It's a goal for most of us to be happy while we're at work. When you send out positive vibes, you can get work done well and fast — plus, you're having fun along the way! If you're looking for a way to enjoy your 9-to-5 a bit more, check out these nine habits that people who are happiest at work have in common.
1. They're going for the gold.
Happy people have a plan, and the thought of completing this journey is what puts a smile on their face. Are you not a fan of goal setting? Try viewing it as a way to create your own happiness. Goals make it clear that we’re not just trying to stay busy, but that our work carries an actual purpose.
2. They set their sights on things within their control.
Happy people at work want to use their time effectively so they don’t waste it on things that are out of their control. Instead, they focus on realistic and attainable goals, values, and priorities — i.e. things that are (mostly) within their control.
3. They show the love.
No matter how busy a happy worker bee is, they always make an effort to help. Plus, it just feels good to share your knowledge or use your strengths to help others. So the next time someone asks you to help out, commit wholeheartedly and feel the smile spread across your face.
4. They grow a positive support system.
Happy people at work surround themselves with other happy people. Negative people bring not only themselves down, but those around them, too. Though you can't avoid negative people altogether, you can at least keep them at a distance. This is wise, because as the old agage goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So, find five positive, hard working people in your environment, and be sure to grow these relationships.
4. They don't take anything for granted.
Happy people at work know that working hard gets them where they want to go. They don't rely on luck alone, and therefore, they practice feeling thankful for where they are at. Practicing gratitude helps attract positive results. Use your journal to write five to 10 things you're grateful for. When you're done writing, re-read them aloud and say "thank you" for each one.
5. They are emotionally intelligent.
When you are emotionally intelligent, you are aware of your own emotions as well as those of others. Happy people at work are able to snap out of a bad mood more quickly and are aware when others need help doing the same. Keep your thoughts on the present moment to avoid worrying about the future or being upset about the past. Look up often when you walk around the office, smile, and enjoy how contagious your smile is.
6. They take good care of themselves.
Happy people are happy about themselves. They make sleep a priority, exercise, and create room in their lives for fun times. If self-care is a challenge for you, then make a plan. Book mini-vacations throughout the year to give yourself a break. Create a Sunday night ritual to get you ready for your work week. If you're struggling to find an exercise regime, try things outside of your comfort zone, like a new class or outdoor activity.
7. They work on their passions.
Working on something you're passionate about will bring out the best in you. If what you do for work isn't your passion, then find something after-hours that fulfills you. Is there a cause you've been wanting to volunteer for, or a new hobby you've been dying to try? Give it a go!
8. Their workspaces are organized and decorated.
You spend a good chunk of time at work, so make it a place you enjoy looking at! A disorganized space is difficult to work in. Have fun sprucing up your space with new organizational supplies and matching frames for your photos.
9. They minimize the number of trivial decisions they have to make in a day.
You can't avoid all decision making, of course, but it's hard to be happy when you're confused or overwhelmed. A little effort on the front end will go a long way in making your day feel more organized, well-executed, and therefore, peaceful. For example, try laying out your outfit the night before so you don't waste time and energy in the morning picking something out. Same goes for your lunch — map out your lunches in advance so you don't wind up deliberating last-minute where to eat as your stomach growls.
Happy people at work are creatures of habit. The quicker you can turn some of these tips into habits, the happier you'll be at work.
Liz McGrory is a certified professional coach supporting working moms make audacious choices about their work-life balance. She's a speaker, author, the Working Mom Expert on About.com, and a working mom coach at The Maven Clinic.
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