Stand out as you flex work by easily adopting these 15 positive working habits
Everybody works differently, especially in a flex working world. How you organize your day might not work for the next person. It’s important to do your best at starting each day of the week right to maximize the impact you have on your organization.
Incorporating good working habits into your daily routine will not go unnoticed. They allow you to show your team members and managers that you can work effectively and consistently. Good working habits also yield more productive work allowing you to accomplish more while showcasing this hard work and talent to your organization. Good working habits and high quality work will not only help you succeed, but will also in turn help your colleagues achieve their goals.
We put together 15 working habits that you can incorporate into your routine today.
1. Use your friendly calendar app to glance through your day
First things first, it’s important to know what’s on the radar for the day. The first thing I do every morning is open up my calendar to quickly check what I have going on during the day. A couple things I look for:
- The time of my first meeting of the day (so I know when to dress up);
- If/how many external meetings I have;
- Noticeable chunks of meeting-free time, and;
- The time of my last meeting of the day.
2. Find your morning routine
Once I’ve glanced through my day, I get right to my morning routine (and my favourite part of the day). For me, that’s pouring a hot cup of coffee and putting on my running shoes for my morning movement (usually an outdoor walk or run). Perhaps you also like to get moving first thing in the morning or maybe you’d prefer to stay in and meditate, read your favourite book or cook a hearty breakfast. Whatever a good morning routine looks like for you, do your best to stay consistent with it. The potential stress of your workday can get overwhelming, but do your best to not skip out on this. It’s really helped me achieve a positive work-life balance.
3. Organize and plan your day directly in your calendar app
Once you're settled and in the right headspace to tackle your day, it's time to organize and plan your day. I do this directly in my calendar. I’ve already glanced at my meetings and free-time during the day, so this is where I outline when I will accomplish certain tasks. My Nook Calendar already outlines priority meetings for me, but in addition to that I like to time block my day in my calendar, reserving time for specific projects, exercise and mental health breaks.
4. Book your workspace
If it’s not already done, I like to let my team know where I’ll be working for the day by booking my workspace. I use Nook to do this as it allows me to quickly book my spot in the office or at home. This is a really important step that I’ve incorporated into my daily routine. My colleagues adjust their workspace for the day depending on where I’ll be, and vice versa. If I’m heading to the office, they might choose to join me to collaborate in person. It’s a simple and easy way to optimize team productivity, success and happiness.
5. Clean your work area
In the flex working world, this could mean your home office setup or your spot in the actual office. Regardless of the location, take the time to clean your workspace, organize your laptop and notes and create an environment that will allow you to focus throughout the day.
6. Communicate goals with your team
I’m lucky to work with such a close-knit team. So, part of my morning work routine is to connect with my close colleagues and share my goals for the day. This keeps me organized, allows them to also share their goals and gives us the opportunity to hold each other accountable. Transparent communication within teams makes a huge difference.
7. Find a working technique that keeps you focused
I’d highly recommend finding a technique that will help keep you focused throughout the day. I use the pomodoro technique. This helps me avoid distractions and manage my time during the day. The way it works is that you work focused and uninterrupted for a 25 minute interval, followed by a 5 minute break. After 4 cycles, I take a 15-30 minute break. Even on my busiest days, this keeps me on task and productive while doing so. Now, this might not be feasible for you, and that’s okay. Find what works for you and do your best to stick with it.
8. Always be on time
In the flex working world, it can be easy to get sidetracked and distracted throughout the day. But, the easiest way to stand out to your team and management is to always be punctual. As you’re glancing over your day in the morning, take a mental note of your meeting start times. Then, be sure to show up to those meetings on time, and a couple minutes early if possible. Whether you’re walking into a boardroom or signing onto a Zoom call, be sure you’re prepared and punctual — it will go a long way.
9. Take time to decompress mid-day
Whether that’s to make a nutritious lunch, watch your favourite Netflix show for 20 minutes or head outside for a lunchtime walk — make time for it. Our days get busy and stressful, so making time for yourself and your wellbeing is important. Going into the afternoon with a refreshed mind will yield better work outcomes than if you jam-pack your day with work and avoid time to decompress.
10. Don’t overcommit
When trying to stand out or perform at work, employees often overcommit. However, it’s important to remember that oftentimes tasks and projects take longer than expected — things come up, other tasks get in the way or you get scheduled into an extra meeting you weren’t expecting. By committing to what’s feasible for you, you’ll feel less stressed at work and will likely be able to accomplish higher-quality work in less time.
11. Provide positive and constructive feedback
Providing feedback, both positive and constructive, can have incredibly positive effects on teams at work and an individual’s professional development. It’s important to let your colleagues know what they’re great at and praise them for the impact they are making at your organization. But, it’s also important to provide constructive feedback when necessary. People often don’t realize when they are making a mistake or when they can improve on something. Constructive feedback is the first step to improvement.
12. Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support when you need it. It’s better to admit that you’ve made a mistake or that you don’t 100% know how to do something than to do it partially or incorrectly and slow your team or organization’s progress down.
13. Connect with your team
We spend a lot of time at work with our colleagues. Make an effort to connect with your team personally, yet professionally. After all, we are all humans and this added human touch can really improve someone’s day. So, check in with your colleagues, ask them how they’re doing and don’t feel like you can only talk about work with them.
14. Note your daily accomplishments
At the end of the day, take 5 minutes to jot down the top three things you’ve accomplished during the day. This contributes to your personal development and allows you to regularly recognize the impact you are making at your organization.
15. Log off
When your day is over, do your best to log off from work. Put your laptop away and spend time doing things that make you happy. You’ll be ready to tackle the next thing on your to-do list in the morning.