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In a recent Harvard Business Review article, a pair of researchers share 13 subtle signs, narrowed from a list of 116, which was itself culled from more than 900 “tells” gathered from interviews with hundreds of employees and managers. Those 13 signs are:

  1. Their work productivity has decreased more than usual
  2. They have acted less like a team player than usual
  3. They have been doing the minimum amount of work more frequently than usual
  4. They have been less interested in pleasing their manager than usual
  5. They have been less willing to commit to long-term timelines than usual
  6. They have exhibited a negative change in attitude
  7. They have exhibited less effort and work motivation than usual
  8. They have exhibited less focus on job-related matters than usual
  9. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual
  10. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual
  11. They have left early from work more frequently than usual
  12. They have lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization
  13. They have shown less interest in working with customers than usual

Science of Us

  1. Get up 15 minutes earlier
  2. Prepare for the morning the night before
  3. Avoid tight fitting clothes
  4. Avoid relying on chemical aids
  5. Set appointments ahead
  6. Don’t rely on your memory write it down
  7. Practice preventive maintenance
  8. Make duplicate keys
  9. Say "no" more often
  10. Set priorities in your life
  11. Avoid negative people
  12. Use time wisely
  13. Simplify meal times
  14. Always make copies of important papers
  15. Anticipate your needs
  16. Repair anything that doesn’t work properly
  17. Ask for help with the jobs you dislike
  18. Break large tasks into bite size portions
  19. Look at problems as challenges
  20. Look at challenges differently
  21. Unclutter your life
  22. Smile
  23. Be prepared for rain
  24. Tickle a baby
  25. Pet a friendly dog/cat
  26. Don’t know all the answers
  27. Look for a silver lining
  28. Say something nice to someone
  29. Teach a kid to fly a kite
  30. Walk in the rain
  31. Schedule play time into every day
  32. Take a bubble bath
  33. Be aware of the decisions you make
  34. Believe in yourself
  35. Stop saying negative things to yourself
  36. Visualize yourself winning
  37. Develop your sense of humor
  38. Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
  39. Have goals for yourself
  40. Dance a jig
  41. Say "hello" to a stranger
  42. Ask a friend for a hug
  43. Look up at the stars
  44. Practice breathing slowly
  45. Learn to whistle a tune
  46. Read a poem
  47. Listen to a symphony
  48. Watch a ballet
  49. Read a story curled up in bed
  50. Do a brand new thing
  51. Stop a bad habit
  52. Buy yourself a flower
  53. Take time to smell the flowers
  54. Find support from others
  55. Ask someone to be your "vent-partner"
  56. Do it today
  57. Work at being cheerful and optimistic
  58. Put safety first
  59. Do everything in moderation
  60. Pay attention to your appearance
  61. Strive for Excellence NOT perfection
  62. Stretch your limits a little each day
  63. Look at a work of art
  64. Hum a jingle
  65. Maintain your weight
  66. Plant a tree
  67. Feed the birds
  68. Practice grace under pressure
  69. Stand up and stretch
  70. Always have a plan "B"
  71. Learn a new doodle
  72. Memorize a joke
  73. Be responsible for your feelings
  74. Learn to meet your own needs
  75. Become a better listener
  76. Know your limitations and let others know them, too
  77. Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin
  78. Throw a paper airplane
  79. Exercise every day
  80. Learn the words to a new song
  81. Get to work early
  82. Clean out one closet
  83. Play patty cake with a toddler
  84. Go on a picnic
  85. Take a different route to work
  86. Leave work early (with permission)
  87. Put air freshener in your car
  88. Watch a movie and eat popcorn
  89. Write a note to a faraway friend
  90. Go to a ball game and scream
  91. Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight
  92. Recognize the importance of unconditional love
  93. Remember that stress is an attitude
  94. Keep a journal
  95. Practice a monster smile
  96. Remember you always have options
  97. Have a support network of people, places and things
  98. Quit trying to fix other people
  99. Get enough sleep
  100. Talk less and listen more
  101. Freely praise other people

BONUS: Relax, take each day at a time you have the rest of your life to live!

Graves' Disease

The first 15 minutes of your workday sets the tone for the rest of your workday. If you are already too busy at the start of your workday, imagine what the rest of your day might be like when challenges arise and other people start seeking you for help. Here are 14 things productive people do in the first 15 minutes of their workday to help them stay productive for the rest of their day.

Productive people know the importance of reporting to work early. Instead of rushing to work anxiously and hoping to be on time, they leave their house early and stroll into the office calmly. They set a relaxing tone right from the start of their workday and give themselves an extra 15 minutes to be ready for work.

Similar to a surgeon performing an operation and a chef working in the kitchen, productive people make sure their tools are in proper position before they begin their work. Every minute counts in the operating theater and kitchen, so too in your workspace! Productive people keep their workspace organized so that they don’t have to spend unnecessary time looking for what they need.

It’s good to review what you have done previously, especially if you’ve just returned from the weekend or holidays. Productive people warms themselves up for work by reminding themselves where they left off previously. Instead of jumping straight into a task, they review past achievement to give themselves some direction on what to do next and a sense of accomplishment.

Productive people have a to-do list. They review their to-do list at the start of their workday so that they can strategize and plan ahead. They remind themselves of important deadlines and meetings so that they can prioritize and schedule their work accordingly.

Productive people know they will be overwhelmed if they plan too much for themselves. To stay focused at work and prevent themselves from multitasking they identify no more than 3 important tasks for the day. Leo Babauta, founder of the productivity blog Zen Habits, also sets himself 3 most important tasks (MITs) each morning to move himself forward.

Productive people gain clarity on what they want to achieve each day by asking themselves good questions. They identify problems clearly and assess if these problems need to be solved. They don’t waste time during their day solving unimportant issues. Asking good questions also motivates during the day. For example, Ron Friedman, an expert on human motivation, suggests to ask this question at the beginning of your workday: "The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved? "

Productive people like Tumblr founder David Karp don’t check or read their emails in the first 15 minutes of their workday. They know they will get distracted easily. If they anticipate important emails from their superiors and customers, they will scan their inbox for these emails and schedule replies accordingly. They don’t read emails in chronological order and reply to emails immediately.

Productive people know they get the most work done in the morning, so they prioritize what is important and plan their work first. They put their mobile phone on silent and do not have their schedule dictated by incoming messages and notifications.

Similar to athletes who use visualization techniques for training and competition, productive people run through positive images of success and achievement in their mind. They mentally rehearse and practice what they have to do for the day and program their subconscious mind. When it’s time for them to actually perform the task, they find it much easier.

After visualizing the future, productive people take a moment to be present. They know they may get too busy during the day so they take a break even before they start their work. Breathing deeply provides oxygen to your brain. It makes you think clearer and allow you to be calmer. Successful people like Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington take time to mediate in the morning too.

Productive people know they have to sit in front of the computer all day. They know that being inactive for too long would bring them health problems in the long run. To combat this they do some light stretching in the first 15 minutes of the workday and schedule time to stretch throughout the day.

Productive people don’t talk to their colleagues about work issues first thing in the morning. They respect other people’s time and they know their colleagues need time to get ready for work. Unless you want others to find you early in the morning, don’t go into your office and ask others for favors straightaway.

Productive people know the importance of fulfilling their own needs before helping others. They determine their own priorities first and slot in other people’s requests later. They don’t try to be supermen or superwomen and help everyone in need. They respect their 15 minute routine in the morning and will politely reject or delay requests if they are approached by others.

Productive people remind themselves each morning how blessed they are to have a job and be of value to others. They see challenges as opportunities to grow and stretch themselves. They look forward to work each day. When you feel good about your work, it removes any negative feeling or procrastination you may have that prevents you from being productive.

Lifehack

  1. Keep your desk clean
  2. Silence your phone
  3. Mute your email during work hours
  4. Write distractions down for later
  5. Take regular breaks
  6. Save non-important articles for later
  7. Block notifications
  8. Don't always just work at the office
  9. Sit by a window
  10. Go for walks
  11. Get the right amount of sleep, healthy food and exercise
  12. Create a comfortable temperature for you to work in
  13. Meditate
  14. Buy plants
  15. Listen to music you enjoy
  16. Put up pictures of things that make you happy, whether it be family members, pets or art
  17. Keep meetings short and sweet
  18. Delegate
  19. Track exactly where your time goes
  20. Simplify your inbox
  21. Quit Facebook during work hours
  22. Automate tedious tasks
  23. Batch similar tasks
  24. Try a dictation app
  25. Cut out bad habits
  26. Quit multitasking
  27. Prioritize your tasks everyday
  28. Don't check your email until you've worked for 2 hours
  29. Write your 3 most important tasks on a Post It
  30. Do your most important task first
  31. Smile and be happy
  32. Write tomorrows to-do list tonight
  33. Try to do your most creative tasks first
  34. Break big tasks into bitesize pieces
  35. "Eat the Frog"
  36. If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it now
  37. Work out when you work best
  38. Make progress visible and celebrate small wins
  39. "Don't break the chain"
  40. Bribe yourself with a reward

UltraLinx

Get yourself organized at the start and end of a day. As you start your work day, write down your three Most Important Tasks (MITs). Write down a handful of other things you’d like to do today as well. Clear your desk, get things in order. At the end of each day, tidy things up, check off your list, maybe even get things ready for tomorrow.

When you get up from your desk, put one thing away. Whenever you get up for a glass of water, to go to the bathroom, to take a break, pick up something off your desk and put it away. If your desk is clear, look for something nearby.

When you’re done eating, wash your bowl. This is self-explanatory. Mindfully wash your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink. If there are other dishes in the sink, wash a few of them too.
Wipe down the sink when you use it. Whenever you wash your hands or brush your teeth in the bathroom, wipe down the sink so it’s clean. Do the same in the kitchen sink. Clear away a few things around the sink too if you can.

When you walk through a room, find one thing to put away. If you’re going from your bedroom to the living room, find one thing during that trip to put away. You don’t have to get stuck in putting everything away, just one thing.

When you take off a piece of clothing, put it away. When you shower or change clothes, instead of leaving them on the floor or on a piece of furniture, put the clothes away or in a hamper. Look for a few other clothes to put away too if there are more lying around.

Keep flat surfaces clear. Your tables, counters, desks, floors—keep them clear. If there’s a ton of clutter there now, see the rule below about decluttering on Saturdays. But if it’s doable, just start clearing whatever is on the floor (except furniture and the like). When you walk by the kitchen counter, look for things other than oft-used appliances to put away.

At the end of the work day, file stuff. If you still use papers, file them at the end of the day. If you are all digital, clear your computer desktop and put files where they belong.

Deal with an email instead of putting it off. When you open an email, give it the space to deal with it immediately. Read it, reply, take action, or archive it. Or put it on your to-do list for later if it’s a big task. Don’t just constantly open emails without handling them.

Work to only having three emails in your inbox. Slowly clear away the hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox. Archive or delete them, put a handful in a to-do folder, file others into informational folders, unsubscribe from newsletters.

Put non-essential items you want to buy on a 30-day list. Create a 30-day list, and whenever you want to buy something that’s not absolutely essential (other than groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries), put it on the list with the date you added it. Then don’t allow yourself to buy anything until it’s been on the list for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, see if you still want it before buying.

Put your clothes in a different closet or box, and only take out what you need. Move all your clothes to a closet in an unused room if you have one, or put them in a box or two. Only remove the clothes you really need to wear. After a month of doing this, you’ll see what clothes you can consider donating.

Declutter on Saturdays. Every Saturday morning, spend an hour or two (or half a day) decluttering one area.

One in, two out. When you bring something new in your life (buy something online, get a gift), get rid of two other similar things. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes, donate two other pairs. In this way, you’ll 1) think more about each thing you buy, and 2) slowly have fewer and fewer possessions. Eventually you’ll want to switch to a “one in, one out” rule when you think your possessions are at a good level.

Limit how many things you have. Consider limiting yourself to 30 pieces of clothing, or 30 books, or something like that. Get rid of everything else, don’t allow yourself to go beyond the limit. The individual limit you set is up to you, whatever feels slightly uncomfortable is good.

At the end of each month, clear out computer clutter. Self-explanatory. Back things up!

Every three months, purge. Also self-explanatory. Spend a weekend purging all your unneeded belongings.

Zen Habits