Work life, staying motivated, staying productive, exercise, healthy eating, goal setting, socializing, soft skills
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 14 December 2016
10 Ways to Spice Up Your Work Life
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Nikita Rogers

There comes a point in nearly everyone’s career when they get bored at their job. This can happen to a person even if they love their job. This boredom can range from “I’m dying of boredom” to “I don’t want to do this particular task.” Sometimes boredom can last years, or it can only be for a day or so. It depends on your job, and how happy you are with it. Regardless of your situation, most people aspire to do great things in their career, and to do so, they must be as productive and motivated as possible while they are at work. If you are reading this article, I bet you are one of those motivated individuals who is constantly looking for ways to improve him/herself. These 10 tips could help you become more productive at work.


1.)  EXERCISE & EAT HEALTHY

One of the most important things to keep you productive at work is to remain physically fit. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of solid exercise per day. But being in shape is not just about your body. Not even close. There is a saying that goes, “A healthy body is a healthy mind.” Exercising regularly will develop a fitter body, but more importantly, a healthier mind. When you work out, your body produces endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good and ease your stress. It is no wonder why that would be so helpful. 

Work can sometimes be stressful, and it is important to do what you can to manage stress. Exercising will help you do just that. Studies show that people who work out regularly are much less likely to suffer from stress, depression, and anxiety. Exercising will keep your mind sharper and more creative. So go jog a mile and pick up some weights or do some pull-ups and push-ups. Go play basketball, tennis, or whatever sport you love with your family and friends. Better yet, play sports with your co-workers! On top of releasing stress and promoting a sharper mind, you will bond more with your peers.

What’s even more important than exercising is keeping a healthy diet. However, exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand, so it is very important to do both. Again, while a healthy diet will keep your body in shape, we are really focusing on keeping a healthy mind. That is what gets your work done (unless you are a construction worker or a pro athlete). Did you know: your brain uses up 20% of your body’s total nutrients! Think about it this way: If you have a car and feed it poor fuel over a long period of time, it will eventually start to sputter and die out. If you feed it that premium-unleaded fuel, it’ll run smooth, fast and efficiently. That car is you, and that fuel is the type of food you’re feeding yourself. In order to be smooth and efficient at work, you have to feed yourself well. 

Focus on eating a lot of plant based foods such as salads, fruits, and whole grains. These foods will provide you with plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep you running smoothly. Also make sure to get enough protein daily, because your brain depends heavily on this macronutrient. And don’t forget to include healthy fats like nuts and fish, as these are essential to healthy brain function. Stay away from processed foods, artificial flavors and chemicals, and especially sugar. These things pollute your body and lead to higher levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and a whole lot of other physiological disorders. 

Get into the habit of feeding yourself well and exercising regularly. You’ll start to feel the difference instantly, and your body and mind will thank you. Read this Forbes Article to find out how some of today’s top CEOs find the time to stay in shape, and get some of their fitness tips. 


2.)  THE 50/10 STRATEGY

This strategy is simple, and it is scientifically proven as the best way to work. While it may be slightly different for everyone, it will ultimately be fairly similar. The strategy is to work diligently and productively for 50 minutes, and then take 10 minutes off. For those 50 minutes, turn off all of your distractions and give your undivided attention to your work. After those 50 minutes are over, take a 10-minute break. During this break, check your recent texts, Facebook notifications, Instagram likes, or whatever would be distracting from your work had you not turned them off. 

Take a stroll around the office, do some jumping jacks, stretch out a little to get the blood flowing to your body and brain. Go get a drink of water, meditate, or really just do whatever you like to do that is relaxing and fun for you. Just make sure you’re not doing any work. After these 10 minutes, get back to doing your thing and being super productive. Continue this cycle throughout your day. Click here to read about some awesome benefits of using this strategy


3.)  SET GOALS

I know you’ve heard this one before, but we’ll say it here anyway. Set goals! Create daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Write it down on a piece of paper, word document, or Notes application on your Mac if you have one (which is what I do). Writing down your goals helps specify exactly what these goals are, and what they mean to you. Create a daily plan for what you need to do in order to accomplish your bigger long-term goals. After all, Rome was not built in a day. It was built brick by brick, day by day. Having these written goals to look forward to will help you remain motivated and productive. There’s nothing more exciting and satisfying than writing down some large aspiration that you have, and seeing yourself turn it into a reality! Check out this article from SUCCESS magazine to learn how to set powerful goals.


4.)  LISTEN TO MUSIC

If you have some particular project that is not really interesting to you, spice it up with some music! This is obviously for solo projects, as you don’t want to have headphones in while you are working with your peers. Listening to your favorite music is proven to help you stay more relaxed and less stressed. The ancient monks actually believed that certain vibrational frequencies could physically affect your body and mind, and even change your DNA. While this may be a bit of a stretch, there is no doubting that music makes people feel good. It may help to choose music without words if you are reading, because that can be distracting to some. I personally prefer electronic music like Flume while I’m working. I enjoy listening to it; most of his music doesn’t have words so it’s not distracting, and it has cool sounds and effects that soothe my ears. It is also upbeat, which keeps me awake and alert if I’m working for a long period of time.


5.)  DO WORK THAT INTERESTS YOU

It is no mystery that you will be much more productive and effective doing work that you are interested in, as opposed to work that you hate. If you have a choice, choose projects that you are passionate about. You’ll be much more engaged and creative. A cool strategy is to do the work you dislike first, and the more enjoyable work afterwards. That way, you have something to look forward to after you get over the hump of boring work. Check out this article by Brittanei, a fellow ProSkyer, to get some tips on Finding the Perfect Career


6.)  GO EASY ON THE CAFFEINEI’m sure this is how some of you looked after reading that last sentence:

This might scary for some people to read, but it holds truth. So many people love their daily coffee. It is a ritual for many people, and helps them get their day started. But too much caffeine can be counterproductive. After the caffeine has worn off, you experience a crash, during which it can be very difficult to stay motivated and focused on your work. At this point you have to either accept that you’re not working as productively as you could be, or reach for another cup of coffee. Caffeine too late in the day can really interfere with your sleep pattern, making you more tired the next day, making you need more caffeine. It is a vicious cycle. I used to drink coffee everyday, and experienced a similar cycle to what I’ve just described. After the caffeine had worn off, I was hardly productive at all. Reaching for another cup of coffee causes an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our body, which can also make you less productive. Ever since I’ve completely stopped drinking coffee and any other form of caffeine, I’ve gotten much better sleep, and have a constant natural energy source that allows me to remain productive and energized all day. There’s nothing better than a solid night of quality sleep to make you productive, happy, and less stressed.


7.)  SLEEP

There is not much to say about this, but it’s one of the most important things your body needs to function optimally, if not the single most important thing. During sleep, your body repairs and replenishes itself, and allows you to perform at your best. Get your 8 hours a night!


8.)  MEDITATE

It’s proven to reduce stress and promote mind sharpness and clearer thinking. You don’t need to dress up in a robe and hike to the highest mountaintop near you and float over a pillow for 2 weeks. Every now and then throughout the day, if you are feeling stressed out or bored, set a timer on your phone for 5-10 minutes, and clear your head. Close your eyes, sit comfortably, and relax. Focus on your breath and don’t think about anything. If a thought pops into your head, simply dismiss it and refocus your attention on your breath. It may sound strange to some, but why not give it a try? It takes 5 minutes, and you will feel the difference instantly.


9.)  SOCIALIZE

As humans, we are social creatures. We enjoy being in the company of others (generally). Studies have shown that socializing makes people happier and more relaxed. Build relationships with your co-workers! If you get bored, go have a 5-minute chat with them and take a minute to relax and laugh a little bit. Chances are, they will welcome your lighthearted presence, and the short break will become helpful for both of you. It also promotes a friendlier environment in the workplace, which can make everyone more productive. Check out this article by Nicholas, one of our fellow ProSkyers, to learn How to Be a Conversation Master!


10.) SURROUND YOURSELF PEOPLE YOU WISH TO BE LIKE

This idea goes hand in hand with socializing. But socializing with the wrong people can become counter-productive. Whether you realize it or not, the people you surround yourself with do have an effect on you. You subconsciously process what they have to say, and that affects your own actions and thoughts. Make sure the thoughts and ideas you get from others are beneficial to you!


These 10 tips will guarantee to improve your work life and make you more energized, productive, motivated and overall happy with your career. It may be difficult to initially get yourself into some of these habits, but they are one hundred percent worth it in the end. Right now is the perfect time to start!

To further improve both your work and personal life, check out the other great ProSky articles! Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list to get updates when more of these awesome articles come out!