8 Tips for Happier Work Days

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Summertime. The sun’s shining, the weather’s warm, and you’d rather be anywhere but sitting at your desk and working. During these summer months, it’s easy to be frustrated, and even a little bit irritable at work. To cope with your coworkers’ potential bad attitude, and to prevent yourself from presenting one, here’s a list of steps you can take to make yourself happier at work.

 

8 Ways to Make Yourself Happier At Work


1. Do what you hate first

I know. It seems counter-intuitive. If you do the thing you hate most right when you walk in the door, won’t that make you dread coming to work all the more? It might make you dislike the ride in to work, but if you leave it for later, you’ll be dreading that task all day long. Your mood will continue to decrease as you think about what you still have to do, and how much you don’t want to do it. By attacking your least favorite projects first, you’ll make the rest of your day more pleasant and productive. Your mood will increase, and you’ll be more content with your job.

 

2. Get organized and break work into manageable chunks

A lot of work stress, and therefore work unhappiness, can be relieved by getting organized, knowing when everything is due, and breaking projects into manageable chunks. When you do this, deadlines don’t creep up on you and you’ve got a plan of action. You’re less stressed and work seems less dreadful when you know how you’re going to get everything done. Being this organized also gives you a better chance of getting out of the office on time, giving you more time to enjoy the summer.

 

3. Seek out projects you’re interested in

It’s hard to be happy about work when it’s a beautiful day outside, and you’re completely bored with the tasks at hand. While you may not be able to do anything about the former, you can do something about the latter. You can seek out tasks that you’re interested in – ones that will allow you to take on additional responsibilities and challenge yourself. Volunteer for tasks, or talk to your manager about adding tasks to your plate. Mixing things up like this may break you out of your rut, and help you to enjoy work just a little bit more.

 

4. Set goals

While setting goals sounds stressful, it can actually lead you to feel better about your work. When you set a goal, you’ll have something to work towards, something to keep you motivated. When you meet that work goal, you’ll feel better about yourself, and your work. It’s easier to be happy at work when you feel like you’re being productive, and achieving real results.

 

5. Reward yourself

When you set goals and meet them, make sure that you reward yourself. If you give yourself a special treat – whether it be an expensive cup of coffee, dinner at your favorite restaurant, or a night off – you’ll have extra motivation to keep performing at a high level. You’ll feel great about yourself for reaching the goal, and get a special rewards on top of it. How could you not feel good about work and what you’re doing then?

 

6. Carefully choose your work cohorts

When you’re at work, be friendly with everyone, but carefully choose who you spend time with. If there’s a clique or a few negative nellies in the bunch, smile, be friendly, but don’t spend your lunches and coffee breaks with them. Their negative attitudes will only bring you down, and the catty gossip will exhaust you. Surrounding yourself with positive people will make for a less stressful, more positive work experience.

 

7. Take breaks

When you’ve got a tight deadline looming, it’s easy to sit at your desk for eight-plus hours a day without moving. While there’s nothing wrong with focusing, this could be one of the reasons why you’re less than happy at work. By taking a couple of short breaks, even five minutes tops, to walk about and stretch, you’ll get re-energized, and can attack your project with greater vigor. You’ll be dragging less, which has the potential to make the day go by a lot faster and make you a lot happier.

 

8. Do things outside of the office

Your life is obviously more than the hours inside of the office. It’s a combination of that, your home life, and your hobbies. Make sure that you’re balancing them. If you’re unhappy at work, it can easily leak into your personal life, and affect your whole outlook. Make sure to take time to do things for yourself. You’ll feel refreshed, which can then positively impact how you feel about work.
No one wants to be tucked inside an office during glorious summer days. For most technologists though, it’s an unfortunate reality. There are two alternatives to this predicament – you can either become a tech consultant and get a contract that gives you the summer off, or you can take the above eight steps and look at life a little differently. It’s your call.

What do you do to make your work days happier? Let us know in the comments section below, or join the conversation on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, or Google+.

 

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One thought on “8 Tips for Happier Work Days

  • I am glad you said to take breaks. It seems counter-intuitive, but I find that a 5-10 minute break every few hours helps to kick start my brain and allows me to solve tough problems without feeling burnt out.

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