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Hey all! Hope everyone is having a nice week! I read an article in February’s Cosmopolitan talking about job happiness and how you can be happier at any job. Caroline Webb, an expert in behavioral science has worked to increase job satisfaction for hundreds of employees in a wide variety of jobs. She’s outlined her tips in her new book ‘How to Have a Good Day.’ Caroline Webb’s theory is that good days don’t just happen – they’re made. Everyone has ups and downs at their job, myself included. However, I’ve tried to be really positive on a daily basis and I’m much happier at my job than I used to be. Caroline’s tips to be happier at any job are:
Be Happier Before Work
- Set Your Intention. Think about the day ahead and ask yourself: ‘What’s my aim? What’s my attitude?’ Acknowledging that you’re grumpy or tired allows you to see how those things may affect you and remind you of what really matters.
- Plan a Peak. Decide what you’re most looking forward to today, however small (like grabbing coffee with a friend or eating a delicious lunch). Small becomes bigger when you think about it.
Be Happier as Your Day Starts
- Imagine Your Best You. Envision your most important task of the day – a meeting, a project that’s due – and picture yourself completing and crushing that thing. Notice what you’re saying and doing that leads to success.
- Protect Your Thinking Time. Studies show that even small distractions can make it harder to concentrate. Set aside uninterrupted time to work on your most complex tasks. Group similar activities together – one hour for calls, another to do expenses – and complete each thing before starting the next.
Be Happier During the Day
- Express Appreciation. Compliment or thank someone, and tell the person why you like what you’re praising, so it sticks in his/her mind. Notice the effect on him/her and you. If you have the opportunity to make someone’s day better, it reminds you that you can make a difference.
- Head Off Work Fights. Nothing blows up your day like a work interaction turned hostile. If you’re in a tense moment with someone, think: Good person, bad circumstances. If someone is being a jerk, something has probably triggered them. Acknowledge the person’s frustration to take them off the defensive, and offer to help.
- Connect With a Friend. Skip the sad solo desk lunch, and use that time to reach out to someone you like. You don’t have to have a full sit-down meal together – call, text or e-mail works.
- Fake a Great Mood. Smiling is the new power pose. Research suggests that breathing slowly and smiling can trick your brain into a better mood… no matter how silly it feels.
- Label Your Frustrations. Simply writing down a problem will help you move past it. When you feel irritated or upset, write out the absolute facts (not “she ignored me” but “I sent her an email last night and haven’t heard back yet”) and how you feel. Either now or later, read what you wrote, and decide what your “best self” would do in this situation.
- Get Out of Your Chair. A million or so studies have shown that exercise improves mood, memory and ability to focus. So get to it! The best times to exercise is whenever works best for you!
Be Happier at the End of the Day
- Express Gratitude. Come up with three things from the day (tiny ones count) that you’re grateful for. Write them down, tell your partner, family or friend, or reflect on them yourself while you’re lying in bed.
- Power Down at Night. Working on four or five hours of sleep is like showing up drunk to work, research shows. Avoid looking at lit screens before bedtime, which makes it harder to wind down. If you use your phone as an alarm, put it facedown by the door.
I think these tips are amazing and really can make the worst day a tiny bit better. Let me know what your thoughts are on Caroline Webb’s tips on being happier at any job! Or, let me know if you try any of these tips on a daily basis at work. Kick some butt at work today! 😉