8 habits for a better day at work

Do you ever feel like crap at the office?

I’m just like you: some days it feels like I’m on fire, and some days I don’t feel so hot. However, I have found some habits and tools that help me feel less crappy when I’m at the office. Some of these might help you as well:

My 8 tips

  1. Start work at 7am: Getting to the office at 7am gives me 1-2 hours of quiet, uninterrupted time before anyone else gets here.
  2. Exercise at noon: We sit at a desk all day. Getting out in the middle of day, moving my body, and sweating is the perfect remedy for too much sitting.
  3. Pack a lunch: I’ve found when I go out for lunch, I eat too much, spend more time sitting, and skip the gym. When I pack a lunch I throw in lots of veggies and fruits. At home I wouldn’t be able to force myself to eat that much “healthy” food, but at work it’s all I have to eat, so I munch away on carrots and apples all day.
  4. Leave work around 3pm: I have my lowest energy levels from 3pm to 5pm. By configuring my workday this way, I’m able to give my “high energy” hours to focus on work.
  5. Use a standing desk: I’ve been using this desk since February, and I’m never going back. I can choose a variety of positions: standing, leaning, sitting, standing with one foot up, etc… Plus, if I feel “stuck” on a problem, I just walk away. Not being confined to a desk is very freeing.
  6. Use RescueTime: this app tracks how I spend my time while I’m at my computer (what apps I use, how much time I spend on Twitter) but also how much time I spend away from my computer (in meetings for instance). The stats don’t lie: having an accurate picture of how I spend my time is helping me make better decisions.
  7. Use Basecamp: if I’m feeling stressed out about work, I usually procrastinate. Often, the reason I’m stressed out is that everything is undefined: what needs to be done? When is it due? Where are the assets for the project? Where are my notes? Basecamp helps me organize all of this: for each project I put in a start date, an end date, my notes, a todo list and any related files. Once my projects are in Basecamp, I can tackle each one, step by step.
  8. I drink coffee: Seriously. Americano at 7am, coffee at 9:30am, and espresso or Americano at 3pm.

Hope this is helpful!

Justin Jackson

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Published on September 27, 2011