7 Small Things That Can Add Big Value To Your Daily Work Life


Let’s face it, chasing Google all day is exhausting. There’s blogs to write, keywords to track, web pages to design and edit, employees to manage, meetings to run, emails to check, social media platforms to manage and—well, you get the point. If you’re like most people, you find yourself wishing there was more time to do the little things that really mattered.

Well, now you can.

We surveyed our team to uncover a handful of quick and easy tips they use to add value, meaning to what can be an otherwise hectic work day.

Here’s 7 things that require less than five minutes each but can have a significant impact while bringing cheer to your day and/or someone else’s.

1). Be Nice

The next time you’re in line at your local Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, ask the person behind you what they are having, then buy it for them. They’ll thank you and likely ask your name. They’re also likely to ask what you do. Don’t put on your sales hat. Simply tell them, have a brief chat and walk away. Almost certainly they will look you up in LinkedIn or via a Google search query. The bonhomie could resonate when/if they ever need your services.

2). Send an Email

Before email was the bane of our existence, it was new, fun and exciting. Let’s go back in time: At least twice a week send a former co-worker or acquaintance a “catching-up” email. Maybe it’s to share a joke, an image of the two of you singing karaoke at the holiday party or to remind them of something funny that happened during your time together.

3). Send a Thank You Note

Everyone hates snail mail, but it does have it’s uses. Buy a box of blank thank you notes and some postage stamps. Then, at least once a week send a hand-written thank you note to someone who’s helped you or your business in a meaningful way. It could be the trainer at the gym, the accounts payable person at a vendor or a staff member in your office.

4). Phone a Friend

Busy work lives often mean we don’t connect often enough with family and friends. Fix that problem today by committing to, once a week at least, taking five minutes out of your day to reach out a close friend or family member you don’t do a good enough job of connecting with.

5). Answer a Question

While you’re checking Twitter, type a hashtag commonly used for your vertical into the search field and look for any questions you might be able to answer. The personal touch could go a long way.

6). Stand, for Something

You’ve heard all the talk about sitting all day is killing desk jockeys, and how everyone needs a standing desk. That’s a whole lot of hooey. What’s really ideal is to change your posture frequently. Every 20 to 30 minutes, stand up and take a short walk; reposition yourself in your chair, keeping your chest up and your head back with chin tucked; or do one of several stretches at your desk. You’ll feel better and move better as well.

7). Open Up

When time is a valued commodity, office conversations grow curt and infrequent. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. At least once a day, take a walk around the office and talk to someone new. Don’t worry if you’ll have anything in common or that they’ll be long-winded. Because you initiated the conversation, you can more easily cut it off.

So try this: Engage in conversation for a three to four minutes, then when you’re ready for it to end, politely say, “I’m glad we had the chance to talk/catch up, let’s do it again soon,” then shake hands and walk away.

Final Thoughts

Work doesn’t have to be synonymous with drudgery. You can make each day worthwhile, for yourself and others, and do so without much of a time commitment.

What are some simple tips you apply to add meaning, value to your day?

About Ronell Smith

I'm digital strategist and content geek who's passionate about helping businesses wade through the B.S. and get the results they desire. I rant often about user experience, PR, SEO, branding, product innovation or content marketing. Otherwise, I'm just a boring nerd who dreams about disruptive innovation, long-form feature writing, nuclear physics, entomology and sniper rifles.

Filed under: Tips