let’s make the best of this bizarre situation, shall we? Consider these ideas:

Start with science. Dr. Susan Weinschenk, a behavioral psychologist, shares seven keys to boosting productivity:

  • Work with your own rhythms.
  • Break up tasks into smaller steps.
  • Pay attention to the room and furnishings. (Clutter leads to stress and procrastination.)
  • Minimize multitasking.
  • Minimize alerts.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Work with a team.

If COVID-19 has smashed your productivity into bits—or just dinged it up a little—those are seven good places to start. Beyond those tips, you might also try:

Getting outside more often. According to Mental Floss, being outdoors boosts your energy, enhances creativity, mitigates pain and fortifies your immune system. If you’ve gone blurry-eyed due to excessive screen time, the great outdoors can even improve your vision.

Cutting down on the booze. As Rufus Wainwright wryly croons: “Everything it seems I like’s a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me.”

I don’t know why most things that’re delicious and delightful are deadly for us—and I’m not here to tell you how to live your life—just swap the scotch and soda for a seltzer every now and again, OK? You basically become a superhuman when you get that alluring poison out of your system.

Delegating like a champ. Unless you aspire to be an imminently replaceable short-order comms cook, start standing up for yourself and getting junk jobs off your plate. It takes guts and confidence, but delegating busy work is the first step toward becoming a respected advisor instead of an order taker.

Not finishing your day until you’ve jotted notes for tomorrow. Isn’t it nice to quickly launch into your workday? Giving yourself a few marching orders for the next day gives you a nice launchpad, and it helps prevent the dreaded early-morning procrastination vortex.

Savoring the small stuff. Sure, everything’s a mess right now. But there are bright spots, right? Look around. What do you see? What are you grateful for? What brings you joy?

Take time each day to consider what—and who—you’re thankful for. It’ll do your soul—and your productivity—a load of good.

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