Healthy Work Habits For a More Productive Day
The key to making great habits stick is to do it on a regular basis. Even when you don’t feel like it or when it’s overwhelmingly annoying, like waking up on time. Ready to pick up some great new habits for 2023? Read on.
1. Don’t Hit Snooze
If you hit snooze, you’re actually doing more harm than good.
Our bodies go through several sleep cycles at night, including REM sleep, which is the restorative sleep your body needs. When your alarm goes off, you usually are at the end of your last REM cycle. If you wake up on your first alarm, your body snaps out of the REM sleep and is ready for the day. Hit snooze — even for five minutes — and your body thinks you are falling back into REM sleep. When you wake up for a second time, you’ll feel groggy and even more unmotivated to get moving.
Healthy tip: Set up your alarm clock across the room. It will force you to get up out of bed and start your day upon the first ring.
2. Stay Hydrated
You hear it all the time: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Why is water so important for the body? It helps deliver oxygen, regulates body temperature, flushes body waste, and much more. While some veggies and fruits (like watermelon) do contain quite a bit of water as well, doctors recommend drinking as much good old H2O as you can. Plus, you’ll feel more energized when your body is properly hydrated.
Healthy tip: Need some flavor? Add fresh fruit to give your water a refreshing twist. Diced strawberries with fresh mint and lime make for delicious, flavored water.
3. Take a Mental Break
If you’ve been working on the same task for hours on end, sometimes you run into a dead end. Your ideas may not flow, or you can’t find the solution to the problem. When that happens, it may be time to take a mental break. That doesn’t mean zoning out on Facebook. Physically step away from your area. A study by Draugiem Group found that the most productive employees worked for 45 minutes straight before taking a 10-minute break.
Healthy tip: Try a Pomodoro timer or set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to take breaks.
4. Eat Nutritious Snacks
No matter how many times you wander over to the vending machine, it will not have the option of a healthy side salad. Unfortunately, as convenient as vending machine food is, those snacks will not fill you up, satiate you, or make you feel good. It will make you feel bloated, tired, and possibly more hungry.
Healthy tip: Keep roasted almonds, trail mix (without the chocolate), and fruit close by. When those afternoon junk food cravings hit, you’ll be ready.
5. Move Your Body
If your job has you sitting a lot, make a point to get up and stretch often. Take the stairs when you enter and leave the building. During your lunch hour, walk around your office building or see if a co-worker will join you for a yoga session at a local studio.
Healthy tip: Ask if your boss or coworkers would be open to a walk-and-talk meeting. Walking can actually boost creative thinking.
6. Have Fun
Having fun at work improves teamwork, boosts company morale, and allows creativity to freely flow.
Healthy tip: Life is too short to always be so serious. It’s okay to be professional yet playful.
7. Pack Your Lunch
It can be tempting to grab some fast food with coworkers when you’re slammed at work. Consider packing a healthy lunch the night before, or, better yet, meal prep on a Sunday evening for the whole week. Burrito bowls, chicken with steamed veggies, and salads in mason jars can easily be prepped in bulk for the week.
Healthy tip: Once a week or month, bring in a healthy meal for your lunch group. It will encourage healthier eating habits, and you’ll get to try new foods!
Healthy Work Habits Take Time
There are tons of different healthy habits to add to your daily life, but the best ones are habits that work well for you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by trying a bunch all at once. Try one or two at a time. Habits tend to stick best after repetition, and once you have a routine down, you’re more likely to stay with it. From meditation to daily walking, drinking more water, and healthy lunch spreads with friends, you can always find small ways to include healthier ways of living.