‘Don’t worry, be happy’. Catchy song. But how easy is it to follow that advice? There are enough online searches of ‘how to be happy’ to make it clear that people are struggling with this concept. So, you’re not alone in looking for answers and the good news is that there are solutions. Even if it’s your career you want to be happier in.
If you’re really struggling or you’re concerned that work stress is leading to burnout, we do suggest that you contact a life or career coach. But the following practical tips can put you well on your way to worrying a little less and feeling a bit more joy about the workday ahead.
Make Workspaces Personal
It’s just a job, but you spend many hours there every day. So, whether your desk is in the spare room at home or at a company office, make it cosy and comfortable, rather than clinical. Adding a family photo can spark joy every time you see your loved ones. And it reminds you who you’re doing the hard work for.
Other objects such as a paper weight with sentimental value or an indoor plant can improve your general mood.
Don’t Overshare Personal Challenges
While your space must be personal, do keep boundaries in place in terms of your personal issues. For starters, colleagues may not feel comfortable hearing about your problems. This could affect your relationship with others. Furthermore, talking about problems at work may not be helpful. Rather use office time as a break from other worries, so you don’t have to think about it all day.
Rethink Your Work Diet
Your bad mood at work could be a result of a lack of energy and feeling physically run down. So perhaps you simply need to eat a little healthier and drink more water.
Some happiness fixes are this easy!
Manage Expectations Better
Here we’re talking about managing both your own and your employer’s expectations more efficiently.
For starters, become proactive in finding out about what exactly new projects are about or what the future goals are for your department. With more context, you’ll know what to expect in terms of deadlines and company decision making. This can make you less apprehensive about the workload in the coming season, because you have more insight about what to expect. It can even make you excited about what’s coming.
Another topic that could spark stress instead of joy is knowing whether you’re performing up to standard. Instead of being surprised about being called in to be reprimanded, why not ask for feedback on a regular basis, so you can make adjustments before there’s a real problem?
Also, it’s your responsibility to manage at least some of what the managers expect from you. Yes, they can delegate work. But it’s up to you whether you’re always going to accept the task or ask for a discussion about realistic deadlines and fair workloads.
Knowing that you and your boss are on the same page regarding deliverables could prevent tension and make space for some joy.
Keep it Challenging
What? More challenges? That’s more stress, that you probably don’t need! But actually, you may find your current position too boring or repetitive, which is why you’re procrastinating and experiencing low productivity. And of course, that means you’re stressing about not getting your to-do list done.
A solution could be to set goals you want to achieve, such as aiming for a promotion or acquiring a new skill in your spare time, so you benefit your career path. This can lead to more joy, thanks to more job satisfaction and realising what you’re capable of.
Not all joy-finding methods are immediate fixes. But you must take the first step to get there eventually.
Go on Holiday
Perhaps it’s time for a week away? Are you using your leave days to take a break and rest while gaining some perspective?
Many employees don’t take leave because they feel they have too much to do. But when you come back rested and inspired, you’re bound to work through the tasks much more efficiently than you are now.
That’s a big one, right?
But in some cases, finding a different job is the only decision that could change your experience. This is especially true if you find no job satisfaction in your current role, or if you and your boss are simply incompatible.
Remember, it’s not failure to admit if something doesn’t work!
Now, ensure your next position won’t have the same challenges that are forcing you to resign now. A smart option is doing a few courses and even interview coaching, to increase your chances of getting your dream job. Also research the new company’s culture, so you know whether it’s suitable for your personality.
If you’ve covered all those bases, then go for it and good luck!
You deserve to be happy—especially at the place you spend a huge part of your day. Identify the problem areas and know there are ways to bring about change.
Now, take a deep breath and work through that to do list with a smile. You can do it!