Over the course of our career, about one third of our waking hours are spent at work. This is a sizeable number, and one that is much more easily digested if the hours are spent doing something that makes us happy. Being happy at work might not always seem easy, but it is very possible. Here are five ways to be happier at work.
1. Set three small daily goals
Sometimes it can be hard to feel like you’re making progress on a project amidst the constant interruptions of emails, phone calls, and competing priorities. By jotting down three small things that you would like to accomplish each day â€“ and then crossing them off the list as you do them â€“ you can remind yourself of the great progress you actually are making.
One of the best ways to set and track your daily work is with a Kanban board. If you’ve never used one, give it a try. It’s simple, yet effective.
2. Avoid negativity in the workplace
No matter how happy you are, negativity, gossip, and complaining coworkers can be a drain on your energy. Instead, try to make friends with coworkers who are positive, collegial, and can provide a good network of support and resources.
Better yet… be that positive, supportive person. Chances are, it will also advance your career.
3. Make your workspace your own
Since you spend so much time at your workspace, it will go a long way if you make it comfortable, relaxed, and reflective of you. Keep it simple, though. Over-cluttering your workspace can lead to distraction.
4. Take ownership over your professional development
Professional development will help you feel connected to your career and grow as a professional. Listen to advice from your boss, but be the leader of your own path. Focus on where you want to be, rather than where you are now. Take steps each day that advance you toward your goal.
5. Be future oriented
A few bad days won’t seem so grim if you have solid long-term goals, and you can see how your present work fits in to them. Be engaged in the present, but don’t lose sight of the big picture.
The best way to achieve goals is to have one longer-term goal (one to three years out). Lay out the steps you need to achieve this goal on a flowchart, like this:
Establish a timeline for each step.
Focus on one step at a time. Make sure your daily task list includes something tangible that moves you toward the next step in your goal process.