There are few things more depressing than waking to an alarm going off, signaling it’s time to get up and go to a job you hate.
Maybe it’s a demanding boss and long hours, maybe it’s boring work or maybe you have big plans of your own that are very different from your current reality.
If you can’t slap a resignation letter on your bosses desk just yet, don’t worry.
You have two powerful tools at your disposal to turn things around: your own attitude and your own behavior.
That’s right. It’s possible that you are the one causing most of your misery. And you alone have the power to make your workday better.
Here are a dozen practical tips to create a shift in your attitude and behavior at work:
1. Start a gratitude journal. Studies in positive psychology have shown that taking time each day to write down what we’re thankful for can have a dramatic affect on our overall feelings of well being and train our brains to look for the good instead of the bad in any situation.
2. Tap into your benefits package. Many employers offer some type of employee assistance program where you can get counseling to help deal with stressful work environments.
3. Take your breaks. Many people become focused on a task and work through breaks and lunch hours. It’s much better to take a break and get outside and take a walk, allowing you discharge some stress and recharge your batteries.
4. Speak your mind. It’s amazing how an honest comment (delivered respectfully) can transform your working life. So often the impulse is to hold your tongue and just watch the fall-out so you can have the satisfaction of knowing better. But management and colleagues respond remarkably well to constructive insightful feedback.
5. Bring snacks for your team. Don’t you love it when someone brings something yummy to the office? It’s even better when the snack is guilt free. Even more important, little acts of kindness give your mood a boost.
6. Consider annoying people a gift. Every work environment has someone who offers challenging behavior. Maybe they’re aggressive, or lazy or just plain annoying. Instead of setting your teeth when that person starts pushing your buttons, think about what he or she may have to teach you. Irritating personalities offer the opportunity to develop patience and compassion.
7. Set goals that are within your control. While it’s tempting to set lofty sales goals or set your sights on a big promotion or raise, attaining those things is not really within your control and can lead to frustration. It’s better to set targets based on what’s within your control, such as contacting 20 customers this week, or writing so many white papers or case studies. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment and solid data to back up your requests for raises and promotional opportunities.
8. Ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a task, it’s okay to ask for help. It doesn’t mean you’re not pulling your weight and it may just help re-gear unrealistic expectations about performance goals. But be sure to make your request concrete. For example, “I could really use eight hours of research help from someone on Gail’s team this week in order to complete this quarterly report.”
9. Offer help. If you have time to help a co-worker, speak up. It feels great to pitch and it builds strong teams and better relationships which are key to a healthy and happy work environment.
10. Break old patterns. Never say anything in meetings? Try offering your voice. Always the first to offer criticism? Offer praise instead. Act outside your comfort zone to change things up and see if you end up with better results.
11. Remember that you have a choice. Other options may not be as easy as staying at your current job, but there are choices. Be clear with yourself about why you’re staying put.
12. Have something else to live for. A job you hate can be draining and you may not think you have the energy for anything else. But here’s the paradox: if you make time in your busy life for something you love, it can replenish your energy instead of draining it further.
Try a few of these tips on for size and you may be surprised at how fast your daily grind can be full of daily pleasures.
Did I miss any tips? What’s worked for you?
If you still feel like you aren’t as happy as you could or should be we have some great advice on Improving Your Quality Of Life By Being More Childish.