I must say, I am very happy when I am at work. Firstly, because I work for myself and secondly, because I am lucky enough to have jobs that I love. I understand, that not everybody feels this way and that a lot of people plough their way through each working day. It doesn't matter where you work, there are always things you can do to make your day more productive and happier at the same time. I have had a variety of different jobs ranging from: sitting on a till in a supermarket, being behind a desk in an office and photographing weddings, so it's fair to say I can speak from experience. Here are my top tips for a happier working day, whether you work for a company, or yourself.
1. Preparation is key.
When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. I love that saying, it's so true. Preparation really is the key to being successful at anything. Cooking a meal, taking an exam or indeed, going to work. The earlier you can start to prepare the better. The night before work, make sure your clothes are out ready to put on, the car has enough petrol in, have a list of tasks you wish to complete the next day. To decide what tasks you need to prepare for, imagine what could possibly put you in a bad mood. The printer could run out of paper, you could have run out of coffee, your phone might need charging. Eliminate anything that you think could ruin your day.
2. Have a morning ritual.
It doesn't matter how much time you have on a morning, setting yourself a routine is a great way to start the day. This can be anything, from waking up to the sounds of nature via an alarm on your phone, to sitting for 5 minutes meditating using an app, or having a mantra you like to repeat to yourself in the mirror such as "I will be successful today and every day." Make sure you don't skip breakfast, if you are hungry you will lose concentration easily. I always joke you wouldn't wanna see me when I'm 'hangry'. That's angry because of lack of food- not a spelling mistake.
3. Bro, do you even list?
I find a great way to keep motivation levels up throughout the working day, is to create lists. Plan what you need to get done and list the jobs in the order you need to do them. As you work your way through the day, tick off what you have done. It's good to see how much you have completed on paper to keep you going.
4. First the worst.
Tackle the job you are dreading the most first. This sets you right up for a good day, as once the job you weren't looking forward to is done, then the others don't seem so bad. Make that phone call you have been avoiding, answer the client you have been putting off, get up to date with your accounts - there are some fabulous apps/software such as Quickbooks, for the self-employed entrepreneurs out there.
5. Never skip breaks.
Whether you work for yourself or not, you should always take a break. If possible, get outside and take 5 minutes. Have some lunch or go somewhere quiet to concentrate on, just breathing and re-evaluating your daily goals. Are you on track with what you wanted to get done? What can you change to make your day easier? Don't get into a habit of working through your lunch, it is your time and you should take it. We work much better, after even a small break.
6. Take pride in your work.
Avoid rushing jobs to get them done in time. If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing properly - I'm full of cliches I know, but they are true. It doesn't matter what job you do, when I worked in a supermarket, I took great pride in lining up the products, so they looked neat and tidy. When I'm editing wedding photographs, I take my time on them, so the client gets the best pictures I can give them. It makes you happy when you are proud of the work you have done and as a result you will be more likely to have return custom, or an offer of promotion.
7. Avoid distractions.
Turn off notifications that will take you away from what you are doing. It's very easy if you work at home, to be distracted by social media especially. Make sure your friends and family know you are busy and tell them not to call in your working hours. I find if I'm working from home and I dress as if I was going to the office it helps, as tempting as it can be to stay in the pj's. It's like being an actor and dressing for the part, it puts you in work mode for the day.
8. A few of your favourite things.
Organise your work space so it's a place you like to spend time in. Use your favourite pen, have gorgeous stationary, personalise your desk. If you love the products you use, you will want to use them often. The same goes with your work clothes, if it's possible, wear something you love and you will be happy getting dressed to go on a morning.
9. Be your biggest competition.
In any job I have done, I always try to better the last job I did. Going waaaay back, to when I had a paper round - cue the violins - when I was 12, I used to listen to my Now that's what I call music 26 album - it's still for sale can you believe it? - on my way around the village. I used to be at roughly the same place, when certain songs were on. Every day, I would walk a bit faster, so that I got to where I was due quicker than before. Now I have had a blast from the past and shown my age I will move swiftly on....
10. Be kind.
If the only person you have to be kind to is yourself, then do that. In a world where it seems hate is the ruler, be nice. It may be more of an effort some days, but just think what other people might be going through and be a bit more caring. That grumpy customer may be suffering from depression, the lady who sounds miserable on the phone, could be going through a bereavement, or that screaming child might be teething. Nobody knows the battles people fight daily and even if someone is just miserable, kill them with kindness anyway.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and have a productive, happy day at work.