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How to Take Charge of Your Happiness at Work

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Four Proactive Habits to Make the Most of Your Workday
Woman smiling while at work

Do you ever feel stuck in the same stale routine at work? It’s easy to become disenchanted with your job when that happens, but taking charge of your happiness is possible – no matter your career path. In this post we'll look into a few of the ways you can reclaim control and proactively create a more enjoyable working experience for yourself. This article is designed for those who are done being passive when it comes to their work-life satisfaction. With some creative thinking and actionable tips, you can revolutionize how contented –and even passionate–you feel about where your career takes you each day!

1. Find Your Passion and Purpose at Work

Work demands much of your time, so much that it shouldn't just be a way to pay the bills--it should be meaningful and fulfilling. When you're able to find your passion and purpose at work, everything changes. You become energized and excited about your work, and you actually look forward to going into the office (or logging into your Zoom meetings).

Maybe you love solving complex problems, or maybe helping others gives you a feeling of deep satisfaction. Whatever it is focus on those aspects of the work or figure out ways to weave them into your day.

If you're having trouble identifying what those aspects are, try this fun exercise: Ask yourself: "What did I enjoy doing as a child, before anyone told me what was practical or realistic?

Maybe you loved building forts as a child. Was it the engineering and building, the creativity and imagination or bringing a vision to life that brought you joy? Your childhood interests could hold the key to your future career satisfaction. So go ahead and embrace those childhood memories that brought you happiness. They might just lead you to your dream job.

2. Take A Break

Excuse me, I hate to interrupt, but. . . Yes, I’m talking to you, the one who's been staring at that computer screen for the past few hours. It's time to take a break. I know, I know, deadlines are looming, meetings are meeting and there's so much to do, but trust me, your mind and body will thank you for it.

Woman taking a break, walking and smiling while looking at phone

Take breaks throughout the day to recharge and refresh yourself. Go for a walk, grab a snack or just sit in silence and curb those racing thoughts for a few minutes.

Studies have shown that giving ourselves a mental break can actually increase our focus and productivity. Add activity to it and your whole frame of mind can change.

You'll come back to work feeling energized and ready to tackle anything. Maybe you'll even have a breakthrough idea while taking that well-deserved break. So, go ahead, take a break - your productivity will thank you.

3. Create Mini Goals

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a big project looming over your head? It can be daunting to tackle a mountain-sized task all at once. Breaking it down into mini-goals can make it much more manageable and, let's be honest, satisfying.

Breaking down a huge task into small pieces is like taking a sip of your matcha instead of trying to drink the whole thing in a gulp. Not only does it make the project more approachable, but each mini-goal achieved is a cause for celebration.

It also gives you an opportunity to reflect and notice what you could do differently to accomplish other goals. So go ahead, start small, and watch your progress add up to something big, and don’t forget to celebrate each win along the way.

4. Develop Positive Relationships

Group of colleagues smiling and talking

Having positive relationships with your colleagues is absolutely essential to your happiness in the workplace.

We spend a lot of time at work, why spend all that time disconnected from the people around you?

Connecting with others does not have to be a challenge, even for us introverts. Simply start by sharing a friendly and welcoming smile and saying hello.

A positive working environment makes you feel better about going to work each day, but it will also improve productivity and collaboration among the team. So go ahead, crack a joke, ask your coworker how their weekend was, and enjoy the benefits.

Taking a proactive approach to your job satisfaction can shift you from that feeling of languishing on the job, to finding some happiness in your day.

Approach these tips in small creative ways, like once you’ve identified your passion, create mini-goals that incorporate those things into your day-to-day. This will help you both practice biting off something you can chew (or taking a sip rather than a gulp) and bringing life to your work.

Remember to take regular breaks to keep your energy and creativity up and surround yourself with positive relationships that can help motivate you on bad days.

Every so often, check back in with yourself and note how these changes impact your engagement at work.

Here's a little secret, a lot of our satisfaction has to do with having a stronger sense of control and agency at work. Your well-being is a great place to start.



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