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15 Practical Strategies for Making Your Work Day More Enjoyable

  • June 7th, 2017
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Do you get out of bed in the morning energised for work or do you dread going to work each day? Research shows less than half of Aussies are happy with their jobs. Whether it’s your attitude or your job, you can do something about it. Commit to spring cleaning your work life today and you’ll end up enjoying work more than you do now.

1. Adopt a positive attitude

As Christians we have confidence that no matter what is happening, God is with us and can turn any situation into something positive. As a result, we are able to have a positive attitude and ‘be content in any situation’. Start focusing on the positive aspects of your work to shift your mindset. Be thankful that you have a job, and know that God may be using you to bring some light to your workplace.

If your colleagues are the best thing about your job, focus on the team you work with. If applying your knowledge to solve problems is the best aspect of your job, place your focus on that. If the best thing about your job is opportunities for learning, focus on these. Feel appreciative for these things even when you’re doing things you don’t like.

2. Make the most of what you’re doing

Commit to doing your best and see your current role as a stepping stone to a promising career, even if you don’t love your current job. Rather than only turning up and doing the minimum to get by, think about how you can improve outcomes for everyone – clients and the organisation.

See yourself as a valuable contributor, no matter how small your role. Take pride in getting things done on time and delivering quality work. Know your industry thoroughly and become an expert in your field. The positive feedback you receive will motivate you and keep you engaged, even if you are looking for other work opportunities.

3. Bring hidden blockages into focus

If you dread going to work you might want to check for blockage or conflicts you’re unaware of. For example, you might dislike going to work because some aspect of your role conflicts with your values or ethics. Something about your work might be in conflict with your identity.

Check your feelings about your job and look out for blockages of this nature. If the conflict isn’t serious, becoming aware of it might be enough to resolve it. If it’s a major one, you could decide to change departments or find a new job opportunity.

4. Use smart time-management strategies

Structuring your day and getting organised with time-management strategies means you’ll be purposeful as you get things done. It lets you stay focused because you know what you need to get done.

Start your day by reviewing your goals for the day. Keep updating your task list and check things off as you get them done. Remove interruptions and address priorities by urgency. Avoid procrastination and multi-tasking as these make you lose focus. At the end of the day, recognise what you’ve achieved and reward yourself by doing something you like.

5. Cultivate concentration and focus

It’s easy to lose focus with email, chat, and social media tempting us at work. Focus doesn’t always come naturally, so learn to remove distractions and don’t multitask.

Encourage yourself to do one thing at a time and do it well. As you learn to concentrate for longer periods, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and enjoy your work more.

6. Explore internal opportunities and ask for work

Some organisations encourage staff to be proactive about signing up to work on new projects or tasks. If your organisation’s culture supports this, don’t hesitate to be proactive if a project interests you. As long as you can fulfil existing responsibilities, your manager should be happy to give you more work.

Asking for more work if you can handle it is a sure path to getting more responsibility. You’ll accumulating experience for new openings and becoming better qualified. It can also help you enjoy your work more by keeping you challenged.

7. Challenge yourself

Boredom can be as draining as excessive stress at work, so find ways to challenge yourself if you’re bored. Challenge yourself to do work to higher standards and more efficiently. Find new ways to deliver better outcomes for your clients.

Explore options for streamlining processes in your job. Read about the latest trends in your industry and stay up to date. By staying challenged, you’ll keep your mind occupied and you’ll be more likely to enjoy your working day.

8. Practice relaxation techniques

Stress is a part of life and a level of stress might be good for you. Too much stress, however, can be crippling, not to mention bad for your health. If you’re stressed out at work, practice relaxation techniques throughout your day.

Learn these desk-based relaxation techniques to keep stress in check:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation – Slowly tense and relax muscle groups one at a time, working from toe to neck.
  • Visualisation – Close your eyes and for three minutes visualise a relaxing scene, whether it’s the beach, a forest, or your living room.
  • Breathing – Take a few slow, deep breathes all the way to your belly.
  • Engageyoursenses – Music, scented lotion, family photos, or stress balls are ways to engage different senses. By engaging a specific sense for a few minutes, you refocus attention and let go of stress.
  • Laugh – Open your collection of jokes, funny cartoons, and humorous memes to laugh heartily for a few moments.

Use stress-relieving techniques to deal with intense work demands. It’s also helpful to keep things in perspective and realise that it’s just a job, whatever happens. And remember what the Bible says: “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.”

10. Keep in mind you’re more than your job

No matter how well-suited you are to your job, challenging times will arise. Stay organised and meet your deadlines, but remind yourself you’re more than your job. Identify with your hobbies, interests, family, and friends outside of work rather than defining yourself only through your work.

This doesn’t mean you’ll end up not taking your work seriously. In reality it will probably free you up to be more creative and productive at work because you’re not attached to specific outcomes and how things should be.

If you know it’s time to move on, make sure your next workplace is a suitable one. Explore job options, take career quizzes to find out what you like, and find out as much as you can about the organization’s workplace and culture before applying.

11. Encourage positivity and team spirit at work

A workplace could be what you make of it. While you can’t change the work you do, you can contribute to a supportive work environment. Adopt a positive attitude and avoid gossip or negativity. Help out colleagues when you can. Be a source of positivity at work.

Try to have fun at work, and take every opportunity to socialise with your colleagues. If there are few out-of-work social opportunities, be the one to organise after-work drinks and Friday lunches. Great ideas for socialising with colleagues include doing volunteer and fundraising work together on the weekend. For something different, organise a karaoke night, a laser-tag afternoon, or a cooking class.

Get to know your colleagues and you’ll help build a stronger team environment.

12. Decorate your office

Add personal touches to your office or workstation. You spend a third of your life at work, so make sure your office is pleasant to be in. A pleasant-looking office supports a positive attitude and could boost productivity.

A neat workstation supports productivity and clarity of thought. Declutter your office and make sure your workstation is kept tidy. Keep things organised with filing cabinets, drawers, and shelves. Add photos, pot plants, and artistic elements for colour.

13. Refuel healthfully

Too much caffeine and sugar leads to afternoon crashes, so try to eat healthfully every few hours to keep your energy levels high. Choose healthier snack options like fruit, salads, trail mixes, and dark chocolate over junk food options. Eat a light lunch to avoid after-lunch sluggishness, and stay hydrated.

14. Review your day

Take a few minutes at the end of each work day to look at what you did well today and where you can improve tomorrow. Reviewing what you did also helps you work out how you used the time available to you. Stay aware of how you use your time makes you more effective and productive at work, and this means higher satisfaction and enjoyment.

15. Switch off and rest

Once you walk out the office door, leave your job behind you. This means leaving the at-work mindset (as well as extra work) behind. Since you’ve managed your time effectively, you probably won’t need to take work home.

If you’re one of those people who finds it difficult to leave unfinished tasks for tomorrow, keep practicing until you’re comfortable leaving non-urgent work behind instead of taking it home to finish. Rest effectively so you can return to work ready to be productive.

Getting the most satisfaction out of your work day

Take a proactive approach to creating an enjoyable, productive workplace for you. Adopt a positive attitude, engage with colleagues, and set high standards for your work. See yourself as a positive contributor doing valuable work at your place of employment, and you’ll find yourself enjoying work more each day.

And if you’re looking for some fun ideas of how to make your workplace more fun you could always try these suggestions from our friend Hi Josh:

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