We’ve all had days at work that challenge us to stay positive instead of ruminating on what went wrong at the office. The key to swaying the balance to positive is to take many small steps rather than expecting one great event to make the difference. Below are a few ideas on how you can improve your work outlook, whether you try one or all of them.
(1) Learn a new skill. Not sure where to start? Consider brushing up on your Microsoft Office skills if you use the software. Watch a TED Talk to learn how to communicate more effectively. Not only will your new skill make you more efficient at your job, but you’ll also be able to teach it to others. Shared knowledge is a great way to boost morale at work, for yourself and your co-workers.
(2) Decorate your work space. You spend quite a bit of time there. Photos, plants, or anything your work environment permits will create a familiar feel instead of working in a sterile environment devoid of personality.
(3) Take care of yourself. Take breaks. Stay hydrated. Get enough sleep. Constant work with no time to recharge makes you less effective in your job. Fear of not being seen as someone who “works all the time” lends to these bad habits that decrease productivity and increase stress.
(4) Start the day out right. Listen to music, exercise, have a quiet breakfast, or anything that gets you ready for your work day. Try not to rush the start of your day, as that feeling will carry over for the rest of the day, leading to increased stress levels.
(5) Ask for feedback. While this one may be a tough step to take, it can be even worse when you don’t know where you stand performance-wise. It’s important to take all feedback in the appropriate manner: criticism can be viewed as ways to improve your performance while positive critique are their own reward.
(6) Go on vacation. The benefit exists for a reason – relax and recharge without thinking about work. Just as you should leave your work at the office when you leave for the day, it’s just as important to do so on vacation. Sitting on a beach with your laptop open and answering emails is no vacation at all – it’s working in a different setting.
Once you’ve embraced one of these concepts, keep it up, and then try another. While these ideas may not resolve all of the issues you face at your job, they may allow you to see them in a little different light that lets you problem solve rather than build frustration.
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