We can all agree that work and life have been incredibly stressful lately. Here are a few quick tips to help you improve your work life, even with all that’s going on around it.
Do Something You Love Every Day
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup organization discovered this critical factor in interviews with 80,000 managers. They narrowed down the questions asked to those that most clearly appeared to define happy, motivating, and productive workplaces.
One of the top questions was, “Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?” People who could affirmatively answer that question were more likely to be happy and productive at work. So, resolve to be passionate about your work. Do the thing you do best every day.
Do Something Just for You
You can get caught up in doing for others every minute of your workday whether you’re a manager or an employee. This problem is compounded when you have family members who occupy your off-work hours.
Resolve to set time aside for yourself every day. Use it to exercise, relax, reflect, meditate, cook a gourmet dinner, write in a journal, walk your pet, or do any other activity that takes your fancy. Just make sure that the activity is different from what you’re already doing all day long.
Give Yourself Credit When You Deserve It
The Gallup study also found that people who had received praise or recognition for their work in the last seven days were happier and more productive.
It’s important that you recognize yourself for your excellent efforts. One way to do this is to keep a file of positive notes, reviews, thank-you letters, and reminders of your successes.
Strive to Learn Something New Every Day
It’s easy to get bogged down in the same-old, same-old routine. Read an article, discuss a new approach with a colleague, or research what other organizations are doing. Use the internet for exploration. The opportunities for learning are multiplying every day in this information age.
Read voraciously to continue to learn and grow. Aim to read a couple of business books a month, plus periodicals and online journals. You might not always reach that goal, but it’s there to challenge you to learn and continue to grow.
Practice Professional Courage
Step out of your comfort zone. What do you usually do when an issue occurs? Do you mentally make up excuses in your mind as to why you really don’t have to speak up, or why taking a stand on an issue will get you in trouble?
State what you’re actually thinking when you find yourself in this situation—if only just once. Coworkers will admire you after the shock wears off. You don’t have to be rude or argumentative. Just quietly, concisely, and professionally state your opinion.
Listen More Than You Talk
That old adage about one mouth and two ears is true. Plan to listen to all that your coworkers are saying this year. They might just want a sounding board, not necessarily advice or problem-solving.
Lending them an ear can empower them to solve their problems. They’re more likely to move from “stuck” to “action” when they feel completely heard out.
Track Your Progress
Write down your goals. Seeing them in writing makes them more tangible and should encourage you to commit them. Track your progress on each of your goals. You can track them in a planner, on a goal board, or even in an app on your smartphone. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way. The small wins will eventually lead to big wins.