5 things you’re doing wrong every day at work

It’s probably not a good idea to start this blog post by confirming how much the average person spends at work during their lifetime.

So I won’t.

Just trust me – it’s a lot.

It’s so much, in fact, that if you’re not enjoying every day you spend earning money, you’re throwing away a huge chunk of your life.

Sound scary? Good. Here’s five things you can rectify this week to make yourself happier at work.

1. You think you’re too busy (you’re not)

Human beings are brilliant at convincing themselves they’re busy.

We all do it. Every morning, we look at our task list and groan. When someone hands us another piece of work, we smile through gritted teeth.

We’re just too damn busy.

In reality, being ‘too busy’ is often a smokescreen (inadvertent or otherwise) for being poorly organised and inefficient. Productivity is something most of us have to work hard at, and if you think you’re too busy, chances are you simply aren’t organising your day smartly enough.

A sensible, achievable to-do list and desire to work on one thing at a time in bite-sized chunks is all you need to become truly busy.

2. You’re glued to your phone

This one’s easy.

Thanks to most smartphone operating systems now including screen time reports, you can identify when you’re using your phone too much. But, let’s be honest, you probably already know when you’re picking it up one time too many at the office.

Leave Facebook, Instagram and catching up with the family WhatsApp group until your downtime – you’ll enjoy it more then.

3. You’re not putting your hand up

Asking for help isn’t always as easy as it sounds. For many of us, it feels like failure, or guaranteed to make us somehow seem less of a person to the rest of the team.

But if you don’t ask for help, you’ll never learn, and you’ll never break through the barriers you’ll inevitably encounter at work.

If you’re stuck – ask for help. It’ll be the best thing you do that day and people will respect you for it.

4. You’re not taking a proper lunch break

It might seem like you’re doing the team a favour by regularly skipping lunch, but in reality, you’re doing nothing more than wearing yourself out to the point of burnout.

Sometimes it isn’t possible to take a lunch – I get that, and I’m just as guilty – but whenever you can spare even thirty minutes, take them. Refresh your body with food, mild exercise and a bit of mindfulness – it’ll make the world of difference.

5. You’re using email wrong

I’ve written an awful lot about email and how both useful and disruptive it can be. And it continues to be one of the most important tools for my business; I’ve just learned how to use it correctly over the last couple of years.

Email isn’t a way to get someone’s attention immediately. We have the phone and face-to-face communication for that. It’s a great way to send detailed information, arrange meetings and make new connections – nothing more.

If you’re checking your email every five minutes, you’re wasting massive chunks of the day. Instead, promise yourself you’ll only check in two or three times each day, and set aside a specific amount of time to do it.

Wrapping up

The great thing about my tips above is that they’re easy to implement. They won’t cost you a penny to do so, either.

So, what are you waiting for?