When your work is going badly, it’s going to be almost impossible to stay positive about your job. You’ll enjoy it more when you feel on top of things. Here’s how:
1. Do your toughest work first: Have you ever put something off for weeks, and found that the longer you put it off, the harder it was to get started? By tackling the “tough” things (whatever you feel resistance to), you’ll make the rest of your day seem easy.
2. Make a change: even a small one. Boredom is often at the root of unhappiness at work. So take a single step toward modifying what’s getting you down. Challenge yourself to look for one area that would give you more joy at work and then make it happen. If you persistently add worth to what you bring to the job, chances are your boss will notice and reward you for it.
One way to do this: sign up for continuing education or professional development programs offered by your employer. When you acquire knowledge, you notice the world around you. Your mind turns on.
3. Get up to speed on your field: If you become complacent about trends, you’ll get left behind. Then, when new and interesting opportunities do arise at work, you might not be nimble enough to grab them.
Make a practice of reading trade publications. And set up a Google Alert to notify you about the latest news in your industry. Being in the know can inspire you to think of projects you might be able to nominate yourself for at work or start on your own.
4. Raise your hand and ask for new duties: Dissect your current position to pinpoint a new responsibility you can add that will refresh your focus and maybe even scare you a bit. Keep your ear to the ground to get the scoop on positions opening up or emerging projects — even if they’re short-term. Then throw your name into the hat.
Say “yes” to new assignments. If you’re worried you’re not up to the task, accept the invitation gracefully and with confidence and then get moving to figure out how to do it. The adrenaline will charge you up and when you succeed, the rewards will be internal and external.
5. Delegate properly: Hand over tasks which you don’t need to be doing, and give your colleague full responsibility – don’t micromanage. If you work for yourself, consider hiring someone to take on the jobs which you find difficult or tedious.
6. Don’t go straight to your inbox: Do you really need to open your emails at 8.30am? Most people will be happy to wait a few hours for a reply. Get on with your important tasks before tackling emails – it’ll make your whole day go more smoothly.
7. Give it your best: If you habitually do as little work as you can get away with, you’re probably not going to feel much sense of satisfaction. Put some effort in, however routine the task, and at least you’ll know that you did a good job (even if no-one else notices).
8. Concentrate: All the distractions and interruptions in a typical office can eat up hours of valuable work time. Close Facebook and Twitter, turn off the new email notifications, and get on with your work – your day will go much more smoothly, and you’ll have a sense of accomplishment at the end of it all.
9. Focus on what you like about your work and ramp it up: This will give you the strength to tackle the tough parts. Consider things like your coworkers, your (perhaps only occasionally) stimulating assignments, opportunities for learning, the respect you engender and the perks — whether that’s cold beer or a 401(k).
10. Finally, laugh more. A recent Gallup poll found that people who smile and laugh at work are more engaged in their jobs. And the more engaged you are, the happier and more enthusiastic you’ll be. This won’t just trickle down to the quality of your work; people will want to have you on their team.