11 New Habits For A Happier Career

We all want to be happier at work. We’re there for most of our week, it shouldn’t be a place that we dread going to every day. Start your 2017 off right by making resolutions and forming new habits so you have a happier career in the New Year.

1. Socialize With Your Coworkers

One of the most important parts of workplace happiness? Good workplace relationships with your coworkers. It makes a lot of sense, too. Having a positive network to help boost you if you’re having a bad day can make a huge difference. A little small talk or an encouraging smile can be extremely reassuring.

Socializing shouldn’t cut into productivity, but if you plan for it you’re good to go. Chat during your lunch break or if you’re there a bit early before it’s time to clock in.

2. Get Into a Morning Routine

How you start a workday can have a huge impact on how the rest of your day plays out. If you come to work miserable, you’re likely to feel that way all day. Make it a point to do something at the beginning of each day that puts you in a good mood.

Take a short walk in the morning or read a chapter or two of a good book. Play with your pet or really savor that first cup of coffee. Try some different things until you find what really boosts your attitude.

3. Be Active at Work

Sitting behind a desk all day can be tedious. Being active has proven to release chemicals in your brain that produce positive and energized feelings.

Try making a “moving” meeting and spread the good vibes to your coworkers, too. Walk and talk, while keeping a notepad to jot things down or record a voice memo. It’s even better if you have the option to take the meeting outside on a nice day. Sunlight can do wonders for your mood as well. Double benefits!

4. Make an Awesome Work Playlist

You know how you feel when your favorite song comes on the radio — it instantly gets you pumped and brightens your day. There’s science to back up what you’ve felt: Music can be a natural mood booster.

If you’re allowed to wear headphones at work, make yourself a mood-boosting playlist filled with the best upbeat jams. It could be particularly helpful if you’re normally stuck in a cubicle all day and don’t get much of an opportunity for social interaction.

5. Help Your Coworkers

Besides being a nice thing to do in general, helping others can have many different benefits for you. It makes you happier, helps you live longer and gives you a sense of satisfaction. Helping others can be contagious too, leading it to help the workplace in general.

It doesn’t have to be anything major to make a difference. Simply grabbing a cup of coffee for the guy in the next office when you’re already getting something can brighten his day — and yours.

6. Make Fewer Decisions

Decision fatigue is serious business. Making so many choices each day — both as a consumer and in the workplace — can wear us out. We only have so much mental energy to make choices, so eliminate them where you can. Meal plan your breakfasts and lunches or pick out all of your outfits for work ahead of time. This helps you save your energy for the important decisions you need to make at work and leaves you feeling less fatigued.

7. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments — Even The Small Ones

We’re slow to give ourselves credit for what we accomplish, but quick to get down on ourselves for one thing we do wrong. Acknowledging small wins can give a boost to both your self-esteem and motivation to do more. Take the time to recognize the things you do well and finish, no matter how small they seem.

8. Think About the Things You’re Grateful for

During a bad day — or even every day — think about what you’re thankful for. Maybe this is your dream job, or it helps you support your wonderful family or gives you the means to travel.

Gratitude has social, psychological and even physical benefits. Try keeping a gratitude journal to make this into a lasting habit.

9. Get Enough Sleep

It may seem like something simple, but so many of us don’t get the sleep we need. Even the smallest amount of sleep deprivation can have a serious effect on your mood. It makes you irritable, makes you more likely to get angry and limits your ability to deal with stress.

This kind of goes back to number two, and making sure that you start your day in a good mood. If you haven’t had enough sleep, it’s nearly impossible to do that. Start making sleep a priority.

10. Laugh More

Laughing isn’t detrimental to productivity — in fact it’s the opposite. It releases endorphins so it instantly makes you happier and helps you relieve stress. In addition, it helps everyone become a bit more relaxed, putting coworkers more at ease with each other and whatever they’re working on.

Take a short break to share a joke or funny video clip with your team to clear your heads after a long period of working hard. It helps you all bond, as well as gives everyone a break to refocus and recharge.

11. Redecorate Your Work Area

Sometimes all you need a change. Doing the same work at the same place every day gets monotonous. Feng Shui is a popular practice that claims to remove negative energy. Try some of the tips and see if it helps your mood.

If you don’t want to do that, try to liven the space up a little. Place pictures and inspirational quotes. Use bright colors and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Instead of dreading sitting down at your desk, it can put a smile on your face every time you walk into work.

Work can be much more enjoyable than we make it out to be sometimes. Try some of these tips and find the ones that really work for you!

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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