(Guest post by Disha Clark)
Productivity in the workplace isn’t just based on teamwork and large amounts of coffee. It’s also heavily influenced by the choices you made the night before. A stressful or tiring night will likely occupy your mind and lower your output during the following workday. In turn, however, healthy decisions made at home can improve your mindset and overall effectiveness as an employee.
There are several ways to set yourself up for a great day on the job before even leaving for the office. Whether big or small, lifestyle changes made at home can have a hugely positive impact on your efficiency at work.
A stressed-out mind will not be as effective as a relaxed one, especially when it comes to crunch time in the office. After a long day of work, it’s important to blow off steam to clear your head and re-energize. Find whatever stress-relief tactics work best for you. Yoga, running, socializing, reading, or a simple hot bath can go a long way in allowing your stress to melt away and setting yourself up for a fresh start the following day.
One form of stress-relief is especially beneficial when it comes to workplace benefits: exercise. The added advantages of a consistent workout routine don’t just extend to physical health; your brain also benefits from physical activity. Even a simple 30-minute jog can improve your memory as well as your problem-solving and multitasking skills, rounding out your resume and making you a much better worker. Plus, if you make exercise a nightly habit, you could improve your immunity and cut down on sick days. Try to keep your activity earlier in the evening in order to maintain healthy sleep patterns, and, if possible, get outside in order for your brain to reap the benefits of fresh air.
If you consistently get overwhelmed at work, it could also be helpful to spend some time at night planning out the following day and creating a to-do list of responsibilities. Studies have found that scheduling out your tasks sets more realistic time frames and deadlines for projects, which in turn improves overall productivity. Try to keep creative tasks earliest in the day while your mind is still fresh, and then move on to simpler projects in the afternoon. Creating this schedule should also help you stay motivated and allow you to manage your time better.
Then, set yourself up for a relaxed morning by prepping whatever you can. Try laying out your outfit every night before bed to avoid rummaging through your closet at the last minute. This should also help you prevent showing up to the office wearing unplanned wrinkles or stains. Similarly, you can prepare a healthy and hearty breakfast the night before. Overnight oats, a smoothie, or a protein-heavy chia seed pudding can all be prepped and left in the fridge overnight. This should only take a few minutes every night but will help you transition smoothly into complete wakefulness in the morning and set the tone for a successful, stress-free day at work.
Finish the night off with a proper rest. The high-quality sleep that a peaceful bedroom and comfortable bedding can bring will have a powerful effect on your creativity as well as your focus. A rested brain is much more likely to have a productive morning and workflow. In fact, research has found that employees who work earlier in the morning, closer to their deep sleep stages, produce more accurate and creative work. Sleep’s work-related benefits don’t end with improved workflow, however. The mood and energy boosts that are associated with good rest can make it easier to collaborate with coworkers and complete projects faster and with more diverse thought.
Your work performance doesn’t depend solely on the time you put in between 9-5. A few healthier lifestyle choices made at night can significantly improve your efficiency on the job the next morning. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps at home to be the best employee you can be.