7 Sure-Fire Ways to Have a Good Day at Work

Happy colleagues in office playing and having a good time

A recent survey found that most Americans suffer 60 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days a year – or about two months’ worth. The reasons are plenty: work-related stress, a lack of sleep, money woes, illness and a favourite sports team losing.

No wonder why so many people don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. We just want to bury ourselves in blankets and pillows. Unfortunately, though, skipping work and sleeping in won’t pay the bills or put food on the table. It will only get you a pink slip, an empty bank account and depression – none of which are good for your career development.

Is having a bad day, particularly at work, an inevitability? It doesn’t need to be. Even if you have the hardest job or the rudest boss, it is the little things that you can adopt that can ensure every day is a good day, from standing straight to feeling gratitude. It really is up to you to have the most amazing day possible.

Let’s take a look at how to make sure you have a good day at work tomorrow.

1. Find Hours You’re Most Productive

Let’s face it: no matter how much coffee we drink or how much bebop jazz we listen to, some people have better hours than others. One employee may get a great deal of work done in the morning and then get that two o’clock feeling, while another worker is more productive towards the end of the day.

What are your more fruitful hours? That is something you need to find out as soon as possible. Whether you’re that much envied morning person or you’re a night owl burning the midnight oil, you need to determine your most productive working hours to have a better working day. When you do, hone in on those times.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to get a large chunk of tasks done before your lunchbreak? You can do it!

2. Create a To-Do List

A common problem that many staff members have is that they are all over the place without any direction. One moment, they are clearing their inbox. The next, they are finishing an assignment from the previous day. This is not what organisation looks like, and it certainly won’t make you happy.

When you want to be more focused and you want to get a lot of work done before your second tea break, you need to establish a to-do list or a checklist of all the things you need to complete today.

The to-do list is a lifesaver for a diverse array of workers, ranging from the overworked to the overstressed to the unorganised. As long as you write down everything that you have to do before you leave the office and you check off each task that gets done, then you can ensure you’ll have a wonderful workday.

3. Start Your Morning with a Routine

In the era of Netflix binge-watching, thematic marathons on Turner Classic Movies and social media addictions, people are staying up later than ever on a worknight (or school night), but this ultimately breeds a chaotic morning. Oftentimes, individuals will wake up late, be groggy when they hop on the subway and remain miserable at the office until they have their seventh Red Bull.

Successful entrepreneurs credit this one change for their prosperity: implementing a morning routine.

So, what exactly entails a morning routine? Everyone may get through this time of the day differently, but generally this is what you should do:

  • Wake up at the same time every day.
  • Eat a hearty breakfast that will fill you up.
  • Take a hot shower – you should always feel clean, fresh and amazing.
  • Skip the news from time to time – bleak reportage won’t make you feel wonderful.

As long as you maintain this type of schedule from the moment you arise from bed, you’ll have a good day at your desk.

4. Arrive to the Office Early

According to a CareerBuilder survey, nearly one-third of US workers report being late to work at least once a month. Despite the office evolution and certain ideas being antiquated, 40% of hiring managers say they have fired someone for being tardy.

Not only do you risk losing your job for being consistently late but you also threaten the type of day you will have. If you’re arriving to your workstation 45 minutes late, then you’re likely already stressed, anxious and covered in sweat. This isn’t a great way to commence another edition of Hump Day.

The simple solution is to arrive to the office at least 15 to 20 minutes ahead of your start time every day. You might dismiss this suggestion, arguing that it would be impossible for you to do so because of traffic or the kids, but it can be done if you impose these tips:

  • Wake up at least three hours before you start.
  • Leave your home bright and early.
  • Prepare your lunch the night before.
  • Make coffee at home and put it in a thermos.
  • Pay attention to the road – not your phone – if you’re driving.

Remember: just because you get to work early, it doesn’t mean you need to begin working right away. You only need to make yourself a morning person.


5. Use Body Language to Be Happy

The Botox industry received a boost a couple of years ago when researchers said the procedure makes you happier because it stops you frowning. Meanwhile, other studies have found that slouching or shifting to the side will make us unhappy. Indeed, no one will argue the fact that we tend to frown too much, which typically makes us upset or morose.

Simply put: use positive body language to be more amiable at the office. Here are some ways to adjust your position or move your limbs to improve your workday:

  • Stand tall – never slouch – to signal confidence to your colleagues.
  • Stop frowning, no matter how frustrated you are with your assignments.
  • Smile more to be more likeable, trustworthy and pleasant.
  • Quit being loud; lower your voice to reach an optimum pitch.

All of the right body language movements might be conscious efforts, but they will still send signals to your body and brain to be polite, pleasant and productive. Plus, it makes you be more professional at the office – the miserable, uncouth and moaning employees will never advance in their fields.

6. Take Frequent Breaks

It may seem counterintuitive, but the more breaks you take, the more wonderful your day will be. No, you shouldn’t be spending three hours in the breakroom or wasting away the afternoon on your phone stalking – er, following – someone on social media. It is the short but regular breaks that will lift your spirits.

By sitting on your behind for hours at a time, staring at your computer screen and checking emails every few minutes, you will begin to feel sluggish, causing the day to go by slower than normal.

The experts say that you should take a break every 52 minutes – we’ll round it up and say 1 hour. This could consist of standing up at your desk to stretch, refilling your coffee cup, splashing your face with some cold water or looking out the window and clearing your mind for a bit.

7. Leave Your Work at the Office

Our work-life balance is diminishing as technology advances and our connectivity enhances. Once we leave the office, we’re on our mobile devices, reading and sending work-related emails or completing last-minute errands before we head off to dreamland. This is no way to live and be happy.

To have a good day at the office, you must leave your work at your desk. You can’t take it with you home. This will only produce resentment, frustration and disdain for your company – plus, you’ll feel like your fortress of solitude is an extension of your cubicle.

How to ensure you’re not adding to your workweek when you’re off? Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Unplug from your digital devices as soon as you clock off.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ from time to time.
  • Get all your work done before you’re finished for the day.
  • Arrive early or stay a bit late to get some unfinished tasks done.
  • Refrain from venting to your friend, spouse or children about work at the dinner table.

It might be easier said than done, but it is something you must try your best doing.

As soon as you leave the office, you immediately dread the next day. All of the worst-case scenarios are flooding your mind, prompting you to come up with a variety of excuses to get a day off or arrive late. Whether it’s because of the workload or your supervisor, there’s great trepidation for tomorrow.

You can’t live like this. Rather than complaining and just waiting for something to happen, you need to be proactive now. It starts by straightening up and flying right. Perhaps a quote from one of the old jazz standards will get the message across:

But when you’re cryin', you bring on the rain
So stop that sighin', be happy again
Keep on smilin', 'cause when you're smilin'
The whole world smiles with you

What do you do to have a great workday? Let us know in the comments section!