5 Small Things That Improve My Workday

I like my job.  It’s in my field, and I have a lot of freedom.  I definitely like it thousands of times better than what I was doing before.  But it is a job, and I do find myself watching the clock or wishing I had one extra weekend day.  (Actually, I’ve read that a 4-day work week with longer workdays makes you more productive, but that’s a discussion for another day.)  Here’s what I do at work to get me through the slump times.

  1. Getting up on time.  Okay, technically this one doesn’t happen at work.  I hate to admit it, but a better workday starts with a better morning.  If I get up late, I don’t have enough time to both look nice and get a good breakfast.  One of those things has to give.  I can function without both of those things, but I am more happy and productive when I like how I look and when I’ve had 15 minutes to eat in the morning.
  2. Background music.  I like working in the quiet, but sometimes I need music to occupy the back of my mind while I get work done.  It also helps pass the time.  What I listen to varies: yesterday it was songs from Bollywood films; other times it’s rock songs I like, my list of faves, or instrumental music for focus.  If you’re not exploring Spotify’s extensive genre playlists, you’re missing out.
  3. Colorful pens.  I write weekly and daily tasks in my planner (partly to stay organized and partly to avoid drowning in sticky notes), and colored pens help different tasks stand out as well as brighten up my workspace.  My pens aren’t fancy, and I don’t have a color-coded system, either.  I just use whatever color I feel like.
  4. Bags of extra-spice chai in my desk drawer.  I drink coffee every day (and buy way too much when my own coffee gets old).  But sometimes I want something different.  Chai is the only tea I’ll drink consistently (maybe because it pairs so well with espresso?).  It’s great as an afternoon pick-me-up or as another morning drink if coffee wasn’t enough.  And keeping the bags in my desk helps combat the urge to pick up Starbucks on my way back from lunch.  Speaking of lunch…
  5. Yoga on my lunch break.  Yoga is what I always come back to as an exercise (although I’m beginning to see it as more than just exercise — another discussion for later!).  Cristina over at Girl in the Pages mentioned Yoga with Adriene in one of her posts a few months ago, and it is so good.  It’s free, it’s on YouTube, and Adriene has yoga practices for literally everything you can think of.  I’ve enjoyed every video I’ve followed along with, but the Yoga for Busy People list is awesome.  Ten to fifteen minutes of yoga at lunchtime gets my blood flowing and makes me more productive in the afternoons.

They’re not big things, but combined this stuff does make me more productive at work.  Now, if only I had a window!

Mentions of Girl in the Pages and Yoga with Adriene are all my own, honest opinions.  No incentives here; just great products!


  1. I agree with getting up on time. My morning routine is admittedly ridiculous. On my good days I read the new and review blog comments for about an hour while drinking strong coffee. Then I go for a long walk. In the summer, I come back and sit on my back porch (drink more coffee) and read a blog post or two. THEN I get ready for work. These are the days at work I enjoy the most. I get in feeling very relaxed.

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