10 Ways to Have a Happy Workday

by Brad Isaac on July 5, 2007

Everyone wants to have a great work day.     You want to go to work, get the job done and head for the horizon with a smile on your face.   It’s easy to have a good day at work if you prepare in advance and keep a good running list of how to get through with the most happy day.

Here are the top 10 ways to have a happier workday.

1.   Eat breakfast – If you skip breakfast, you won’t be at your best during the morning.   You will more likely gorge yourself at lunch and have a sleepy afternoon.   So eat something, anything (within reason) so you can ensure a smooth start.

2.   Get plenty of sunshine – Sun in the morning signals the body and mind to wake up.   So instead of reaching for a big cup of Joe, put on your shoes and go outside.

3.   Get Aerobic Exercise –   while you are getting your sunlight, use it as an excuse to get a good walk or jog in.   Excercise lowers stress, gets your blood moving and wakes you up.
4.   Avoid RSS, EMAIL or phone before 10 am.   RSS, email and phone demand immediate attention.   Whereas your goals and work for the day can easily be brushed to the side.   If you can avoid the urgent and uninportant until 10 or 10:30, you’ve got a fighting chance at getting all of the important tasks done.

5.   Think positive thoughts not negative – Seems simple, but many people never do it.   Instead of looking on the worst side, try to see the bright side.   Ask yourself “what is the advantage of this situation?”   “how am I benefitting from this?   What am I learning?”   These are all good questions that you can ask in all negative situations to turn them to the positive.
6.   Take breaks – If you push on one task for too long you your work starts to suffer.   It’s easy to become tired and frustrated.   So every 30 – 45 minutes, take 5.   Get up from your desk, stop what you are doing and get your mind off your work for awhile.   You’ll find you’ll return with more ideas and renewed energy.

7.   Go for a mid-day walk – again, I’m harping on the excercise.   Getting a brisk walk in over lunch (even if for only 10 minutes) will get you to feeling better about your afternoon.   Where most others are sitting around digesting, you can be energizing.
8.   Avoid gossip – One drain on your day is gossip.   It may seem fun and exciting to learn some juicy tidbit about your officemate or boss.   But good gossip is always negative talk.   Negative talk starts the pendulum swinging toward negativity.

9.   List your top 5-7 objectives for the day and break the list down to 3 – It’s good to get in the habit of making lists, it’s bad to make long lists.   If you’ve got more than 5 items on your list, break it down to the top 3 things (you can always go back and edit in another task or two).   But with a list of 20 things, how can you not be overwhelmed?   3 is a managable, magical number.   Break your list down to 3.   Anybody can do just three things right?

10. Be slow to react to other people’s “urgent” requests.   When someone else asks you for help, to do a project or to meet some other urgent need, practice saying “what’s your deadline on this?   or when do you need this done?”   THen schedule that day.   Most people when asked one of those questions realize it’s not as urgent and will set a future date.   That way, you can go back to working on one of your top 3 activities.

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July 6, 2007 at 1:49 am

You are right about avoiding gossips. No matter how exciting it is, it will only stain our minds. I have seen a lot of friends and even families fight because of gossip.

July 6, 2007 at 2:25 am

These are all great tips that I definitely agree with. I find that morning walk to really wake me up much better than a latte’!

July 6, 2007 at 2:57 pm

Nice collection of tips you wrote here! I will put some of them to use. If they give results, I will visit your blog again. :)
Joking. You have a subscriber here.

Brad Isaac July 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Welcome Terra, Titus and Helen. :) If you have any questions for me or something you’d like covered in a blog post, please let me know.

July 6, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I dugg it ;)

As a list person, I will try and cut them down. It’s a good idea.

July 7, 2007 at 11:45 am

Great article, Brad. I’m going to have to try out #4 tomorrow :)

Brad Isaac July 7, 2007 at 11:51 am

Carlie, cutting down the list definitely works for me. Otherwise I tend to spin my wheels.

alex July 8, 2007 at 11:35 am

i also agree for exercise in the morning.
Especially a little bit of treadmill in the morning does wonders !
Also lemon juice is very good and having a bath with oils (aromatherapy) helps you to start the day relaxed.
Top priority though is and will always be plenty of sleep.
As matter gossip the problem is when people gossip about you and try to hurt your feelings.

July 8, 2007 at 9:51 pm

These are great tips. As much as possible, I stay out of people who often gossip. Some gossips will certainly ruin even the most wonderful day.

July 23, 2007 at 9:57 pm

Hey great blog,
i really enjoyed your post, i think this can benefit alot of people. I also think that one should focus on the positives throughout the day, to realise that there is meaning behind every circumastance.

July 28, 2007 at 11:03 am


I just recently found you blog. Great work! This post is my favorite (so far).

As a GTDer, sometimes I get lost in the day to day and forget to look at the bigger picture. Your work helps bring balance to that.

I look forward to your future posts.


August 8, 2007 at 11:22 am

I would also add “Avoid meetings”.

It’s crucial point if you want to have a great day :)

May 13, 2008 at 8:59 pm

testing comment luv

Billnesss last blog post..My syndicate just won 88,748 GBP for nothing! (178k USD)

June 6, 2008 at 12:51 pm

If you aksed me, I would tell you that above the ten tips above, No. 5:
“Think positive thoughts not negative” would be the most important of all and which I would implement the first.

You know, they say that 80% of our actions are sub-consciously driven. That means if you delve in and transform your sub-conscious attitude and thoughts on anything, then change it you will. Attitude is everything, and the mind is the key. Transform your thoughts on anything, and your life becomes transformed as well

4cuseds last blog post..Effort

June 30, 2008 at 11:40 am

simple yet some toptips….

pellet stoves last blog post..Pellet stove Ventilation

July 4, 2008 at 1:21 pm

some great tips… always skiped breakfast but now i think i better start

January 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm

You’ve some really positive tips here! Thanks for sharing!

February 10, 2009 at 7:04 pm

nice post, i like the list of 3. I tend to make long lists and i do get overwhelmed sometimes, i also think exercising could make a huge difference in most peoples lives.

March 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

I heard that taking a nap in the middle of the day is very helpful for productivity. Personaly I think I’d be sleepy all day after that I guess it might work for some people.

June 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

Avoiding email first thing in the morning is a tremendously effective strategy to stay focused and not get overwhelmed. I’ve found that staying organized (in all things administrative/schedule wise), segmenting daily tasks, and stepping outside for air is the best way to beat office anxiety.

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