7 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Do From Your Desk

January 5, 2018


Work Safety


Pauline Morrissey

It’s no surprise that the main New Year’s resolutions are similar for everyone with every new year; eat healthier, lose weight, stop smoking, drink less. But before you make a list of your own, perhaps consider some resolutions for your office self also, that way, as you reluctantly return to the office in the new year, you’ll be ready to tackle 2018 head on. Here are some healthy habits you should try, all from the comfort of your desk.

1. Create a clean slate

If you’re the type of person to just let papers, files, and reports stack up on your desk, then the start of a new year could be the perfect time to get your desk space clean and organised, ready to tackle the work year ahead. Clear away any unimportant documents (always recycle), get out the disinfectant spray and get into every nook and cranny. You’ll feel like you’re working with a clean slate, ready to take on whatever 2018 throws at you. To make sure your desk stays this way all year round, set a reminder on your calendar for a weekly clean moving forward.

2. Cull the digital clutter

Just like keeping your physical space clean for a more productive year, you should also take this time to clean out your digital space. Chances are, in the mad rush to Christmas, you let your email inbox pile-up, your desktop is full of redundant files, and your social feed might be overflowing with notifications, two weeks past due. Before getting stuck into your actual work, how about streamlining your inbox with auto rules to file away non-critical emails, leaving your with only the ones you actually need to respond to. Whilst you’re at it, how about hitting ‘unsubscribe’ button on those subscriptions that just take up precious seconds out of your day. 

3. Get up and move more often

It seems every week there’s a new article detailing how “sitting is as bad as smoking”. Whether that’s true or not, if you spend a third of your day at the office, taking more breaks from being sedentary should be at the top of your New Year’s resolutions. Be more mindful about stopping for a break every 30-40 minutes and head off for a quick stroll around the office or a short walk outside. Maybe use the bathroom on a different floor in your office, or simply walk over to your colleague’s desk rather than emailing them every now and then. These small changes can make a big impact and are great healthy habits to adopt. 

4. Drink more water

Everyone knows that you’re meant to drink two litres of water each and every day (some experts say even more), but for some of us, this is easier said than done. If this is something you struggle with, then maybe you just need to get creative with how you get your required daily dose. Try using a litre size bottle, that way you know you should have at least two of these throughout the day, always take a bottle with you into meetings, or have high water content fruit and vegetables, like watermelon or cucumber, as your daily snacks. After all, drinking plenty of water also keeps us alert throughout the day and prevents headaches, so this one really is a must.

5. Stop eating at your desk

It used to be somewhat frowned upon to eat at your desk, but nowadays, it’s basically commonplace to be scoffing down a sandwich or your Thai lunch special, whilst hunched over your keyboard. Not only is this quite a sad way to spend your half hour lunch break, but there’s also health implications as well. Eating at your desk can allow your keyboard to become a breeding ground for bad bacteria and it’s been shown that eating whilst staring at a screen can lead to overeating. This bad practice might seem productive for your work, but certainly not for your health.

6. Learn something new along the way

Most people have it on their resolution lists to learn something new that year. Maybe it’s a new language, a bit of history, or to get informed about politics more. Well thanks to the increasing popularity of podcasts, you can basically listen and learn about any and every topic out there. Download or stream your favourites for the day, and you could easily squeeze in a few hours of ancient Roman history, or Spanish for beginners, all whilst replying to emails or plugging away at numbers. This way, you can listen to something that you personally enjoy, all in a day’s work.

7. Become better at prioritising

Putting off tasks that we’re dreading might seem like a good idea at first, but more often than not, they tend to pile up and become more stressful than they were to begin with. If this sounds like you, then becoming better at prioritising should be on your resolutions list, not only for work, but for your personal life too. Try ordering your daily tasks by importance (due date and amount of time to complete), and list them on a notepad. Tackle the tasks in that order until each one is complete, whatever tasks were not completed that day, get moved to the next. With each day, add new tasks if necessary, and then prioritise and reorder again. This resolution, if actually carried out, could significantly help you with the rest of your list.

Pauline Morrissey

Freelance writer based in Sydney and contributor to the Smith's Lawyers blog


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