Schedule a 60-second daily chill break.
Pick a time in the middle of the day and set an alarm on your phone. When the alarm goes off, step away from your desk, your computer, your phone, and just chill. Take a few deep breaths, go for a walk around your office, close your eyes and zen out, savor a piece of your favorite chocolate, or sip awesome tea. Then come back to what you were doing. You’ll feel refreshed, calmer, and more in control of even the most chaotic days.
Before you check your email in the morning, get something done.
Email will suck you in, but if you start the day by doing something productive, you’ll feel more pumped for whatever comes next. Work on your article, report, blog post, notes for an upcoming meeting, organize your to-do list -- do something that makes you feel like you’ve made progress towards a goal.
At the end of the day, write down one good thing you appreciate.
If this sounds cheesy, then 11,000 studies showing the benefits of expressing gratitude for what you already have are wrong (and they aren’t). Give it a shot for a week, and do it even on those days that really didn’t go your way. Ending the day on a positive note will help you enjoy your after-work time more and set you up for a better next day.
Make your space unboring.
Plant bursts of color. Favorite notebooks and pens are always fun, even in our digitally-obsessed world. Have a favorite photo of something or someone who makes you smile. Make your space a place that helps you feel energized.
Do something nice for a colleague once a day.
Sure, it’s good to be nice, but science shows that when you do kind things for others, you may be the one getting the greatest positive mood boost. Grab a colleague’s favorite snack and leave it on their desk as a surprise. Invite someone out for a coffee break and treat them. Pay a genuine compliment (even something as small as “I love your outfit today”). Leave a sticky note on their desk that says “You’re awesome!”
Have a walking meeting.
20 minutes of fresh air a day helps you feel happier, and it’s a great way to get some exercise into your workday as well. Instead of sitting in a conference room, have a walking and talking meeting outside. Walking helps you focus your mind and think creatively, both of which could make your meetings even more productive.
While there’s no way to completely avoid procrastination, there are ways to minimize it (like not spending endless hours on social networks or online window-shopping). Make that time productive: set a goal to learn something new -- check out great recipes, interesting websites, or read something longer from a book, newspaper, or magazine. Learning new things makes you happier, plus you’ll avoid the “ugh” feeling of wasted time.
Have a single-tasking hour.
When you multitask you’re 25% less efficient at getting things done and you feel more frazzled. It’s hard to fully cut it out, but you can have a single-tasking hour every day. During that time, do just one thing and that thing only. If you need to hide your phone to avoid distraction or turn off your Internet connection, it’s worth it. You’ll feel more productive and focused, both of which make us happier.
Sit up straight (or stand).
When you slouch you feel less energized than if you sit up straight, with your shoulders back (not hovering over your computer). If you can, spend some time standing up. Maybe have a rule that when you’re drinking something -- water, coffee, tea -- you stand up to do it.
Have your “get pumped” song always ready.
8 Mile by Eminem is my fight song. I play it before big meetings, stressful presentations, or just when I need a serious dose of energy. Find yours and play it whenever you need a boost of awesome.