The term life hack is pretty overused these days, but it applies here, so I am going with it. If you are not familiar with life hacks, they are strategies or techniques to increase productivity or efficiency.
Here are some life hacks that have helped me get things done and feel better at work.
Stand at Your Desk
Sitting at a desk all day is bad for you, according to James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. So stand up. No, not to work at a standing desk. Stand up, walk away from your desk, and out of your office. Get fresh air to clear your head.
Don’t Eat Lunch at Your Keyboard
I won’t lie… if I turned my keyboard upside down right now, there would be all sorts of nasty crumbs and food bits on my desk. I eat at my desk a lot, but I also make it out to lunchtime meetups or just to lunch with a person or two as often as I can. Those lunches outside of the office are great to share ideas, vent, and experience sunshine.
You know and I know that the majority of meetings are a huge waste of time. If you run your own company or team, consider this as an exercise – break out how much each person in a meeting makes per hour (yeah, they are on salary – you have a calculator on your phone. Figure it out!). Unless you are having the sort of super-efficient meetings that only exist on TV shows, you’re wasting a lot of money.
Take a Break for Fun Stuff
Sometimes you just need a mental health day or afternoon. A good day for this is Wednesday, at least during baseball season. This is often the last day of a series with a game played around lunchtime, so the visiting team doesn’t have to travel too late to the next game. Years ago, this was known as the “businessman’s special”, but that term isn’t cool with the PC police, so let’s call it baseball hooky. I also love to see a movie matinee or get out on a boat on a weekday – less people, more water to enjoy.
Keep a Schedule for Drinking Water
Well, you should always be hydrated for good health, but also, it’s good to have a reason to get up and stretch every hour or so. Lots of water has a way of making that necessary. Bring a water bottle to work and make marks for how much to drink on the hour and gulp down a pint or so an hour.
Use Caffeine as a Nap Alarm
I won’t bother trying to sell you on the virtue of naps. It’s obvious that they are awesome. Various studies indicate that caffeine kicks in between 30 and 60 minutes. When I need a quick nap, I’ll chug a can of Diet Dr. Pepper and jump in bed. I am refreshed and ready around an hour later. Magic!
This was the Editor’s Note from issue 32 of FeedFront magazine.