UMD’s Thriving Workplace Initiative is making the University of Maryland a great place to work by providing tools and support to foster engaged, inclusive and empowered faculty and staff across campus.

Each Monday, its Five to Thrive list offers five strategies crowdsourced from research, experts and our own UMD community to help your workplace thrive.

Want to build a Thriving Workplace? Here are this week’s tips:

  • Don’t rely on your memory. Studies show that your active memory can only hold four things at a time, sometimes fewer. Make a habit of writing things down—whether on a phone app or in a pocket notebook. Transfer those items later to a calendar or to-do list.  
  • Decrease your phone dependency. Turn off your notifications, leave your phone in the kitchen at bedtime, don’t check your phone while waiting in line (try observing your environment instead); and limit your time for random surfing, say, 15 minutes.
  • Split your lists: Instead of one big to-do list, have a “to-do” list (things you “must” do), a “watch” list (for follow-ups or reminders), and a “later” list (everything else, or things to tackle when your to-do list is empty).
  • Be selective. When organizing a meeting, include only the people who need to be part of the conversation. This protects co-workers from overload and can keep the meeting efficient too.
  • Get comfortable with giving up control. There might be a colleague who can do a task better. Asking for help can lead to a better outcome.

The Thriving Workplace Survey begins today! Take five to 10 minutes by April 12 to reflect on life at work and help the university create more engaged, inclusive workplaces. Learn more at president.umd.edu/thrive.