You wake up in the morning, pour a cup of coffee, get in your car and head off to work. Perhaps you plant yourself in front of your computer. Or you perform the routine at night or in the late afternoon. Yet none of this elicits any form of excitement, happiness, or meaning to you, and perhaps you feel just simply content. Or worse you’re dreading the trip. It is entirely fair for you to be wondering how to be happy at work.
You are not alone.
You may think: “I’m lucky enough to have a job, why can’t I be happy with it?” In reality, you are simply looking out for your mental health. You need to feel your job affords you the cognitive satisfaction you crave, which isn’t always an easy task to accomplish.
In this article, we review eight ways you can help improve your outlook and ultimately be happy at work.
1. Develop Your Professional Skill
There is nothing worse than feeling that you are falling behind or that your skills are not sufficient with the requirements of your job to be successful or productive. This is a natural cause of frustration and unhappiness for people in the workplace.
While you may not have your ideal job or career, you know that it is providing for your financial needs. To continue to do that, you need to stay on top of the skills you require to advance.
If you love your job, then you won’t have to work a day in your life. However, you can love it, and still need to grow and improve in it.
In either case, you are not perfect at everything. There will always be some areas where you can develop your professional skills further.
Therefore, it is prudent that you direct your attention to enhancing the skills in the areas you feel they may be lacking.
Make sure you are open to learning and trying things outside of your comfort zone. As with all things that you are good at or things you know a lot about, you feel confident in performing those tasks.
As you get better at your job, your motivation will be on the rise, and motivation will pull in the confidence and happiness that you seek organically.
2. Remember The Goal Of Your Job
When you feel unhappy because you are caught in the daily minutiae or a tired routine, take a step back and look at your job from a macro level.
You are a cog of a grander machine. Furthermore, your coworkers and management leaders are other cogs, levers, and pulleys. This machine you are all comprising is an operation with a particular purpose, a goal.
When you get into work and start going to your daily tasks, it is good to remember what that goal is. Keep in mind that your particular job may not be directly influencing that exact goal.
Often times it is not, but you can bet that there is someone else or a group of people whose jobs do. And ultimately, those people directly rely on your job to be performed to do theirs more optimally.
Essentially, as a company, you are all in it together to reach the same goal. As with most jobs, that goal is likely to be of assistance or of an important factor in a client’s life.
So regardless of how meaningless or pointless you may feel your job is, there are those out there counting on your performance.
Let that goal be your driving force. It will make you happy to know that your job holds value in someone else’s life.
3. Do Not Work Around The Clock (Work-Life Balance Is Important)
You may not be happy at work because you feel that your job has taken over your life. After all, you work to live, not the other way around right?
Maybe it is because your job is busy and you often work overtime to stay on top of things.
However, if you have obligations at home, it is a miserable thought to know that after an already exhausting day, you will need to continue working into the night.
There may be instances that call for this, but you cannot have this be the norm. When your job consumes every free moment of your life, you get no mental or emotional breaks.
Immersing yourself so deeply into your work might be causing strain in the relationship with friends or family. That is a perfect formula for unhappiness.
Work hard on the clock, but whenever possible leave your work at work. Always strive for a healthy work-life balance.
If you do that, you begin to look forward to a more structured routine and a happy day at work. You would have had your mental break in the evening and now feel ready to immerse yourself in the following workday.
4. Develop A Relationship With Your Coworkers And Management
One of the best ways to be happy at work is to establish a relationship with your coworkers and your management.
Your coworkers can be there to give you a nice mental break from work. They can do this by being able to help you with your struggles, engage you in conversation, make you laugh, and listening to you vent your frustrations.
All humans are social creatures to some extent. So interacting with others will naturally relax you and stimulates happiness.
Even if you have difficult coworkers, for every one of those, there is likely to be another that you click with and have a good time talking to.
Your relationship with management is also vital. You have to remember that your boss is a person too.
You are likely different in many ways, but establishing a good relationship with your chain of command will keep your boss’s view of you as a favorable one.
Even more importantly, a solid relationship with your boss means that they will understand what you are looking for out of your job experience.
Furthermore, they will also know what ways you can bring the most value, as well as have the most positive impact on the company as a whole.
This open line of communication could lead your job to transform from something that you are doing solely to make money, into something that you are passionate about and thrive at.
5. Stop Multitasking At Work
You have probably always been impressed with someone who can multitask. Getting things done on multiple fronts is an impressive feat.
However, the fact is that multitasking keeps you from paying close enough attention to any single task at hand, no matter how good you feel you are at it.
People who study human psychology have determined, in fact, that multitasking wastes more time than it saves. Doing multiple things at once may seem like a more efficient approach, but it really isn’t.
When you multitask too much, you begin to feel spread too thin and overwhelmed. You can really only efficiently work on one thing at a time.
Be sure to prioritize your work at the start of your day. Keep in mind that going off of a simple to-do list and completing one task at a time will allow you to give each task the warranted attention.
Multitasking may seem like a way to get more things done faster. However, it leaves a lot more room for error and frustration as your attention is split in too many directions.
Focusing on one thing at a time will end up helping you work faster, more effectively, and ultimately keep you happy at work.
6. Take Breaks When Required
If you have a desk job, you may glance at the clock after sitting down at the beginning of your day and later feel stunned at how fast the day has passed.
As a result, you may also feel tired, worn out, and frustrated that you just worked multiple hours non-stop. Even if those hours happened to be productive.
The fact is, your brain operates better when you step away from your work at certain intervals.
Many people have a semi-timed regimen where they get up and take a break to get a drink or stretch their legs. That gives your mind a little break before you hop back into your work.
Others only take breaks when they are out of coffee or requiring a quick snack.
Whichever manner you utilize to break up your day, you can be sure that your less taxed mind will thank you for it.
As you allow your mind to refresh on a more regular basis, you notice your productivity and efficiency increase. You will often find yourself feeling happy at work when you recognize that you are more productive and can keep your mind on task.
Who doesn’t love to be more productive?
7. Hydrate And Eat Better
This may seem like an oddity on the happiness in the workplace list, but it is very relevant. Keeping hydrated and eating foods that boost your mood are very important for your mental health during the workday.
If you have not yet had your lunch and you are seeking out snacks, stay away from more junk food items. Instead, focus on snacks that are rich in calcium, iron, omega 3s, magnesium, and loaded with vitamins.
These will help boost your energy and your mood, which will also enhance your productivity and happiness. Do some research to find snacks that you like that are plentiful in the nutrients noted above.
It is doubly important to stay hydrated. Coffee may be your go-to solution, but while stimulating you in short bursts, it might not be the most hydrating for you in the long-run.
Water, on the other hand, when consumed regularly throughout the day, helps to keep you feeling refreshed, alert, and focused.
It is basically the blanket assistance of mental and physical well being. By simply drinking water throughout the day, you will boost your ability to be more productive, focused, and happy at work.
8. Spend Time With Coworkers Outside The Office
A significant aspect of happiness in the workplace is to, at least occasionally, associate with coworkers outside of the work environment.
As mentioned earlier, humans are social beings and require human interaction.
You also need to know that you are working next to real people, with real passions and problems. Often experiencing the similar struggles that you are. With a little human interaction, you can help each other out by getting closer and sharing your experiences.
If the above sounds like just hanging out with friends, that’s because it is. It is a far better and happiness-inducing atmosphere when you look forward to your job because you get to see people you are close to.
People will be looking out for each other more and will offer to listen to you and help you out when needed. And not because it is their job, but because they want to.
The more you look forward to coming to work, the happier you will be. It is something to look forward to when you feel engaged, helpful, valuable, and in pleasant company.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count