Just how happy are you at your workplace?
No matter how well you do your job, you may not always be appreciated or rewarded for the work you do.
You could also face many challenges in your workplace, such as:
- Little fulfillment
- Long hours and tight deadlines
- Conflicting demands on your time and loyalty
- Little balance between personal life and work commitments
- Strained relationships with the important people in your life
- Lack of any say at work
- Internal politics and a rigid company structure
- Bullying within the workplace
- Few promotional opportunities.
So just how do you cope?
At the end of the day, you want to be involved in fulfilling, rewarding, and enjoyable, get recognition and promotion for your efforts, and be appreciated for the work you do.
But at the same time, you want a balanced life with time for the things you really want to do with a full and interesting social life. Of course, you want to have clarity about your career and job duties, and you want to continue to be healthy, fit, and stress-free.
It seems a lot to ask for – and the key to resolving these seemingly conflicting challenges is to get clear about how much you love the work you do.
Is what you do for work make you jump out of bed every morning?
Or would you rather be doing something else?
No matter how good things are in other parts of your life, such as family, social life, and relationships, work is a major part of your life and not to be neglected.
Since, for now, you have chosen to be in the job you are in, it is up to you for the time being to make the most of what you do. Of course, in the long term, you can either change your job or even embark on a new career. But for now, you can get to love more of what you do right now.
Assuming that in the short term, you are not able to change jobs, there are a number of things you can do to begin enjoying more of what you currently do.
Ask yourself – is it the job, or is it you?
And what can you do to make your current work more enjoyable?
Stop acting the victim. YOU are responsible for your life and if you can’t immediately change the job you are in, then it is up to you to make the most of it.
Here are 12 tips to enjoy more your current job.
1. Get motivated to face the day
On the way to your workplace, think of how the work you have allows you to have your life outside of it, such as a great social life. A positive attitude will make the day more pleasant and productive.
2. Keep your work in perspective
You can only do the best you can in each situation. Look beyond yourself and your work, and consider the bigger picture. Do some voluntary work to gain a broader outlook. Find a way to contribute to society in general.
3. You are more than your work
Do not have your identity too strongly tied to the job you do. Give up thinking that your work-life “should” be a certain way. Such expectations of what you were supposed to be, as set by your parents and teachers, stop you from enjoying what you currently do.
4. Plan your time and create a to-do list
In this list, include long-term projects and the more imminent things that need doing.
Prioritize your to-do list – do the most important things first. When performing any task, ask yourself – is this the best use of my time? Schedule in enough time for your studies etc.
5. Concentrate on the task at hand
Do not let yourself be distracted by worrying about all the other things to be done or losing energy over the undesirable situation you find yourself in. Stay in the moment.
Be ruthless and handle a task before it gets on a possible procrastination list. For example, sort your morning post immediately in one go – open, file, act on, or bin it there and then.
6. Be clear about what’s expected of you
Clarify immediately any time you are not sure, or where you are faced with conflicting demands. The more precise and upfront you are with your manager and the other people you work with, the better it will be for you in the long term.
7. Delegate wherever appropriate
Decide if anything can be delegated or that more fairly belongs to someone else’s workload. Always remember the “3D” rule – do it, dump it, or delegate it – never handle a piece of paper twice.
8. Have regular breaks
Get away from your normal workplace, even if only for five minutes. Try taking a break from the laptop and emails and leaving the mobile behind. Make sure you have that lunch break – it is not just for food but also fresh air and a mental break.
Eat a healthy lunch, and if you must snack, ensure it is healthy too – an apple rather than a bag of crisps. Look for ways of energizing yourself other than adrenaline and caffeine.
9. Learn to relax
No matter how challenging the work gets or how demanding your bosses become, at the end of the day, it is only a job, and you are much more than that. In years to come, you will look back and wonder what the fuss was.
10. Make your workplace more pleasant
Contribute to creating a pleasant work environment. Do not gossip in the office, as it just creates negativity all around. Do not listen to any gossip either. Minimize your time with people that you do not resonate with or like.
Learn to have more fun at work. Laugh more and chill out. Perform with a more fun-orientated approach.
11. Review your day before you leave for home
Look at what worked well and what could be improved the next day. If you feel satisfied with the day’s work, why not reward yourself later that day? You deserve it.
12. Switch off once you leave work
You are already at work a third of your time, so do not continue to keep it buzzing in your head during your supposed free time. Mentally say goodbye to your workspace the moment you leave for home.
See your work as a game. Life is meant to be fun, and if you are going to spend a third of it at work, you might as well enjoy the game.
Enjoy your work – and if it comes down to it, you can always find something better in the medium to long term.
Arvind Devalia is a writer, blogger, life coach, and social entrepreneur living in a leafy part of central London. Arvind was born in Kenya, his heritage is Indian and he has lived in the UK for over 20 years. A true citizen of the world.