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The balance between work and home life is essential for Canadians hoping to keep healthy both physically and emotionally. Since most of the day is spent in work mode, having the tools to make those days go smoothly is pretty much a necessity.

The average Canadian spends about one-third of his or her life at work, so here are five things you can do to ensure this is your best work year yet:

Keep a career journal. If you have specific goals at work, you can use a journal to track them. Writing stuff down brings a clarity to the tasks you hope to accomplish. Keeping a log like this can also be used to show your manager that you’ve been a busy bee (and maybe deserve that raise).

Social network. Keeping in touch with your colleagues via email might open up some new possibilities for you. Networking is important, and you don’t always have to do it face-to-face. An uplifting email keeps you in people’s minds, and that can be a very good thing at work.

Give your desk a facelift. Studies show that having an uncluttered desk will help you think more clearly. Also, your desk should be just below the height of your elbows when you’re sitting. Make sure to unlock the recline mechanism on your chair to keep your muscles from getting tired, but keep the backrest sturdy to support your weight.

Liven up your space. Whether you have your own office or a cubicle, you can make it your own space. If you’re a Zen kind of person, you’ll most likely want very little around you, but how about a jade plant or some succulents? Plants are wonderful for air quality, as well. If you like things more “homey,” add lots of different plants and bring in some personal photos and feel-good things that instantly uplift you.

Learn a new skill. No learning is ever wasted, especially when it benefits your career. If you have something you’ve been thinking about working on, like becoming better at speaking in public, then work on it. If you want to upgrade your computer skills, there are many courses available. Whatever it is you’d like to do, just move ahead with it.

Mentor, if you can. Helping someone become better at what he or she does or learn new skills won’t only benefit that person, but will benefit you, too. Experts say that when a seasoned employee mentors a fledgling, it gives the mentor insight into a new, fresh perspective and may help you better communicate with the younger generation.

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