How to be happier at work

Very few workplaces provide a constant tide of contentment, allowing you to bask in a calm and untroubled sea. However, here are just four tactics you can use to give yourself the best chance of enjoying as much work day happiness as possible:

• Aim to respond to awkward situations rather than simply reacting to them. If you are stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work and blow your horn and shout your frustration, then you are reacting. A response would be to work out an alternative route for the next day to avoid the trouble. Responding to others’ frustration, rather than heightening it by reacting, gives a better chance of both a quick blow-over, and an individual more likely to help you when you need it – a double happiness whammy

• Understand exactly what you need to do. Many folk complete the work they think they’ve been given. If this proves not to be the case, then frustration is instant. If your boss is giving you a task, here are four simple questions to ask to help correctly define it: what, exactly, do you want me to do; how, specifically, should the end result appear; when do you need this by; and what else do I need to know. Answering these provides you with the best chance of delivering what’s required

• Know how much of your time you should give to any task. To put it another way, appreciate how much value is going to be gained by your end product, and then allow the right amount of time to gain it. At work, people often simply get their heads down at nine and look up at lunchtime – and are then horrified by what hasn’t been done, or how much time has been spent on an insignificant task

• Take the occasional break – even if only to walk around the building for a couple of minutes. People often lie awake at night worrying greatly about something that then seems insignificant in the light of day. At work, not taking the chance to switch off, however briefly, can help the same level of worry build as you undertake a task


Of course, as already mentioned, constant work happiness can be aimed for but will never be achieved. However, as you look around at your colleagues, consider the words of Abraham Lincoln on the subject: “Folk are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be”.


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