How to Have a Good (Productive) Day at Work

About one third of your life will be spent at work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a good time.
The gradsingapore Team
Dawn Yip
How to Have a Good (Productive) Day at Work

You might've been told to have a good day at work by well-meaning family and friends at least once or twice, but what exactly does that entail? For most, a big factor is being productive; making significant progress or even completing your assigned tasks. In other words, you’re likely to have a good day at work when you feel accomplished and satisfied.

That being said, having a good day at work can be easier said than done; a survey found that globally, while one-third have a good work day almost daily, 22% only experience about 2-3 good days a month. It's not an optimistic number, but that doesn’t mean that you can't improve your odds. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your next work day is a more positive one.

Clock in a little earlier

Admittedly, the idea of getting up and arriving to work early isn’t super appealing, especially when all you want to do is hit the snooze button for a little more sleep in the morning. However, there are benefits to coming to work at least 10 minutes early.

For one, you can use the extra time to get ready for the day ahead, whether that means grabbing a cup of coffee, preparing any paperwork, or to simply decompress from your commute. By the time work officially kick offs, you’ll be settled in and ready to start your day on the right foot. Plus, it can give a good impression of you to your bosses and colleagues as a fellow professional!


Organise your day ahead of time

Rather than just jumping headfirst into the first task that comes to mind, taking some time to make a to-do list can help ensure your day is a productive one. By having everything written down in one place, you’re less likely to miss anything crucial or important. Plus, when used effectively, you’ll be able to work with more focus and direction without having to switch from task to task.

Your to-do list doesn’t have to be anything complicated either; just about anything works as long as you make your priorities clear and your objectives achievable.


Check in with your colleagues

Take some time to touch base with not just your supervisor, but your colleagues as well, whether it’s to discuss work or to just check on how they’re doing. By taking a few minutes to chat, you’ll not only ensure that people are in the loop about what’s going on (especially if you’re working on projects together), but it’s also a great way to improve your bonds as colleagues. Plus, it can be a welcome break from the monotony of work!


Wrap up your projects nicely

There’s nothing worse than having to abruptly stop work, go home, and return the next day struggling to recall where you left off. With that momentum broken, attempting to get back on track can be tough when you aren’t sure about what you were doing, or what to do next.

So before work ends, wrap up your day and any tasks you’re working on. In the same vein, avoid taking on any extra work if it’s too close to the end of your working hours. But if you absolutely have to, don’t feel bad about it. Instead, leave a clear note to your future self about your next steps, so you’ll at least have a starting point to work with during the next work day.


Clean up your workspace

It’s tempting to just book it out of the office the moment your work hours are over, but before you walk out the door, tidy up your workspace a little, like tossing out trash, sorting your paperwork or putting away any loose items. Coming to work to a clean and organised desk the next day can not only lift your mood, but can be a massive boost to productivity. After all, you’ll be able to get more done without having to waste time searching for that one document!


Even with all these tips in mind, it’s important to remember that having a good day doesn’t mean that everything will go perfectly – there’ll still be times where things don’t work out. Still, if you take the effort to get yourself in a productive and positive mood, you’ll be in a better position emotionally to tackle any sudden curveballs than if you were already feeling low.