7 Tactics You Can Use to Be Happier at Work

Posted by Susan Cullen on 05 Mar 2019

adult-beard-blur-927022Can you really be happy at your job every day? Research shows that happy employees are more productive, more creative, and more likely to remain in their current positions. Not only that, if you're happy overall, you're less likely to get sick, to struggle with common stress issues, and to experience greater overall comfort and wellness. Unfortunately, 68% of employees report disengagement in the workplace. They're simply not happy, and their performance shows it. As an employee, you may feel that there's not much you can do about your happiness. You aren't responsible for your working conditions or the rules your employer imposes on you--and you may feel that many of them are unreasonable or unacceptable. The truth, however, is that there are plenty of things you can do to improve your happiness at work every day, creating a happier working environment and allowing you to experience all the benefits of happiness. 

1. Take Ownership

It's easy to pick up a victim mentality. It's not your fault you're unhappy! You're unhappy because this coworker is hard to work with, or that project is too demanding, or that customer making your life miserable. Author Sonja Lyubomirsky, however, suggests that 40% of your happiness is, simply put, up to you. 

You can't control what's going on around you, but you can control how you react to it. By challenging your perceptions and thinking through your reactions, you can create a happier personality and better strategies for dealing with what's going on around you, even when things don't seem to be going your way. By taking ownership of your happiness, you take back the power that you've allowed others to take away from you and put yourself in a position to be happier even if those things that originally triggered unhappiness continue.

2. Decrease Decision Fatigue

Every day, we make dozens of little choices--and they all add up fast. From what you're wearing to what you'll eat for lunch or even who you'll eat lunch with, you have a lot of decisions to make. Not only that, those decisions create fatigue in your mind. It doesn't take long before they become frankly overwhelming!

If you're struggling with decision fatigue, look for ways to make fewer decisions, especially small ones that aren't significant in the overall scheme of things anyway. You may, for example, learn to choose the simpler option for things that aren't particularly significant. You may also find that it's more effective to make your biggest, most important decisions early in the day, before that fatigue sets in. Plan ahead to reduce the decisions you have to make on a daily basis. Ultimately, this will help make you happier and better able to handle whatever comes at you over the course of the day.

3. Start Your Day Right

How you start your day has a huge impact on how you'll spend the rest of it. If you start your day grumpy and out of sorts, it's a lot harder to turn your day around than if you're able to start your day with a smile on your face, ready to dive in and tackle whatever the world has for you. Create a habit of waking up a little earlier so that you aren't rushing around, scraping out the door at the last minute and struggling to get everything done before you go. Leave time for things that are important to you, whether that's a slow cup of coffee as you read the news or a quick morning workout to get your blood flowing. When your day starts well, you'll find that it's easier to maintain that happiness throughout the entire day. 

4. Realistically Assess Your Capabilities

All too often, we take too much stress on ourselves for one simple reason: we're incapable of saying no! If your immediate response any time your boss asks you to take on a new project or accomplish a new task is yes, you may be slowly destroying your own happiness at work. Instead, create a more realistic assessment of your capabilities. Don't take on projects you know you can't handle or that you can't realistically complete without cutting into your personal life. Avoid agreeing to tasks that you don't have the skills to complete. When you have some breathing room, you'll often discover that you're overall much happier at work every day. 

5. Communicate

If there's a problem in the workplace, do you let it simmer until it becomes a serious issue, or do you address it early in the process, when it's still small and easy to deal with? Communication is key to a happy workplace. If you're struggling with your workload or have gotten behind on a project, communication can get you the help you need. If there's conflict with a coworker, communication can help work it out. If you struggle with communication, on the other hand, you may find it much more difficult to handle challenges and deal with problems. 

6. Stay Out of the Drama

Some workplace environments are more drama-filled than others. Most workplaces, however, have some element of drama from time to time: conflict between specific employees, gossip, or whispers behind someone else's back. If you want to be happier at work, there's one key strategy that will help you get there: avoid the drama. Refuse to engage with people who are causing it, walk away when you see it happening, and keep your emotional equilibrium. The more you stay out of the drama, the happier you'll find that you are at work.

7. Organize Your Work Space

You'd like to believe that your organization has nothing to do with your overall happiness. The truth, however, is that when your work space is less cluttered, you're more likely to be happy with it. You'll find that you're more engaged, less distracted, and less likely to become frustrated by the little things when your desk is a neat, tidy space where you can quickly find everything you need. Take the time to neaten up those folders and put your things together. You'll find that your stress levels decrease significantly from that simple step alone. 

Are you ready to be happier at work? We offer leadership training seminars that can help improve overall employee happiness and transform your workplace. Contact us today to learn more!

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Topics: Happiness

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