“I Want to Work Better” The Guide

Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

By Jessica Hamlin

The Problem

You don’t feel good or productive at work.

No matter what work you do, most people want to be productive at their jobs and not dread the work day as they watch the minutes crawl by. Even if you have your “dream job,” work is work and can come with demanding deadlines, people, and projects.

Additionally, work can take a toll on your body if you’re sitting all day, on your feet all day, or doing manual labor.

While we can’t control every aspect of our work, we CAN control some things that can help us be healthier and get more done, thereby hopefully making us feel better too.

How You Got Here

Identifying What You Can Control  

There are many reasons why you may not feel good or productive at work.

Perhaps you have a job you don’t like because you don’t like the field or work itself. Perhaps it’s the people or a person who is difficult. Maybe the physical environment brings you down. Whatever the reason, there are ways to like your job more.  

Identify and focus on what you CAN control:

Your physical environment: If you have a workspace or some space that you can make your own or decorate in some way, odds are it can be improved to help lift your mood and productivity.

Your body: To some extent, you can control how your body moves and how much it moves at work. If you’re not moving most of the day at a desk or somewhere else, that can negatively impact your body, mind and mood. If you do some literal heavy lifting or something more physical at work, that can also take a toll, especially if your body is doing more than it should or you’re not using proper form or stretching. And if you’re on your feet a lot, comfy shoes matter.

Your energy: What’s fueling you? While we can all have energy slumps, it’s important to know how to help yourself get out of them (hint: not always chugging caffeine) and to ask yourself what may be draining you if you’re tired at work all the time. Consider food, sleep, stress, and how much you move, to name a few.

What You Can Do About It

Once you identify what you can control about your work experience (including your attitude at work), make adjustments and see what works well.

Even walking for 10 minutes or climbing some stairs during a workday can give you more of an energy boost than caffeine.

Employ some teamwork. See if you can share your experience with others at work and ask them for ideas or see if they want to participate in some changes with you. Having someone to help keep you moving more during the day or keep you accountable with what may be draining your energy will encourage you to keep going and hopefully feel better and be healthier. Plus, having friends at work is a good thing. Camaraderie at work can help create a “common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in-it together,” according to Harvard Business Review.

Where Do You Start?

To help with some of the things you can control to some extent, like workspace, movement and energy, check out the tips in some of these articles we’ve shared:



How to Make Your Workspace Healthier and More Productive



(Thumbnail Photo Credit: by Bench Accounting/Unsplash)

Jessica Hamlin is an LA-born and bred journalist and editor who started taking pictures of food back when everyone used film cameras. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s health coach training program, she’s passionate about wellness and enjoys making and discovering delicious and healthy food. Her work has appeared in Clean Plates, NPR affiliate KPCC, AOL, and Eater LA.