Whether you work from home, hold a 9-5 office job, or work anywhere and anytime in between: we could all use some tips for a happier and more productive work day. According to studies on productivity, most have only a 2-3 hour window of sharpest thinking during the morning. How we utilize our "productive hours" and all the other hours of our days are pertinent to our well-being and success.
1. Wait to Reply to Emails
If you are in the habit of checking and responding to emails first thing every morning, think again! Your first few hours each morning are likely your most productive of the day if you use them well- so save mindless tasks like emailing for later in the day and use these best hours for your hardest work!
Sitting in one position can not only be hard on your body, but on your mind and spirit as well! Be sure to include exercise at some point in your day to loosen your muscles and your creativity! (And the added endorphins won't hurt either)!
3. Save Creative Projects
The afternoon hours (typically spent staring cross-eyed at a spreadsheet or yawning lazily after lunch) offer the best opportunities for creative thinking. Save your brainstorming sessions, less important meetings and creative projects for this time of day to experience what a wandering mind can come up with in terms of creativity.
A distracted and unlocked mind is not only more productive in creativity, but also happier. Make playfulness a priority: use colorful office supplies, interact with your coworkers, play fetch with your dog, etc. to break up your mundane activities and give your mind freedom to think more clearly.
5. Unplug After Hours
One very important key to productivity and happiness is to set clear boundaries (both mental and physical) between your work and personal life. Put your computer away, don't check your phone and even if an idea for your latest project hits you after dinner, only make a note of it and leave it for your next day's most productive hours. Time with family, time to yourself and general recreation/relaxation are just as important to aid in your happiness and success in work than anything else so protect your after-hours!
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