How-To Not Dread Your Time in the Office
Sometimes it feels like Friday does not come soon enough! But recently, I have been enjoying my work life much more than usual, and the therapist and over-analyzer in me was curious to find out why! I discovered 5 things I have been doing lately that have lead to a more productive, and happier work life that I enjoy. I’m sharing those 5 ways with you, so you can enjoy your time in the office too!
5 Ways to Enjoy the Work Day with Day Designer
Review the Next Day the Night Before
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s the little things that make all the difference. I know it’s tempting to pick up your stuff in a rush at 5 o’clock because you’ve been inundated with emails all day, but just like you look at your planner in the morning to gain perspective, looking over your planner for the next day at the end of day helps too.
Send friendly reminders to fellow meeting attendees for that early morning meeting coming up tomorrow. Confirm your next day’s appointments with a quick email – that recipient is likely to see this message at the beginning of the next business day! Make notes in your calendar of when you need to leave for appointments, and what you need to have prepared for the following day’s workflow. This has helped me tremendously take pride in being prepared.
Doing this has also helped my clients remember to be punctual, and has wiped that rushed look on my face traveling that’s usually there when I rush from meeting to meeting. Now, I create more cushion in between appointment times and remember that mindfulness, which allows me to mentally refresh and reset before entering the next meeting. This has also created an environment of readiness for those I work closely with. They can count on me to be ready and reliable, so they come ready too.
Find Pockets of Time to Focus on Work you Enjoy
There is the work assigned and given to you. And then, there is the REASON WHY you started doing this work in the first place. It’s easy to forget the WHY when you’re trying to juggle all of your daily tasks, and stay sane. I love the worksheet at the beginning of my Day Designer Planner. This section of my planner helps me focus on the 3, 6, 9, and 12-month goals I have for my work life.
These goals can be as simple as “redesigning the therapy office for kid clients“, or gathering a group of fellow co-workers to start a focus group. If there isn’t one way that you would like to contribute to your workplace, you might be working a little too hard and need to use that PTO to remember your WHY. *Or you might not be working hard enough, and need to use your planner to assess your job duties and regain some focus. No one wants to be a mediocre employee. Think of ways you want to influence your workplace and your personal assignments in positive and passionate ways, then take those baby steps, gurrrl! (Use that “TO-DO” section of your planner like mean it!)
Use Your Tools
Yes, that break room coffee maker is an essential tool! You never know when the cafe across the street will mess up your order, or worse – not give you enough coffee! (See pic below! Haha.) I also mean you ought to use the resources you have before you. Email is a great way to share a note of appreciation to your boss or fellow peers for helping you with XYZ or sending over that helpful information to you so you could get that project done.
Other tools include networking sites where you can share and read about your field, and how to develop your professional education. Seek out local meetups for people in your line of work that are taking their passion of helping others with their skills to the next level! Tools also include the daily mechanisms your employer already has in place.
For example, that medical records system – make sure you’re proficient in using it! Spending even 10 mins a day educating yourself on how to work wiser in YOUR office will allow you to be seen as resource, and allows you to problem solve on your own, keeping you from wasting other peoples’ time.
Networking Grows Your Circle and Your Soul
In TIP #2 we talked about meeting up with others in our line of work. For some, “networking” is a dirty word and makes them think of awkward work gatherings that never really amount to anything except for a free name tag. Networking is so much more than standing in a room full of people feeling awkward. Everyone has something good to contribute, and we can get more good stuff accomplished when we work together. Instead of collecting business cards, really focus on getting to know others in your professional circle. ASK about ways you can genuinely be helpful to them, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need too.
My Day Designer has a gratitude box at the bottom of each page in my planner. I use it often during Monday-Friday to list ways I am thankful for my boss, my clients, my career, and my social network. Last week one of our administrators had HR mail me bluetooth headphones to my home so I can drive more safely while on conference calls! Writing that thank you note to them afterwards helped strengthen our professional relationship. I know now that I can ask this administrator for help in the future. And I plan to ask this administrator how I can start sharing what I’m working on with other therapists in my office who don’t feel as comfortable or enjoy working with kids.
Name Your Standard, Match Your Work
One of my dearest friends, told me once she thinks about doing everything with excellency. I love her for that because she helped frame what was really a deep desire of my own heart. Focusing on the standard I set for myself makes work feel more like a game than a chore. In a way, I am completing with myself to win what I deem a good prize – my own sense of integrity and approval. This is why I want to do everything with excellence. (Notice I did not say “perfection” or “accuracy”).
You can develop a standard that feels right for you. Perhaps, “quality customer service, timeliness, or zest” might be standards for you depending on your field. ‘Excellency’ is the standard I have created for myself when I punch in. Whether I am crafting that follow up message, or typing out that due report, I first focus on excellency before anything else. Email sent with excellency. Check. Report was written with excellency.
Check. All my checks pile up the kudos on myself, and THIS is what really allows me to ENJOY my work. I review my work to ensure that I have completed my tasks to my own standard before I make sure they fit my work brief.
Please let me know how YOU make the most of your workday, and why you love your Day Designer too! You can shop my “Perfectly Paisley” planner now at DayDesigner.com.
Shop some of the items from this post below for women’s workwear attire and things that I use along with my Day Designer!