You might think it’s a truism, but most people tend to forget this crucial fact: You should always make the effort to build good habits that will make you healthier, happier, and more productive over time.
Also, when it comes to new habits, it’s important to remember that these are things to do for long term changes.
This infographic will give you an overview of 44 habits to improve your productivity, your health and the overall quality of your workdays.
We will then go over the benefits of each one in details.
All of these activities were designed to be subtle, and relatively easy to do, with a long term effect on your behaviour.
Now that you had a glimpse of those activities, let’s go through each one of them one by one.
1. Think Positively
Alternatively, if you’re thinking negatively, you will attract negativity into your life.
This is also known as the law of attraction. The benefits of positive thinking go beyond just being happy, and can actually rewire your brain to develop new skills.
2. Give Feedback To Manager
Employees aren’t the only ones that need feedback.
Managers often need to hear how they’re doing, and how they can improve.
If you think that your manager is not as attentive as they should be, call them out on it, in a polite way of course. The manager will appreciate your honesty, and you’ll both feel better.
3. Use Water Over Cola
The effects of soda to your body are almost too scary to think about.
The damage that they do is so big, and even the diet versions don’t work. Also, there is so much sugar in cola, that you will end up crashing mid-afternoon.
If you want to be productive, and healthier, choose water over cola. Your stomach will thank you for it.
4. Solve A Situation
You should be recognized and rewarded if you solve an issue inside your organization. Not only that, but you should feel proud of yourself.
That sense of pride will end up leading to higher productivity, because you’ll be more confident about your work going forward.
5. Refer A New Candidate
If you like where you work, then you should help your friends out, and refer them to the company.
Your friend will thank you, and your HR manager at your company will thank you as well, since you’ll be helping them with their job.
Many companies also have a referral bonus if the candidate works out, so that could be an easy way to make a few bucks.
6. Water The Plants At The Office
If there are some plants in your office, give them water to live. Don’t assume that someone else will do it for you, it’s a nice gesture to make sure that your work environment is healthy and alive.
It can be a little demotivating to look over from your desk and see a dying plant. You can also water a colleagues plant for them, it’s a very nice gesture.
7. Praise Colleague
Everyone loves praise. Take some time out of your day to show some love to a coworker, to keep them motivated and encouraged to do more good.
You’d be surprised at how meaningful a simple praise like “good job” can be to someone.
We never know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and it might just be the thing they need to help them have a good day. If you’re a manager, then praise your employees all the time, remember, they look up to you.
8. Suggest An Improvement
Don’t be shy to suggest a new idea, or new process improvement. You’ll earn points in the eyes of your manager, even if the company doesn’t implement the idea.
There are lots of employee suggestion boxes online, many of which are free that you can use to keep the suggestions coming in at all times.
If the company does end up implementing your idea, it will be a huge boost to your productivity, because it will boost your confidence.
9. Eat Fruits and Veggies
Eating fruits and vegetables is important for your health, and to maintain good energy levels at work.
You need to be productive all day long, and learning to increase your energy, and manage your energy levels will be crucial for optimal productivity.
Make sure to get your daily requirement of fruits and veggies, it will be good for your health long term.
10. Bring Meal From Home
I would argue that bringing a meal from home is good for the environment, since there is no need to drive anywhere to pick up food, or no delivery car coming to you, which reduces greenhouse emissions.
Also, chances are, whatever you’re bringing from home will be healthier than whatever you would end up buying, which is another good reason to bring food from home.
11. Clean Up Kitchen Area
While I admit this isn’t the most fun task to do, it’s very important to have a clean eating space.
Plus, the amount of love that you’ll get from co workers is totally worth it. It will go much faster than you think, and you can whistle while you work to make it more enjoyable.
Make this a team building activity for work! Cleaning together can be fun.
12. Learn More About A Colleague
We spend so much time at work, and we can go so long without even saying hello to colleagues.
Personally, I find that crazy. Make a conscious effort to go out of your way and learn about a new colleague. You can even try a few icebreaker games to get to know your coworkers.
Go have a chat with them in the kitchen area, or on the way out from work. Just a simple “hello” and “how’s your day going?” is all you’ll need to get started.
13. Eat Healthy Breakfast
First of all, make sure that you’re even eating breakfast at all.
Too many people go without eating breakfast, even though it’s well known that it’s the most important meal of the day.
Considering it’s the most important meal, you would be wise to make it a healthy meal, eating things like eggs, fruits, oatmeal, etc. Don’t eat sugary cereals, they will have a negative effect on your energy for the day.
14. Eat Away From Desk
There have been studies done that show that you end up gaining weight and becoming less productive if you eat at your desk.
Also, eating at your desk can be quite lonely, it would be better to be social, and go eat with some coworkers. Lunch time is a great opportunity to connect with coworkers and talk about things other than work.
15. Lunch With Colleague
This is a great way to really take some time and connect with them. Even if you go out to a restaurant, take some time to relax and really get to know them.
The only thing I would recommend is if they have food in between their teeth, tell them, it’s the polite thing to do.
16. Sit On An Exercise Ball
The damage that sitting in your desk chair all day does to you is insane. We recently explained in details the importance of ergonomics at work.
Some doctors have called sitting the new smoking. Sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to reduce lower back pain, and work out your abs a little while maintaining your balance.
You can ask your HR manager if buying a few exercise balls is possible, and try to explain the health benefits to them.
Yoga is a great, healthy way to take a break while you’re at work. You don’t necessarily have to do an entire class at a gym, you can do some very simple stretches right at your desk.
The point isn’t necessarily to get an intense workout, it’s more to rest, stretch, and relax your body for a productive rest of the day.
18. Drink 2L Of Water A Day
I’m sure many of you have heard that recommend daily amount for water intake is about 8 glasses.
I feel like a big 2 liter bottle is easier to manage than 8 glasses. If you’re able to drink this much water you’ll be hydrated, energized, and productive, but you’ll also be peeing a lot.
19. Go For A Jog
Ideally this one would be done in the summer, unless you’re okay to jog in the cold.
Going for a jog is a great way to stay in shape, while also clearing your mind and taking a break from work.
This will help your mind and body to relax, and if you’re working on a project or there’s an issue at work, a good jog will usually help you find answers.
20. Use Reusable Bottle
The amount of plastic that people waste with plastic water bottles is doing a lot of damage to our environment.
Why not use a reusable bottle to be more environmentally friendly. You’ll save a couple of dollars by not having to buy so many bottles.
Here’s an advanced health tip, you can use a glass or metal bottle to avoid the chemicals that are found in plastics.
Exercise is important for your health, and for your productivity at work.
We spend so much of our time just sitting, not activating our muscles, that a workout is even more important if you work in a sedentary job.
You could potentially use your lunch break to get a good workout in and get a nice sweat, before you come back for a productive afternoon.
22. Adjust Sitting Posture
It’s natural that after a while of sitting you start to slouch or slide down out of your seat.
Remember to adjust your sitting posture, as it can have a huge effect on your lower back.
As an advanced idea, you should consider asking someone in HR if you can get a chair that’s more ergonomical, and explain that it will have incredible health benefits, as well as make you more productive.
23. Focus With Sound
Listening to sounds (music with no lyrics) like sounds from the rainforest, or nature sounds has been proven to increase your productivity, because it calms you down, allowing you to focus.
Try to do this for at least 30 minutes in a day, to really get through one big task. Check out a website called Calm.com to help you out.
24. Use The Pomodoro Technique
The pomodoro technique has been proven to increase productivity, because you focus on one single task at a time.
The way it works is you set a timer for 25 minutes, and you focus on one thing (remove all distractions) for that 25 minutes, and then after you get a 5 minute break, to get up and stretch your legs.
The brain starts to lose focus after 25 minutes, which is how they came up with that time span.
25. Mentor A New Employee
Helping a new employee is an important part of the onboarding process.
When new employees join the team, they are generally lost, and nervous, and not sure where to turn for help. It’s up to you to help them learn the ropes.
You remember when you were a new employee, you should be sensitive, and help them as much as you can. Don’t only do this for the first week, continuously check in on them.
26. Give Feedback To A Colleague
This activity is interesting, because it’s not about giving feedback to your direct manager, or receiving feedback from your manager, it’s about giving feedback to a coworker.
As long as you’re not rude and insulting, the co worker should appreciate your feedback. The best tip I can give is to make the environment that you’re giving feedback in casual, like over lunch for example.
27. Set Goals For The Week
There is a lot of psychology involved with writing down your goals for the week.
Having a list to look at to motivate yourself will keep you going, and keep you working hard. Try and be realistic about the goals you’re setting, because you’d like to actually complete the list.
Remember not to set too many goals either, pick one or two, and really focus on them. The more you look back at your list, the most chances you’ll have of completing the list.
28. Have A To-Do List
There have been books written about the power of a checklist, and this is essentially the same thing.
Keep a to-do list for your day, and it will help you accomplish your tasks.
It will also help keep your work organized, and ensure that you don’t forget about something. Use a virtual board like Trello to help you visualize your to-do list.
29. Reshare A Company Post
Your team mates worked really hard on a blog post, it would be really nice of you to share it with your social network to get the word out.
The blog author will be really appreciative of you for doing it. You’ll also be helping the marketing team to do their job. If you’d rather not share it on your social networks, consider emailing it to someone who might not have seen it.
30. Use A Reusable Mug
This activity is especially important if you’re a big coffee drinker.
It would be so much better for the environment if you just bought a reusable mug to use over and over again.
Try and find a mug with something funny (but not offensive) written on it, it will make a great conversation starter when you’re in the lunch room.
31. Do Pro Bono Work
I’m a big believer in sharing your knowledge, and teaching others what you know.
Chances are, you have a friend working in a similar industry, or similar position at a different company, help them out.
Show them some cool stuff that you learned at your work that could help them. You can also volunteer to help a company by doing pro bono work.
Check out Catchafire.org for some inspiration.
32. Use A Standup Desk
It’s been proven that sitting for too long is incredibly damaging to your health. It’s also known that standing for too long isn’t good either.
Ideally, you want a good balance of both, and there are a lot of really cheap options. I would really recommend looking into the health effects of sitting, and asking your HR manager to buy one of these desks.
The amount they’ll save in insurance premiums for your bad back will be worth it.
33. Make Coffee For Others
If you’re making a coffee for yourself, a really nice gesture is to make a second cup for a co worker.
It’s a really simple thing to you, and your coworker will be really appreciative, because you’ve taken some time to think about them, and do something nice for them.
Just try not to add too much sugar, your coworker will be buzzing all day.
34. Stretch Your Arms
It’s important to take frequent breaks throughout the day, and one part of the body that’s usually in the same position is your arms, especially if you’re working at a desk job.
Take some time to stretch, and let the blood circulate.
Leaving your arms in the same position for a long time can have serious effects on your joints. You don’t even necessarily have to stand up to do these.
35. Bin-sket Ball
This activity is a combination of throwing your recyclables in a bin, and basketball, so it’s a fun way to keep the environment clean.
Here’s a video of some of the best waste paper basketball players in the world:
Try and see how far you can stand while still making it into the basket, and feel free to challenge your coworkers to see who can do it the furthest.
When it goes in, feel free to celebrate and do a mini-dance.
36. Colleague’s Birthday
Wish your colleague a happy birthday on their special day. You can even sing him a happy birthday song if you’d like.
It might be tough to remember everyone’s birthday, so ask the HR manager to help you with this. Then it’s as simple as entering dates into your calendar to keep yourself reminded.
As an advanced tip, feel free to treat the birthday boy or girl to some lunch.
37. Compliment Someone
This is one of the easiest things to do, and can have such a lasting effect on a person’s mood.
Don’t be shy, and just go up to someone and compliment them on something, like how nice they look today.
If a colleague gets a new haircut, make sure to tell them how nice you think it is (even if you don’t), as it will make them feel better about themselves, and more confident. When they’re more confident, they’ll be more productive.
38. Say Good Morning
Saying good morning to a colleague is such a nice way to start the day. It sets you up to have a productive, happy day.
Don’t just stop at one coworker, feel free to say good morning to a few of them, ideally to people who you don’t interact with much.
When you say good morning to someone you don’t interact with often, it’s even more meaningful, because it seems so out of the ordinary.
39. Take The Stairs
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple way to be healthier.
There’s no point in waiting for an elevator to come, run up the stairs! If you want to really get crazy, treat it like a mini workout, and hustle up the stairs, timing yourself.
See if you can beat your own time the next day, and keep working at it. Before you know, you’ll have snuck in a subtle, but effective workout into your schedule.
40. Shoot A Smile At Someone
There’s actual science behind the power of a smile.
In telephone sales, they’ll always tell you to smile while on the phone, because that affects how the other person hears you.
It’s essentially the same thing here, smile at a colleague, and they’ll smile back. That happiness is contagious, and will translate into a friendlier work environment.
41. Company Apparel
If your company doesn’t have any apparel already, you should go and make some, like a T-Shirt or hat, and allow the employees to do some subtle, subconscious marketing for your brand.
Plus it’s a cool idea for a prize that you can give away to customers, who will again, market your brand by wearing your cool apparel.
42. Walk To The Office
Sometimes, depending on how far your office is, this might not be entirely realistic, but the point is to get walking.
If you take public transport, think about getting off one or two stops earlier to walk the rest of the way, or if you drive, try to park a little bit further and walk.
43. Hold Door For Someone
It’s just a polite, cool thing to do.
It’s important to understand that these small acts are so powerful, even though they seem simple, the effect that they have on morale and overall well being are hard to deny.
Plus it can also give you a chance to smile at a colleague, as well as ask them a quick question like how their day is going.
44. Use Reusable Bag
A reusable bag is very important for the environment, because of all the plastic that gets wasted, and littered.
You could potentially have these bags branded with your company logo and give them away to employees at work, so that when they go shopping, people will ask, “what company is that?”.
As you can see, these are all simple team building activities for work that don’t really require too much effort, and most of them are free.
It’s by doing these activities over and over again that you’ll start to see real life change.
You and your coworkers will become happier and healthier.