We spend most of our adult lives at work so it makes sense to do everything we can to make our work life a little happier.
If you need a little pep up, never fear! Here are 5 simple things you can do today to be more content at work from the experts at JobAdvisor.
1. Set Goals
The definition of success is, “the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal” according to the American motivator and author Earl Nightingale. We’re also happiest when we’re succeeding and achieving, so if you don’t know what you’re aiming for it’s not always clear if you’ve achieved anything at all.
Progress equals happiness, that’s why goal setting is critical to being happy at work. And it doesn’t have to be the big goals. The little weekly and daily goals are equally important to give you a sense of progress and help you build momentum towards your big goals.
What to do
- List out the top 3 goals you’d like to achieve this week
- What is the first step for each of those goals?
- When will you do those first steps? Put it in your diary now
- Repeat for longer or shorter term goals
2. Make a WEEKLY plan
Are you stressed out and overwhelmed? If so (and even if not), the first question you need to ask is, “do I have a plan?”.
If your answer is “I don’t have time to do a plan!” then stop immediately. If you don’t have time to do a plan, that’s a sure sign you really need one. Don’t waste your mental and emotional energy trying to hold all of that information in your head.
Think about the last day before you go away on holidays – if you’re like most people, you get loads done on this day. Why? You have a deadline and you have a list of things that must happen before you go, starting with the most important first. Nothing distracts you because you know exactly what you need to do and what you can leave for another day. This is the power of a plan.
But, while planning every day is a great start, focusing on the trees sometimes means you can’t see the forest. You might be ticking things off at a rapid rate, but are they the right things?
That’s why you need a weekly plan that’s in line with your goals.
What to do
List out all the things you need to get done this week including personal things.
When you’re finished, put a 1 next to the really important things (i.e. the ones that support your goals), a 2 next to the important things and a 3 next to the not so important things.
Now put all the 1’s into your weekly diary first, making sure you give yourself enough time to get it done (leave some wiggle room). Then try to fit in the 2’s and then if there’s any space left, the 3’s.
Tip: Make sure you “chunk” your time. If you have lots of people to call, get all your calls done in one go. If you need to have lots of meetings, try to schedule all your meetings back to back.
3. Stop Trying to be Perfect
Some of the best advice I ever received was to recognise that you’re never going to get everything done… BUT, you CAN choose what you DO get done. We spend so much time and emotional energy worrying about “all the things I haven’t done yet” but life becomes much happier when you learn not to sweat the small stuff. Get the big things done first and the small things done if you can. If you can’t, let them go.
What to do
See steps 1 and 2!
4. Use Deadlines to your Advantage
People work really well to deadlines… if you want to hear back from someone, tell them when you’d like them to get back to you by. If you need something done, set a due date. If you want to get something done, give yourself a deadline. This little tip has changed the way I work with people and means I spend less time chasing others which is a major cause of unhappiness!
5. Unclutter your Mind
We are bombarded with more information in a single day than people in the fifteenth century dealt with in their entire lives. You’re even reading an article right now you probably didn’t plan to read today. How do you keep up with it all?
Well, one of the best ways is not to add to it unnecessarily. Keep your mind free from clutter until you’ve got your most important things done. Basically that means, don’t start the day by checking your inbox. Resist reading email on your phone on your way to work too, you might get a head start but you also set your mind racing down a hundred different pathways without any focus.
What to do
As soon as you sit down at your desk for the day, think about what you want to achieve and focus on the important things first. You’ll be much more productive and much happier with a clear, focused mind. I promise.
JobAdvisor provides the inside story on what it’s like to work for Australia’s Employers. Find out more at www.jobadvisor.com.au