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15 ways to be happier at work

Have you gotten into a rut at work? Would you like to be more engaged, satisfied and fulfilled? Would you like to be more productive and feel a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of each day? Well you can. It just takes a desire and commitment to renew your habits and routines. Follow these tips and you'll see your work life improve. And that improvement will trickle into the rest of your life too.

1. Accept that you'll never finish your task list:
For perfectionists and overachievers, this is as frustrating as a greyhound forever chasing the mechanical bunny around the track. Get off that track. Just make sure you work on your most important stuff first. Let the fluff slide, not your priorities.

2. Turn Off Your Computer:
Plan out blocks of time for different computer tasks and work from a checklist to keep you focused. Giving your eyes a rest from the screen will give you more energy for creating. Even closing your eyes as you think of a response to an email can help too.

3. Don't Check Your Email First:
Unless this is required in your job, let it go until after you've completed your top priority of the day. And then process email in batches, say two or three times a day.

4. Take Breaks:
It's a fact that taking breaks will increase productivity. It's been proven in studies. If you need to, find someone to help ensure you take a morning and afternoon break.

5. Make the Most of Your Commute:
How do you spend your commute? Make it positive time. Use it for reading, writing, creative thinking, creative projects, listen to audio books, or, heck, write your own book! If you enjoy your commute, that happiness will spill over into how you feel at work.

6. Planning:
Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning everyday. Write down the top three important things you must do that day.

7. Drop Unimportant Tasks:
Delegate or delete the non-essential items from your to-do list. The best way to do this is to always do your most important things first. Somehow, miraculously, extraneous things will fall away.

8. Transitions:
Make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time.

9. Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days:
Go slow. Don't be in a hurry. Just take one thing at a time and keep moving forward. If you're having a really low day, you might even want to take care of yourself by playing hooky!

10. Take Everything in Stride:
Deadlines, tough bosses, rude clients, slow computers. Don't turn them into large dramas. Don't lament the challenges of the world. Simply accept that they are there and just keep moving forward.

11. 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. Or if you always stay local, try visiting a new place. Variety is one of the keys to happiness.

12. Pick Your Battles:
Cliche, but true. 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.

13. Ask for Help:
Don't be afraid to collaborate with others. Don't wait for your company to tell you what to do. Think creatively about how you can work with others to generate a greater result than if you had each worked on this alone.

14. Ask for More Time:
If you are asked a question that stumps you or surprises you, never feel like you have to answer it right away (unless you absolutely must). Seek more time to think about or research your answer.

15. 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. Listen, process, and then decide what positive action you might want to take.

Source:  Arabian Woman
Posted: 25/06/2008

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