Do you enjoy your work?
Maybe you do – you have a job which you love, and which you find interesting and fulfilling.
Or maybe you don’t – you hate your job but you have to stick with it because you need the money.
Chances are you fall somewhere in the middle: you have good days and bad days, and you could definitely be happier than you currently are.
So, here are seven little ways to be happier at work, right now.
#1: Be Friendly to Your Colleagues
In some big offices, people might not even say “good morning” to one another.
It costs nothing to be polite and friendly to your colleagues. You might think that you have nothing in common with them (especially if you’re just working a temporary job for money) – but if you strike up a conversation, you may well find that they share some of your interests, hopes or ambitions.
#2: Focus on How You’re Helping Clients
Some jobs are pretty tedious – there’s no way round that. Whatever you’re doing, though, you’re helping someone.
Perhaps you work in McDonalds, helping customers who want a cheap, quick meal. Perhaps you do data entry, helping a big company to get their records organized so that they can take better care of their clients.
In most jobs, you’ve got the potential to make someone else’s day that bit better. And doing that will almost certainly put a smile on your face, too.
#3: Do Your Hardest Task First
Have you ever put off a difficult phone call or a high-pressure task for days and days … only to find it looming larger and larger in your mind?
I’ve read a lot of productivity advice over the past few years, and something which almost all experts seem to agree on is that it’s a good idea to get tough tasks out of the way as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the more resistance you’ll feel – plus you’ll constantly have that task hanging over you and dragging your mood down.
#4: Get Outside During Your Lunch Break
It’s easy to feel cooped up at work, especially if you’re stuck in an office with fluorescent lights and few windows. During the winter, you may well find that you’re arriving at work when it’s only just getting light, and leaving when it’s already dark.
For the sake your mind and your body, try getting outside at least once during the work day – probably in your lunch break. On a nice day, it can be really relaxing to eat your sandwiches outside in a nearby park. Even if you’re in the middle of a town, you can walk around the block and squeeze in a few minutes of exercise.
#5: Make Your Work Space More Attractive
Does your heart seem to sink a little whenever you look at your desk?
If you’ve got papers piled up in haphazard stacks, stationary items all over the place and sticky-notes plastered to your monitor, it’s going to be hard to get into a focused, calm frame of mind. Our surroundings make more difference to our mood than most of us want to admit.
Spend just ten minutes today clearing off your desk – and see how much better it makes you feel. Look for some small items to bring a bit of happiness into your day: perhaps photos of your loved ones, an inspirational poster, or even small toys or action figures that make you smile.
#6: Write a Gratitude List
However tedious or draining your job is, you have things to be thankful for. It’s easy to get caught up in moaning about work – but by focusing on the positives, you’ll put yourself in a much better frame of mind.
Spend a few minutes writing a list of everything that you’re grateful for, related to work. Perhaps:
- Your paycheck
- Free coffee
- Bantering with colleagues
- Helping clients
The items on your list can be as big or as little as you want. Anything which you’re thankful for counts.
#7: Eat Sensibly and Regularly
Do you skip meals, or only ever eat at your desk? Do you scoff down a huge lunch before feeling lethargic all afternoon? Do you “treat yourself” to candy bars and cookies, in order to feel better about work?
It’s easy to slip into poor eating habits – but these can have a knock-on effect on your mood. If your blood sugar level is low, you’re going to find it hard to concentrate, and you might well be irritable and moody. If you eat a heavy lunch, you’ll feel lethargic for most of the afternoon.
Try eating at regular intervals – and go for healthy, tasty foods which make you feel energized rather than sluggish. Fresh fruit is a great snack option, or you can nibble on dried fruit, nuts and/or seeds. Don’t forget to drink enough water, too.
These are all little, but significant, ways to be happier at work today. If you put them into practice, you might well feel inspired to start taking bigger steps – like talking to your boss about changing your hours or taking on different responsibilities.
So many people find work tough. If you have a moment to spare, please share this article on Facebook or Twitter, or email it to a friend. You never know who might need to read these words today.
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