The alarm goes off or your mobile phone pings to signal the start of the working day. Do you jump out of bed excited or roll over and wish you didn’t have to go to work? For many people, it’s the latter.
Gallup, who periodically assess worker engagement levels across the world, found that only 15% of workers are engaged at work.
It’s unrealistic to believe you will likely find a job where you love every minute of your working day. There’s always something that will come along and unsettle the equilibrium, or even someone who will throw a curveball that disturbs the day.
However, there are ways to find more joy and enjoyment from your work environment.
Reshape your job description
Your job description outlines the essential tasks and responsibilities of your role. However, you don’t need to limit your work scope to what’s detailed in those documents. Instead, take an expansive approach.
There are often many opportunities to expand what you do to include activities, for example, that you find more intellectually stimulating, are keen to upskill in or see as beneficial to your career development. Take the initiative and seek out those opportunities. As well as finding your work more interesting, you’ll also be delivering more value than expected, which helps career progress.
Find a friend
Tom Rath in his book “Vital Friends: The People you can’t afford to live without” outlines research which shows that employees who have best friends at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. Additionally, if they have at least three vital friends at work, they are 96% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.
When you work with people you like, the work is more enjoyable, and you are likely to find yourself more connected. Connection and belonging are core to human existence.
Everyone likes to see they are making progress. It’s motivating. Consequently, find ways to break your work into smaller, more bite-sized pieces of work, making it easier to see more regular progress.
It’s too easy to keep moving to the next thing and not take the time to reflect on progress and celebrate success. When you’ve hit a goal, reach a target or achieve something that you’ve been striving for reward yourself in a meaningful way.
Learn to say ‘No’
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are drowning in work and yet, unappreciated as more and more work comes your way. It’s easy to say ‘Yes’ when a request comes in; however, there are times when you need to say ‘No’.
This approach doesn’t mean you say ‘No’ without careful thought. Instead, it’s about doing so with consideration of others and compassion for them and yourself. When you face such a dilemma, ask yourself: What’s the right thing to do for you, others involved, and the organisation?
Manage your energy
All roles have good days, and not so good days. Consequently, managing your energy is critical. A vital part of this is not wasting your energy on things outside your control.
In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey explained how you are far better to focus your energy on those matters you can influence. However, we often ruminate and spend energy on things we are concerned about but have little to no prospect of changing. Recognising and accepting the difference is crucial in shaping how and where you focus your time and energy.
Take a break
Regularly take breaks during the day, and when you can set aside time to go outside your office or work environment and walk.
The key is to get away from your desk and shift your environment. When you alter your environment, you change your state, helping to reset your mindset. You are also likely to find that the problem you were trying to solve is now easier to resolve as well.
Michelle Gibbings is a workplace expert, and the author of three books. www.michellegibbings.com.