It’s easy to find articles and employ tips in your day on how to have a more productive workday. There’s little thought put into how to have a quality workday.
For this February blog post, I’ll play along with the whole Valentine’s theme and go as far as say we’re going to look at how to LOVE your workday. Let’s look at 5 key elements and also get the opinions of a few of our own TBC associates.
- Navigation – Waze vs. Google Maps vs. Apple Maps
- Lunch – Quality, quantity, price, flavor, diets, etc.
- Noise – Your most productive volume
- Windows – Overrated or underrated
- Greatest office life hacks
Let’s get started!
1. Waze vs. Google Maps vs. Apple Maps
We can all agree; the commute can have a great effect on the mood for the start and end of our workday. A good, traffic aware, navigation app could literally save you hours per week in commute time. Lots to love about that.
Jordan Bochniak – Waze is my preferred navigation app because I think it’s easier to navigate (the app itself- pun not intended) and less touches to access my “favorite locations.” Additionally, the “search along route” feature is better than the others in my opinion.
Jack Bruce – Waze is my app of choice. It was the first one I used, and I am pleased with it. Furthermore, it has my favorites stored. However, I’ve learned when to trust it and when I should follow my instincts.
Nick Hendricks – Waze is my typical as I think it is better at reacting as traffic changes. Still use Google maps sometimes as it tends to be more precise on store locations and such. Apple maps… haha.
Amy Towe – In my opinion, Google Maps has more features, but during my daily commute, I prefer to use Waze. Waze is user friendly, easier to use while driving and helps save time. I think ETA predictions are more reliable by Waze since they use real time data by other drivers. The speed trap alerts are a plus to help avoid a speeding ticket.
Faye McCorkle – Unless there is a major interstate shut down, I don’t use navigation assistance. I have used Waze in the past but the few times I used it I don’t feel it was beneficial in time saving.
John Dodson – In the city I prefer Google Maps. It does a better job than Waze of telling me what lane I need to be in for the next turn. This is especially helpful if the next turn is immediately after the turn I just made. I’ve also found that it seems to check for faster routes more often than Waze and alert me. Waze always required a manually refresh. For long trips, Waze rules with its alerts for cops, roadkill and objects in road.
Paige Edwards – Honestly, I rarely use navigation assistance for my commute. During rush hour I know it will take an hour in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. I use Waze if something crazy is happening. In my opinion, Waze is better due to the “police reported ahead” alert. Thank you Waze for keeping money in my pocket!
2. Saving Money On Lunch
Lunch can be a real challenge when there are so many unhealthy and cheap options available. That may occasionally be okay but remember, it’s a 5-day workweek. Anything you choose consistently will be good or bad for you long-term.
Paige Edwards – I meal prep for lunch on most Sundays. I usually grill salmon and/or chicken and cut up vegetables for salads. Meal prepping is healthier and cheaper than eating out. I enjoy controlling what goes into my body. Even if you think you’re eating healthy at a restaurant, you never truly know.
John Dodson – I’m currently a fan of “power bowls”. They’re good, clean food with grains, greens and a meat. The servings aren’t huge but enough to get me home in the evenings without getting “hangry”. You can catch them on sale for about $3.50. Good food. Good price.
Faye McCorkle – Many times I skip lunch; it is not my main meal. I try to purchase salads when I do eat.
Amy Towe – Carrots and Hummus…. I am usually not too hungry at lunch time and prefer to have a snack or nothing.
Nick Hendricks – I bring my lunch a few days a week with leftovers. Outside of that I probably only pay for my own lunch one day a week between meetings and such.
Jack Bruce – I typically cook something on the weekends that I can freeze and bring to work for my lunches throughout the week. I track my dining expenses which motivates me to keep costs down. I rarely skip a lunch, and typically eat whole food plant-based meals.
Jordan Bochniak – Meal prepping at home when I have time tends to be the best way for me to save money at lunch and timing my lunches with Carey Brown– since he’s basically the most generous person I’ve ever met. I never take his free lunches for granted.
Winner: Bring leftovers or home prepped meals.
3. Noise vs. Silence
Depending on the layout of your workplace, you could be at the mercy of your co-worker’s interest in 80’s hair bands music or required to work as if you’re a librarian. Let’s read what tips our pro panel has.
Nick Hendricks – I play Spotify for a majority of the day. When no one is here I blast music usually.
Faye McCorkle – If concentrating on a project, especially financially related, I’ll turn off emails and close my door. Will typically have some easy listening music playing.
John Dodson – Spotify some folk if my work isn’t something that requires intense concentration. Silence is best when I have a lot to get done or my work is high detail. To relax, I might tune into a YouTube video that has nature sounds and visuals and put that on my secondary monitor.
Amy Towe – Neither bothers me. I have two children, so have learned how to ignore certain noises and silence is nice although it does not happen often. The voices in my head can always be heard. Ha ha!
Jordan Bochniak – I love the silence, but I like to add my own music. I find I’m in a better mood when working with music.
Paige Edwards – This solely depends on my to do list. If I’m in need of deep concentration I shut my door. Most days the silence bothers me and I play my favorite iTunes playlist.
Jack Bruce – I will occasionally play music on my phone.
Consensus: Low background music or silence.
4. Windows vs. No Windows – Any Effects?
If you’re “jockeying” for the window office, is it for the prestige or is it more out of necessity for your existence and sanity? Our TBC staff weighs in on how to make it work either way.
Jack Bruce – I work in a window-less office. I don’t notice anything in regard to body clock or attention span, and don’t miss conversations about the weather. I do, however, have large canvas photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains hanging on my office wall. This photo I took several years ago provides a scenic break anytime I need it. The fall colors are always at peak and the sun is shining. I also try to get out for quick walk every afternoon.
Jordan Bochniak – I have to get up and move throughout the day and will sometime stand at the window in the hallway as a break from the computer and artificial light. I actually moved offices because the darkness really affected me. I am not in an office with a window, but I am closer than I was and do get some natural light from the hallway.
John Dodson – I consider myself an outdoors person so not having a window means I have to make sure I take a break and step outside a couple of times a day. Otherwise, I feel unanchored to life in general. I could never be addicted to gambling because daylight means more to me than money.
Nick Hendricks – I have one now, but I definitely suffer or suffered from S.A.D.. Exercise and eating healthy are the only ways to mitigate and I’m convinced of that.
Paige Edwards – This really bothers me on gorgeous days outside. When the weather is nice you’ll find me walking outside during lunch. If the workload is too much and I don’t have time, I spend the rest of my day outside once I’m home. This truly is my biggest struggle of working in an office.
Answer: Everyone needs some daylight!
Your Greatest Office Life Hack
Our staff are pros at always finding a better way. This is the section you will want to take note of above all else in this blog post.
Amy Towe – Being passionate about what I do and my coworkers make my professional life great. You can’t make work life great if you do not enjoy what you are doing and you will be absolutely miserable if you don’t like the people you do it with.
Nick Hendricks – Getting in at 7:30 or earlier and sometimes if it’s a rough day I’ll go down and workout at 4 pm then come back up around 5:30 and hammer out projects or to-do’s that I just couldn’t get off my plate before.
Faye McCorkle – Sounds pretty cliché but the people I work with are great sounding boards and great support system. That along with staying late and getting organized for the next morning are my positives.
Paige Edwards – Walking during lunch is my office life hack. It’s a nice break from my to-do list.
Jordan Bochniak – Working out in the morning sets my tone for the whole day. If I don’t work out before work, I tend to be less productive throughout the day and make worse meal choices. I am on Whole30 right now, but a Coke Zero at 2:30ish is usually required as well. I miss Coke Zero.
John Dodson – Getting prepared for the day with some prayer time for the mind and tai chi for the body keeps the stress levels lower at the office. Having something planned to look forward to in the evening or weekend like a hike or getaway puts most of the office concerns in their rightful place of importance.
Jack Bruce – Most mornings I beat the morning commute by driving early across town to a gym near the office. This makes the commute shorter and provides a little extra encouragement to get my exercise.
Unanimous: Start early, get some exercise and LOVE the people you work with.
What are the ways you love your workday? Comment below.
By: John S. Dodson