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10 Ways to Create a Happier Workday

Topics: Work Culture
happier at work
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Would you say that you often feel happy when you’re at work? Or, are you more likely to feel stressed, frustrated or maybe bored?

How you feel while you’re at work can have real professional consequences. Happy employees are 12 percent more productive than unhappy ones, according to research. That can ultimately make a huge difference in your career.

Of course, being happy at work impacts your personal life, too. There are many good reasons to go out of your way to intentionally create a happier workday however you can. It might be simpler than you think. Even small adjustments can sometimes make a big difference.

1. Rearrange your schedule to break up boring tasks.

Pay attention to how you feel about different tasks while setting up your schedule. Then, arrange things so that you have a break from the items you find the most boring or stressful. Alternate between tasks you enjoy and others that aren’t as pleasurable. It might work better than doing a bunch of stuff you don’t love back-to-back.

2. Goof off a little.

Having friends at work is important. It’s even all right to goof off with them once in awhile. Remember, happier workers are more productive. So, making your own happiness a priority is good for everyone concerned. Having friends at work goes a long way. Make a point to enjoy them, as long as you can also stay professional and get all of your work done.

3. Be grateful.

Be sure to take the time to appreciate what you like about your job. Counting your blessings, so to speak, might just make you happier. Remember the old adage — it’s not the happiest people who are the most grateful, it’s the most grateful people who are the happiest.

“Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus

4. Try getting started earlier.

It can feel really good to hit the ground running, especially during busy times at work. If you’ve been feeling stressed lately, try getting to work a little ahead of schedule. It’s amazing how much you can get done while the office is relatively quiet. And, that could give you a mood boost that lasts all day.

5. Get outside for a few minutes at some point during the day.

A bit of fresh air can help provide a lovely little break during the workday. Try stepping outside for a few minutes if you can. Or, better yet, reschedule a meeting (or maybe take a phone call) outside if you can find a quiet spot. It might help you hit the reset button on a negative mood.

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6. Find what interests you about the work.

In one survey, 59 percent of respondents said that “interest in work” made them feel happy. So, take it upon yourself to find ways to be more interested in what you do. Remember why you chose this work in the first place. Or, ask to be assigned to a project that captivates you. You’ll enjoy work more.

7. Change things up in your work space.

Taking steps to improve your physical work environment could help you feel happier. Color can impact our moods, according to research. Similarly, adding a piece of art or even a plant to your office space might be helpful. Or, you could get a boost just from cleaning up your desk a bit.

8. Take personal responsibility for your happiness.

Psychologists note that people with an internal locus of control are happier than those with an external one. It comes down to whether or not you feel that you determine your own fate. Does life mostly happen to you, or do you have more control than that? Believing that you’re mostly in charge (developing your internal locus of control) could help you feel happier.

9. Don’t check email.

Don’t check your email first thing in the morning. You’ll be so much more productive if you use that morning energy to accomplish more significant tasks. Also, as the day continues, try to find other ways to fill idle moments. Many people default to checking email in between tasks. But, perhaps there is some other way you could spend that time that would be more enjoyable.

10. Cancel a meeting.

Want to feel happier at work fast? If you have the authority to do so, cancel (or even just shorten) a meeting you have scheduled. That will almost certainly do the trick. Most people don’t like meetings. Seventeen percent of workers say they’d literally rather watch paint dry than attend one. Do some research into some alternatives that could work in your office. That’s something that might make a lot of people feel happier at your workplace.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you do to help you feel happy at work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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