How to Have a Good Day: Think Bigger, Feel Better and Transform Your Working Life by Caroline Webb isn’t just another self-help book or tome with difficult-to-implement advice. The author, a former partner at management consultancy McKinsey, taps into well-researched behavioral science to pull out practical, realistic and easy to replicate tips that will actually make you happier at work.
To get the full benefit of Webb’s research, you’ll need to read the full book. For those of you short on time (i.e. everyone reading this email?), StyleBlueprint has extracted a few of Webb’s best pieces of advice below:
1. Practice gratitude.
We’ve all heard this advice before, and Webb applies it masterfully to our work day. She recommends making it a daily habit to find three things to be thankful for during your morning commute. Doing this will allow you to start each day with a positive mindset.
2. Set your intentions for each day.
Webb recommends focusing on the four “A’s” each morning:
Aim: What matters most and what does that mean my real priorities should be?
Attitude: What concerns are dominating my thoughts? If they don’t help me with my priorities, can I choose to set them aside?
Assumptions: What negative expectations do I have going into this? How might I challenge those expectations?
Attention: Where do I most want to direct my attention? What do I want to be sure I notice?
3. Master your to-do list.
“It’s all about making your brain happy,” says Webb. She recommends including everyday actions that will be satisfying to check off, like exercising and walking the dog. In addition, Webb advises that we have two lists — one long master list and one shorter daily to-do list.
4. Take a break.
“Pit stops are not wasted time — they’re an essential part of an efficient, well-planned race,” she says. Plan strategic breaks throughout the day to give your brain a rest. Science has proven that workers are more productive and make better decisions when they’re not working nonstop throughout the day.
5. Ignore your inbox.
Webb says, “I recommend people blitz emails twice a day rather than looking at them throughout the day. I’m not saying go offline all day. Hone in on the most important piece of work and go offline while you’re doing that.”