October 24, 2013
Don't worry, be happy (at work)
You spend a sizable portion of your waking hours at work. So why not try to optimize that time, happiness-wise? You've probably heard these tips before, but have you tried them all? Didn't think so.
Perk up your workspace. If possible (and within reason) decorate your workspace with objects that make you happy -- a photo of your beloved, a plant, a sunny yellow pencil cup.
Get organized. Most humans are happier in clean and organized surroundings. You will be, too.
Eat better. Bring, or buy, a tasty and nutritious lunch and/or snacks. A healthier body is a happier body -- and mind.
Smile. Sounds simplistic, but it's proven that acting a certain way leads us to feel that way. Acting happy will make your brain start to think happy.
Cut the rut. Shake things up by doing routine parts of your job in a different order or at a different time. Or find a new fun way to do an old boring thing.
Make a list. Each night before falling asleep, identify three things at work you're grateful for. Recognizing the good that already exists in our lives makes us happier.
Move. If you work mostly sitting, look for ways to incorporate physical activity into your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a brisk walk at lunch, preferably outside.
Find a mentor. No matter what your job, you can find someone to advise you, listen to you, help you solve problems and give you a sense of perspective.
Seek recognition. If you are doing great work and no one knows, it's as bad as if you're constantly tooting your own horn. If you've invented a filing system that saves paper, say, write a short memo to your boss describing it.
Keep learning. Read those professional journals lying around the break room. Volunteer to cross-train with co-workers. Sign up for continuing-education classes.
We are often told that success leads to happiness, but it's the other way around: Happiness leads to success. So get happy!
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at email@example.com.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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