Q. What’s one daily habit that’s made you happier at work?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Go Running
I somethings have my best thoughts while running, so now I make it a part of every day. I’ll often put it on my calendar and go running during lunch. It’s a great way to think through thoughts, get away from my desk and feel better immediately!
- Kit Hickey, Ministry of Supply
2. Work out in the Morning
Working out every morning (or close to every morning) allows me to clear my head, focus on my immediate goals for the day and visualize the long-term strategy for my business and our role in our industry.
- Alex Frias, Track Marketing Group
3. Get to the Office Early
I get into the office about two hours earlier than my co-founder and staff. Having that time to myself to answer emails, eat my breakfast, listen to music and genuinely ease into the day keeps me calm on the most chaotic of days. Personal time without distractions from others can help me center my thoughts and figure out what needs my focus for the day.
- Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak
4. Goof Off
It is always good to break up the routine of a day by setting up a time to goof off with the team. We play Chinese checkers, dance, cook or just talk about life and family. This lets everyone know that we are serious about work but also value a happy environment.
- Derek Capo, Next Step China
5. Play Music
We listen to a new Pandora station just about every day. There’s always at least one person in the office who will unconsciously start singing along or tapping her foot. It adds some personality to the day and breaks up the monotony. We either chime in about hating the station or collectively wonder where that one-hit-wonder ended up. Social breaks are important!
- Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
6. Get an Office Dog
We have an office dog. His name is Bowser, and he is a French bulldog. He roams around when we aren’t on client calls, and he seems to keep everyone in good spirits. It’s hard not to be happy at work when you take five minutes out of your day to throw a ball for Bowser. Everyone is always so excited when he comes around in the morning.
- Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing
7. Stick to a Morning Stretch Routine
It’s critical that you value your own body and mind above all else. Before you check your phone or emails, take the first 10 minutes of every day to perform a stretching routine. You will benefit from increased circulation, flexibility and stress reduction. These benefits will help prepare your mind and body to take on the work challenges of the day.
- Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
8. Take an Afternoon Walk
I try to take a full hour for lunch, but I still find myself running out of steam around 3:30. Right before this time, I take a brisk walk. It only takes about 20 minutes, and then I’m back at it to finish the day strong. It has made me happier because I know that I’m now more productive.
- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
9. Practice Bikram Yoga
I recently started doing Bikram yoga during my lunch break, and I’ve never felt better. It allows me to relax by reducing stress, and it provides me with time during the day when I can temporarily forget about what’s going on at work.
- Andrew Saladino, Just Bath Vanities
10. Meditate Every Day
My meditation practice keeps me calm and grounded. It provides a moment for myself amidst the chaos of running a company. After meditating, I can come back to work with a clear mind and greater focus.
- David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
11. Walk to the Office
I live on Wall Street, and our office is in midtown. Almost daily I do the four-mile trek on foot — often in a pair of fantastic heels. The city never ceases to inspire ideas that we later implement, and regardless of weather, the walk always makes the day feel a lot less stressful!
- Benish Shah, Before the Label
12. Say Thank You
Show gratitude. Say “thank you” every day, even multiple times a day. Buy someone a thank-you card, and handwrite it. Surprise the company with breakfast. Thank your team, and you’ll motivate them. You’ll feel motivated yourself, too.
- Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union