Was one of your resolutions for the new year to be more happy and satisfied with your work? If you have the desire and commitment, these tips from lifelearning.com will help you to feel more satisfied and productive as you leave your office cubicle each day.
1. Planning. You need to establish a routine of planning your week and your day. Think about starting your day 15 minutes earlier to do this planning. Write down the most important 1-3 things you must do each day. Most importantly, set and reach those goals.
2. Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List. This can be very frustrating for perfectionists and overachievers. Make sure you work on your most important tasks first. Let the fluff slide, not your priorities.
3. Turn Off Your Computer. What percentage of your time is really used on the computer? Plan to have your computer on for only that amount of time each day. Plan out blocks of time for each computer task and work from a checklist to keep you focused. Giving your eyes a chance to rest from the screen will give you more energy for creating. Just closing your eyes as you think of a response to an email can help too.
4. Power Question. Keep a question such as this at your desk to help you stay focused: “Am I making the most of my time right now?” or “Is this the most productive use of my time?”
5. Don’t Check E-mail First Thing. Unless this is required in your job, then let it go until you’ve completed your top priority of the day. Try to process email in batches 2 or three dimes a day.
6. Take Breaks. It has been proven in studies that taking breaks will increase productivity. If you need to, find someone to help ensure that you take a morning and afternoon break.
7. Make the Most Of Your Commute. Make you commute positive time. Use it for reading, writing, creative thinking, or my favorite, listen to audio books. If you like your commute, that happiness will spill over into how you feel at work.
8. Drop Unimportant Tasks. Delegate or delete the non-essential items from your to-do list. Do your most important tasks first and somehow those extraneous things will fall away.
9. Transitions. Make sure you plan enough time between activities and appointments. Find way to fail proof being on time.
10. Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.
11. Cultivate Compassion for Negative Co-Workers. People who are negative are that way for a reason. They may have difficulties you don’t know about. Try to be compassionate and non-judging. If you’re a manager, people still need to meet benchmarks, but you don’t have to dislike them if they are not cutting it. When you encounter a negative person, you have the choice to either be affected by the negativity or to be the one who influences the other person. It’s a decision. Choose to stay positive.
12. Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days. Go slow. Don’t be in a hurry. Take one thing at a time and keep moving forward.
13. Take Everything in Stride. Deadlines, tough bosses, rude clients, slow computers. Don’t make them into large dramas. Don’t lament the challenges of the world. Simply accept that they are there, and just keep moving forward.
14. Conflict with Others. Let your goal be “to make progress.” Don’t get caught up in trying to “be right” or to “win” the argument. That will just slow you down. In your mind ask yourself, “what will move this conflict forward right now?” And then get busy doing that.
15. Take Your Vacation Time. Try doing something different. If you always go on a trip, try taking a more local vacation, and really get some good rest time. Variety is one of the keys to happiness.
16. Pick Your Battles. It’s kind of like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” When you complain or fight on everything, then your power to ask for things is diminished. Save it up for when you really need it.
17. Break Negative Habits. For one day, observe yourself. Where do you face difficulties? With people? Certain people? Certain circumstances? Take notice and then later on during some quiet time, think about one or two things you would like to work on. Set up some kind of reminder system to fail proof it, such as a simple yellow sticky note next to your computer.
18. Learn from Criticism. Don’t immediately reject critiques from others, even if you don’t like or respect them. Sometimes people you don’t like may be giving you more honest feedback than you can get from others. Don’t take it personally. Even if it is personal, who cares? Listen, process, and then decide what positive action you might want to take.
19. Adapt. Adaptation is the number one survival skill of living organisms. Those that don’t adapt, become extinct. In the work world, the same is true for companies, whole groups, and for individuals. Be open to change. Give it a chance. Adapt to new things while using your experience to guide you, and you will have great success.
20. Learning and Improving. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to learn and improve your skills. Look for good seminars and training. Then ask work if you can attend and will they pay for your admission. If your company pays for education, use it! Borrow books from your local library, the company library, or even from your boss.
As you change your habits and routines for the better, you’ll see your work life improve. That improvement will trickle into the rest of your life too!