A Guide to Building Healthy Work Habits: Top 7 Tips to Consider
Work burning you out? Work stress is normal every once in a while. But if you notice it’s getting more and more frequent, it might be time to take a closer look at how you spend your days at work to see which areas need some change and improvement.
In this post, we’ll share 7 tips to help you build healthy work habits to combat stress and burn-out and increase your joy and fulfillment at work.
7 Habits to Building a Healthy and Fulfilling Work Life
Healthy work habits include taking care not only of your body but also your mind. Check out the following tips to see which habits you need to add to improve your day-to-day work experience.
Schedule your tasks and set proper pacing
Procrastination and cramming are among the most common causes of stress at work. When deadlines are approaching and you realize you haven’t started a project yet, stress sets in. Some people will tell you they work best under pressure, but being subjected to constant pressure at work can eventually lead to burn out.
One way to deal with this is to set a schedule at work and allot focus time for crucial tasks. There are many tools available that can help you with this—using a timer, employing techniques such as pomodoro, or simply using an excel file to plan out your work day and assign tasks to specific hours. A checklist can help you see just how much you’ve accomplished in your day, and this can provide added motivation and increased fulfillment.
Limit work distractions
What are your common sources of work distractions? Identify them so you can control them. Emails bugging you? Set a time of the day to check your emails, and stick to that schedule. Social media notifications breaking your focus? Turn off said notifications and set a schedule for checking your social media accounts. You can even put your phone on silent while you are working. This way, you can focus on your work, produce better results, and accomplish more.
Strike a balance between work and play
Add some ‘play’ time to your work day. Is there something you particularly love to do but need to hold off doing while you work? Turn this into a reward. Set aside focus time for a task you need to accomplish, and once the task is done, set a few minutes to rest and play—read a chapter of the book you’ve been dying to finish, browse your Facebook or Instagram account, check your favorite online store, and more…
The goal is to have something to look forward to at the end of a task or at the end of a workday. If you’re back working in the office, your break or reward can include spending some time with coworkers to catch up—interaction can be great mind refreshers.
Avoid burning the midnight oil too often
You can be a night owl when it comes to your body clock, but the truth is that working late in the night is not healthy for your body. Your body is built for sleeping at night. It is during this time when it goes to rest and when your organs regenerate, so stick to the right sleeping schedule as much as possible.
And during times when you really, really need to work late, catch up on sleep and try to maintain a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
Sit properly, stand properly and often
Posture is more important today more than ever, simply because today’s nature of office work entails limited movement. If you’re sitting for too long and you have bad posture, it has both short- and long-term negative effects. So what do you do?
- Don’t sit for too long. Stand every now and then or alternate between sitting and standing while working. Standing desks can make this easy.
- Mind your posture, whether seated or standing. Sit up or stand up straight.
- Move as much as possible. Walk around a little bit every one or two hours, or do some stretching exercises on your desk.
Watch what you eat and drink
More water, moderate food—stick to this rule when working.
Fill up on liquid, of the right kind. Avoid soda and energy drinks, and stick to water as much as possible. If you find you often forget to drink while working, make it easy for you by having a glass of water within your reach. Or, set an alarm to drink water—this can also be an opportunity to stand up and go to the water cooler to move a little bit.
When it comes to food, avoid eating in front of the computer as much as possible. And if you need to eat, replace your bowl of chips with fruits, nuts, or other healthy alternatives.
Catch a mid-day nap
If you notice your energy dwindling towards the second half of the work day, a quick mid-day nap can be helpful. A nap as short as 15 minutes can give you an energy boost to help you last through your afternoon—healthier than coffee, and maybe even more effective.
So, which of these healthy work habits do you need to start adding to your regular day? Start with one habit at a time, and go from there. As long as you do it consistently, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, more fulfilling work day.
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