One measure of our professional state of mind is what I like to call our workday vs. non-workday preference barometer. I define this as one’s level of hope or dread of workdays compared to Saturdays, Sundays, vacation and holidays.
Many of us have had days we weren’t exactly looking forward to, and when we feel stressed or anxious on days we have to be our best professional selves, that more often than not, is an indicator.
A Gallup survey last summer found that the “40 Hour Workweek” had grown to 47 hours for most professionals. What does that mean? One scenario is that if don’t enjoy our time when we are working, we are spending more than 10 years of our lives unhappy.
Here are a few ideas to consider implementing into your work environment.
Change up the environment
Our physical environments impact our physiology and this affects our thinking and energy flow. Refreshing our office space can inspire creativity and new perspective. A simple yet effective change we can make is to consider a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Colors in our environment play a role in our mood, productivity and job performance. Colors can affect how we feel which impacts how we think and what we, and our teams, are able to accomplish and produce. Check out this guide to choosing the right paint and décor color to support a healthy business.
Let in some natural hues
Living and working in high-rises, driving in our cars, or riding on public transportation are keeping us all cooped up and are limiting our time spent in green spaces and in natural sunlight. You might consider adding plants to your office space and making a conscious effort to increase your exposure to natural light. If you can’t raise the blinds on the windows or there are none near you, consider taking your lunch on a patio or take regular walks outside. You could also check out your options to having an outdoor meeting once a week and bringing in some plants from this list.
Shades of Strategy
We can often forget to pay attention to what’s driving our business plans even more so than forgetting to notice the color of the walls around us. Our professional and/or business strategy must be top-of-mind for us and it also needs to include the right mix of what will challenge and inspire us every day. If it’s been a while since you really considered your most important professional goals and how to achieve them, make time to consider if they need to be brightened up a bit.
Our professional lives take up a great deal of our energy and time. Break out a color wheel and your green thumb and help yourself to a colorful world that excites you every day.