While we spend a huge proportion of our weeks at work, reports sadly show time after time that huge numbers of workers across the country aren’t happy in their jobs, and that this dissatisfaction can even lead to severe health issues. Many people either hate their boss, aren’t enjoying the actual work they do, don’t feel appreciated, think they’re under paid, or are just bored on the job.
Whether you’re in the same boat of dreading going to work each day, or are going along okay in your role but don’t feel particularly excited about it, it’s time to be proactive. Read on for some simple yet effective things you can do to help make your work days better.
Change Your Mindset
First up, if you want to be happier at work, then it’s important to remember that you have control over yourself and can proactively change your mindset to be more positive. Rather than spending each day focused on the things you hate about your job or work environment, or the things that stress you out, look for ways to notice the good things around you or the positive outcomes that you achieve.
If you see your work as an investment in your career, and as an opportunity to make money which you can then use to do things you love outside the office, or to tick off particular life goals, this will help you feel happier.
There should also be things in your day that you can be grateful for, such as the books or games you can read or play on the way to and from work, the way you can decorate your office, the people you work with, or the free meals or health insurance, the product discounts, or other perks you receive.
Add Some Structure to Your Work Life
Next, think about adding more structure to your life. By being more aware of how you spend your hours and how you start, finish, and conduct your days, you can reduce stress, be healthier and more “present”, finish tasks more quickly, and just generally feel better about your work life.
There are many different ways that you can bring more routine to your days. For example, you might want to start your morning with some kind of exercise (like a walk, run, spin class, yoga session, or swim), or some meditation, so that you bring more oxygen to your brain and body, gain more clarity and focus, and start the day fresh.
It also helps to prepare for work the night before, so you don’t end up being stressed before you even get to the office. For instance, you can organize your clothes in advance, pack your lunch, ensure you have all your paperwork together, and plan the following day’s to-do list.
While at work, factor in some time to take breaks for stretching, deep breathing, eating nutritious meals, and having a quick walk or other form of exercise. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too. All of this will help to keep stress at bay and ensure that you think more clearly and are more productive.
Note that it is also vital to take regular holidays throughout the year so that you have a chance to get away from the office and rest and recharge. At the start of the year, it is wise to put aside quarterly weekends plus one or two (or more) larger blocks of time where you can unwind and completely disconnect from work.
Look Into Company Charitable Opportunities
Another good thing to do is to seek out opportunities to give back through your work. Many companies these days have charitable or community-service based programs that employees can get involved in on a regular basis. This can involve spending time helping out people or organizations, or performing tasks or raising money as a way of providing assistance.
When you do good for others, this helps you to take your mind off your own worries or stresses. It also makes you feel positive about what you have achieved, and often gets you out of the office for a few hours a week for a change of scenery. In addition, being a part of these types of programs can tend to help position you well for future opportunities in your career, as you learn new skills.
Lastly, many people find that they increase their job satisfaction if they take the time to mentor and assist other staff members. It is particularly beneficial to do this on a regular basis (such as weekly, monthly, or at the very least, quarterly).
As an example, when it comes to mentoring, you might find a junior employee who needs some help learning the ropes within the company. You can help this person learn how to use the specific corporate software or to file particular reports; teach them tips for dealing with difficult co-workers; encourage them to speak up more in meetings; or even assist them in landing a promotion. You could recommend a professional resume writer to help them get their CV up to scratch, or a firm they can use for interview coaching to become more confident when facing recruiters.
On a daily level, you’ll also find more happiness at work if you do things that make your co-workers have a better time at the office. For example, you can grab a coffee for a colleague when you’re getting one for yourself, help others out on projects, ask people about their families or their interests, and remember people’s birthdays. These things might seem simple, but can really bring more meaning and positivity to your days.
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