8 Tips to Get Happier at Work
Your guide to jumping for joy on the job
Some work to live, others live to work. Whichever category you fall into, being happy at work is always possible. And if you're already happy, maybe you can even get a little bit happier. Whether you're a brain surgeon or a baker, a secretary or a social worker – these simple tips are sure to get you jumping for joy on the job.
1. MAKE A TO-DO LIST
And stick to it! Getting all of your tasks in one place highly increases the chance of them getting done, and you'll get a sense of satisfaction as you tick each one off.
2. TAKE AN OUTSIDE BREAK
Rather than aimlessly flicking through Facebook to kill time in between tasks, get up and take a brisk walk outside. Raising your heart rate - even for a few minutes – encourages the release of feel-good endorphins, and fresh air clears the mind too. When you get back you'll be more productive and happier to boot.
3. CLEAN YOUR DESK
A tidy and organized workspace encourages a clear mind – which means you'll get tasks done quicker and feel better as you do it.
4. GET SOME SLEEP
… though preferably not at the office! Studies have shown that you'll be more focused and productive (at work and elsewhere) if you get between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep every night. And if you're more focused and productive, you'll be in high spirits.
5. STEP OUT FOR A CHAT
While your boss might not appreciate it if you overdo this one, take a few minutes each day to keep in touch with family and friends. Chatting with your loved ones improves happiness, so you'll be buzzing when you get back to your desk.
6. SMILE AT YOUR COLLEAGUES
Flash your pearly whites, but don't fake it – smiles are more effective at making us feel better if they're backed up by positive thoughts. The bonus here is that you'll make your co-workers feel happier too with your infectious grin.
You don't even need to get up from your desk to do this one. Just sit up straight and focus on taking long, deep breaths, with inhalations and exhalations of an even length. You'll feel calmer and cheerier in a matter of seconds. Try these breathing excercises – we especially recommend alternate nostril breathing to clear the mind.
8. GO HOME
Finish your work first, obviously, but after that – leave the office. Maintaining a good work-life balance is an important aspect of job satisfaction and thus overall happiness, according to a 2009 study of US employees.