Nine ways to make work your work day better

Viewed in The Wall Street Journal.

We live in anxious times, and perhaps the biggest contributing factor to this anxiety is our work lives.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in 2017, found exactly this when they set out to identify the sources of anxiety. An APA survey found that 61 percent of respondents identified work as their primary source of anxiety.

In this Wall Street Journal article, Bruce Daisley, an author and former Twitter executive, takes on this challenge, identifying nine things each of us can do to better enjoy our work lives.

Each of his nine recommendations has some foundation in workplace research, polls, or surveys.

The first of the nine suggestions Daisley identifies is setting aside time in the morning for uninterrupted work time on projects that require dedicated focus.

Carving out such time is important since research shows that interruptions prove immensely time consuming and distracting. “One study suggested that among software engineers working on five projects concurrently, 75% of their time was lost to switching mentally between them—leaving only 5% work attention per project amid the fog of ‘attention residue’,” he writes.

One answer to this challenge is to set aside time designated for singular focus on this sort of “depth work,” and the morning is an ideal time for this.

Then there is this second suggestion on the challenge of extended desk time. “Sitting at a desk—or in meetings—can contribute to us feeling drained,” Daisley writes.

But who says meetings need to be conducted sitting in an office? Daisley cites a Stanford University study “that found that 81 percent of participants saw their scores for giving creative suggestions go up when they were walking rather than sitting.”

Daisley looks at these and seven other research and study-based suggestions that can help make work life a little less stressful–and perhaps even enjoyable.

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