How to Make the Most Out of the New Year

When a new year rolls around, we all want to make the most out of it. But a lot of our goals revolve around personal achievements, like getting into shape or purchasing that dream house down the street. We don’t always include workplace goals, which is a travesty.

The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, according to Business Insider. That’s a huge chunk of time, and a huge reason why some of your New Year’s resolutions should revolve around making your workplace better, your career more satisfying, or your commute more pleasurable.

Here are 6 ways to make the most out of your job in 2018.

Make your workspace comfortable.

Since you spend most of your waking time at your office, the least you could do is make it feel homey. There’s nothing worse than arriving at work to a drab cubicle, facing 8 long hours of mind-numbing tasks without a glimmer of personality or comfort to ease your pain.

Think of activities or places that make you happy, and bring some of that into your workspace. If you have wonderful memories at your lake house, decorate your space with photos of the lake, funny lake-related quotes or posters, or any kind of décor that reminds you of that spot.

If you can’t get that specific, even a lamp or a calming candle can do wonders to spruce up a fluorescently-lit cubicle. Or hang some inspirational quotes to inspire your inner leader and defeat those workday blues.

Inspect your goals and if things have changed.

Sometimes, the job you wanted when you were in your 20s is not going to be the same job you want in your 40s or 50s. As life goes on, we change. Maybe we’ve moved across the country, gotten married, had kids, or found a new passion in life. Whatever the reason may be, re-examine your goals and your desire to be doing what you’re doing.

Going to work day after day, simply because you don’t want to ruffle feathers or learn a new skill, can be detrimental. Look at what your values and goals are now, not what you wanted when you first got your job. If making a change helps keep you motivated and inspired, then use 2018 to take that step.

Play audiobooks in the car.

For those of you with long commutes (or horrible traffic), consider listening to audiobooks on your drive. You can usually download the latest leadership books, or self-help books, or even fictional books to your smartphone. Before you even reach the doors of your workplace, you may have a great new strategy on how to maximize efficiency or tackle that project that’s been looming.

Start the hardest thing first, leave the email sorting to the end.

It’s easy to plop into your chair, fire on your computer, and mindlessly scroll through emails all morning. You may feel like you’re being productive, but you’re actually procrastinating. Start work on one of your larger projects in the morning, and once you’ve completed a significant amount, you can feel comfortable burning some afternoon time looking through that inbox.

Work from home.

The opportunity to work from home has become increasingly popular over the years. It’s not for everyone, but if you need a change from the humdrum of coming into work every day, speak to your manager about working remotely occasionally. As long as you’re getting work done and you are easily accessible to your coworkers, it shouldn’t be a problem.

And working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working from home. You can work from your favorite coffee shop, bookstore, or even outdoors with a proper internet connection. It could be the refreshing boost you need to power through 2018 like the beast you are.

Leave your house early.

Bringing the stress of running late into the workplace isn’t good for anyone. If you consistently find yourself running behind in the mornings, getting caught in traffic, and sliding into work late to the stares and grumbles of your cubicle mates, time for a change.

Set your alarm earlier, actually sip your coffee in peace at home, and leave with enough time to accommodate traffic or detours. Walking in calmly and on time will set the tone for the rest of your workday.