5 Ideas for a Positive Working Day

One of the first lessons we cover in the Personal Development/PA Skills section of our courses is to help our students to take a step back from their working week and identify how they can increase the number of positive working days.  The lesson is part of a series we cover in conjunction with Sue France’s book “The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook” – well worth getting as there are lots of hints and tips.

Our lessons help to bring out how to practically apply some of the ideas in Sue’s book and relate to them, so our students develop confidence and more knowhow in helping to manage their professional office role.

Feedback from students, on how they feel they can get more positivity into their day, has identified 5 key areas which you may find useful as well:

1. Going to bed earlier – Yes, it does make a difference.  Many sleep research articles identify that if you are in bed and sleeping by 11 pm, you are catching the key time frame for better quality sleep.  Starting to wind down after 10 pm is important so you are nodding off by 11 pm.  It also means you are more likely to sleep longer and feel more refreshed when you wake up the next day.

2. Getting up earlier – We have all done this especially if you have children to sort out and get ready for school as well.  From the moment you wake up you just feel rushed and by the time you get to work you may well feel exhausted just getting over the early morning routine but that rushed feeling never leaves you until you are home again.  This is perhaps one of the most frequent ideas students identify when reviewing how they can get more positivity back into their working life (and perhaps home life too!).  Worth thinking about and seeing what getting up half an hour earlier could do to your routine.

3. Prepping – Sorting out the things the night before that you need before you all go off in the morning the next day.  It will help you feel more relaxed in the morning when you wake up and also helps to remove the rushed feeling in the mornings as well.  Lunches, things needed for school and of course anything you need to do for work i.e. make some notes whilst things are fresh in your mind, ready for the next day so you have these as a reminder to help your next day get off on a solid footing.

4. Parking – Not cars but problems.  If you have a problem to resolve (which we have most days) and you cannot see how to sort this out, then park it and sleep on it.  The subconscious will work on this whilst you are asleep and the next day the way forwards will be much clearer.  You may need to park for a couple of days – better to do that than rush into trying to resolve the problem when not properly thought through and what you think is the best way to resolve the problem really feels  the right approach.  Learn to park problems knowing that in a day or 2 – you will get the right answer coming through.  Much better than worrying when you cannot see the way forwards.

5. Having a break – I think we are all guilty of working, working and working right through because our schedules are so busy.  It is easy to do this to keep on top of things.  But by having a proper lunch break – including a walk outside to get away from the office – you will find the afternoon workload is much easier to cope with and you will feel more on top of things and probably get through more and make better decisions as you go.  So do not see a lunch break as a luxury item but more of as necessity so you can work effectively the rest of the day.  Guilt free lunch breaks are a must!

With a combination of the above you should find a lot more positivity coming back into your life.  You may start to think of other things you could do to ensure a positive working day.  Take a step back and see what you come up with!

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27 Responses

  1. I find that talking to people helps you to remain positive about the things that may be getting you down. This can help, not only by getting someone else’s perspective on a problem, but also by helping you to vent your worries. Sometimes, having a chat with a friend can help you see that the problem or worry is not as big or as bad as it seems leading to a more relaxed and more positive you!

  2. We are all guilty of staying at our desk to complete just one more task. Not having regular breaks tires out both our brain and our eyes leading to frustration and negativity. Getting up from my desk refreshes me, allows me to concentrate better and increases my productivity. At the end of the day I leave work feeling more positive.

  3. I have been guilty of all of the above! Since starting the Personal Development course with Penny it has really helped me to break some bad habits. Sue France’s book “The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook” has so many really helpful hints and tips that has made my working life a lot better. Well worth a read.

  4. This information has really helped me over the past few weeks, as I was sitting completing my coursework for hours. When what I should be going is having regular breaks.

  5. I like to get to work a little bit earlier so I can relax and prepare myself for the day. I usually turn on my PC and make myself a cup of tea. This helps me to get ready for a busy day.

  6. I find getting up half an hour earlier each day to meditate for 10 minutes clears and relaxes the mind before a busy day ahead.

  7. Good advice about parking your problems – it’s true that our thoughts can be muddled if we try to tackle things straight away. I agree about lunch breaks. Where I work most people eat at their desks but we only have 30mins break and I always take this and get some fresh air. I recently spent time in France and for them lunch was really important, and it made me realise that we shouldn’t feel guilty for taking this time and eating properly. Au contraire..!

  8. Great advice. It’s true about lunch breaks. Where I work most people eat at their desks but we only have 30mins break and I always take this and get some fresh air. I recently spent time in France and for them lunch is really important, and it made me realise that we shouldn’t feel guilty for taking this time and eating properly. Au contraire!

  9. I also feel routine really helps me stay positive, I am such a planner and this helps to keep me organised and stress free! The book by Sue French is turning out to be a great read and really thought provoking. It has really made me think about myself and what i can do to enhance my lifestyle and my daily routine, because change can really put a fresh spin on things and the book I feel has supported me to embrace change better instead of avoiding it.

    I also a feel a good diet keeps me positive as when i eat healthier, I feel better and more energised in myself which keeps me going for longer and helps me concentrate and study.

    I think it is great though that everyone has lots of different ideas to share and gives others hints and tips to feel more positive in their working day, so thanks everyone!

  10. Mindfulness is a key which, in a way, is also the point Nr. 5. Being present at this moment & avoid any sort of influence from other situations & people.
    Permanently “parking” isn’t going to solve the problems; “sleeping on it” may bring a new solution though.

  11. Having read this article a couple of weeks ago, I’m really making a conscious effort to take a proper lunch break. I’m lucky enough to work in a beautiful office (a converted barn nestled at the foot of the Sussex Downs) and have been making sure that I step away from my desk and take advantage of the surroundings by walking a mile up the lane and back most lunchtimes. Not only is this enabling me to get away from my work, clear my head and refocus but it’s also helping me to up my daily steps and move more!

  12. A good night’s sleep and continuous hard work for a positive mentality sets the wheels in motion for a productive day at work!

  13. Amazing tips!

    Having enough sleep is so beneficial, not only for your health in general but a great deal for your mental health!
    And I also love your tips on prepping which I should really try my best to do this to avoid feeling rush in the morning especially when I have a train to catch!

    Can’t deny most of us are guilty of NOT having breaks during lunch or do what we call a “working lunch” – though I must say during the summer months, it is especially great when the sun is out as I take this opportunity to have a walk and de-stress.

  14. I totally agree with the tips recommended. I have tried to go to sleep by 10 pm and wake up early in the morning. My day starts with ease and refreshment. It affects to my working day – i feel more positive and more smiling with workmates and people surrounding. Communications among departments and groups are much better and help bring productivity.
    Lunch break is also important. It is when you can recharge yourself with enough food and a cup of coffee. Or taking a short 20-minute nap is also a good advice before getting back to work.

  15. These are great tips! I am always looking at finding less stressful ways to start my day in the morning. I find myself in work in the morning all stressed out before I have even turned my monitor on!

    After reading this, I think I might take a lunch break instead of working through it.

  16. Thank you for the wonderful advice, I agree with all of it. I also find setting positive intentions when I get up (early) in the morning and visualising the day running smoothly and joyfully also really help me to start the day.

  17. Great advice and an interesting article. We are all guilty of not taking enough breaks, but they really help especially if you are working on a difficult task. I also think working in the right environment helps with a positive working day. Just sitting by a window really helps my mental health.

  18. These are 5 great ways to help you have a successful day- in work and family life. I like the positive encouragement to remind us the reasons why these will help.

  19. Amazing advice 🙂 I personally never take enough breaks but find even taking 5 minutes really helps clear your head.

  20. I really valued the point about parking a problem. So often in today`s society we feel pressurised to make decisions quickly and this may result in the wrong decision being made and having to take time to resolve the situation. I think it is much better to take longer and come to a clear conclusion, feeling you are happy and are sure of what to do rather than rushing and being stressed over a problem and taking the wrong decision. This is positive for both you and others.

  21. Excellent advice and tips. I think we are all guilty of not knowing when to stop and have a break as we are eager to get things done. Definitely time to stop feeling guilty and look after ourselves.

  22. I found this blog post super helpful – especially the parking point. Often I will try to solve issues as soon as they happen but sleeping on it is great advice!

    I also rarely take breaks but they are so important! Even five minutes is beneficial.

  23. Thanks for sharing these great tips. I am guilty of N°1, 4 and
    5. After reading Sue France’s book, I have been practicing sleeping on problems I can’t solve and I must say that this one practice has changed my life.

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