New year, new me – right? We all start January listing the things we are definitely going to change for the better. We chuck out the last of the Christmas chocolates, dust off our running trainers and decide that this year is going to be our year…. I’ll leave you to decide what happens, come January 31st.
It’s true, cutting out sugar and running to and from work every day will make a difference to your life, but sometimes it’s the simplest of changes that can also make a big impact. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 5 really simple things you can do in 2018 to improve your work life:
1. Turn off your email pop-ups
You’re writing a report that is due for the end of the day – you’re mid-flow and really ‘in the zone’… Queue a pop-up email notification in the bottom half of your screen – it’s Jane chasing you for something you actually sent her last year. Swiftly, you open up the email and begin typing furiously – soon enough, you’re lost in the world of inbox scanning. Sound familiar?
By simply turning off the pop up notifications, you can still check your emails, but not let the flashes of preview text throw you off topic.
2. Read for 15
Work days can be hectic, but it is said that if we take our eye off our industry for a week, we’ll soon be left behind.
With that in mind, try taking 15 minutes a day (whether that is with your morning coffee, or scheduling a 15 minute slot in your afternoon) to read a few of the latest articles from your industry. What new trends are arising? What are your peers saying? What are your customers talking about?
Taking 15 minutes to do this can inspire your work for that day, or even for the whole year, if you read something really noteworthy!
3. Looking ahead
We’re all reminded frequently that looking at a screen all day is not good for our eyes, however when your job is desk-based, and you are writing, coding, designing, calculating etc. it is difficult to not be looking at a screen constantly.
Here’s a little exercise – every 30 minutes or so, try to focus on something in the distance – out the window, over the road, on the other side of the office – which ever is the furthest you can see. Once you have spotted that tree, parked car or water cooler, focus on it for 10 seconds before coming back to your screen again – repeat this a few times in a row.
Looking far away allows the eye muscle to relax, reducing fatigue.
4. Free tools
Take some time this year to look into the number of free online tools that could make your job easier. Whether that is monitoring, tracking, calculating, designing or project management, there are some really worthwhile freebies to look into.We like this top 10 round up from Nest.
5. Clear your head at the end of the day
Towards the end of a busy working day, it’s often difficult to remember where you’ve parked your car, let alone what you have planned for tomorrow, but thinking ahead to future tasks can actually be very beneficial.
Before you leave the office, make a quick list of what you plan to do the following day – not only will your future self thank you when arriving in the office the following morning, but it is said that the process of clearing you head of things to do can also help you switch off for the evening.