By success coach and entrepreneur Ryan Jackson (www.ryanjackson.org)
Do you ever suffer with Sunday evening dread for the working week ahead?
With increased stress, tight deadlines, mammoth workloads and unsupportive bosses, it is no wonder that ever increasing numbers of employees are dissatisfied in their current roles.
Even the word ‘work’ has negative associations for many. Let’s look to turn this perspective around – making work a positive experience.
Of course, if a job is no longer right for you it could be time to start planning the next step in your career. Yet if, for whatever reason, changing job roles is not the best option for you right now, you can start feeling happy in your current role by altering your perspective instead. Implementing just a few simple action points can have a dramatic effect on how you face work, so here are some ways you can approach your working day, by being proactive, to make it more enjoyable for you and for your colleagues.
Count the positives
You may have just become stuck in a rut with your job and in the habit of viewing it negatively – which makes you dislike it even more. Break that cycle. Each morning when you wake up, or on your way to work, simply list five things that you enjoy about what you do and where you work. Do this exercise for 10 consecutive days, and it will help you to release your old negative feelings and start forming a new, more positive outlook on your work.
‘Eat the Frog’
Huckleberry Finn author, Mark Twain, said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can face the rest of the day knowing that the worst is over with. Using this principle, first thing in the morning, have that difficult conversation, contact that furious client, do those tricky accounts. We all have pieces of work we dread doing and put off till later – if ever. Instead of procrastinating, do that tough thing first, and everything else in your day will be easy in comparison.
Prioritise significant jobs
In the mornings, you are fresh and operating at maximum bandwidth, so dedicate this time to your bigger ticket items of work. This will help you to become more productive, reduce stress and complete the bigger, strategic or more valuable tasks that are often put to the back of the queue. What is most important today? Which tasks will help you to make significant progress and clear your head space?
Open your mind
Once you form a belief about something, such as, ‘work is hard’ or ‘my team hate me’, you unconsciously look for evidence that supports that belief. And invariably, you’ll find it! You become hyper-sensitive to anything that occurs at work that seems to prove your point – even if it’s a misinterpretation. So, use this power to your advantage. As awkward as it might feel to change a longstanding habit, tell yourself ‘work is easy’ or ‘my staff love me!’ and you will now be alert to all the positive things that confirm your ‘new belief’. If this feels like too much of a stretch and you don’t believe it – yet – work your way up to it with ‘work is becoming easier,’ ‘my staff like me’ or ‘my colleague is beginning to like me’, and so on.
Juggling multiple tasks used to be seen as a valuable skill to get things done, but in reality, that’s far from the truth. Multi-tasking creates much of the stress in your working day. Switching tasks means you never complete anything swiftly or efficiently, and shifting your focus means you constantly have to recall where you left off and get back in the zone, after interruptions. Simply focus on one task at a time, to concentrate and achieve more.
Inject fun where you can
You can take work seriously and still have fun. Smiling releases endorphins that make us feel happy and lowers stress levels. Faking a smile or laugh works as well as the real thing – the brain doesn’t differentiate. Avoid flippancy or sarcasm but find ways of integrating fun and humour into meetings, work, or coffee breaks. Try organising lunchtime dance or laughter yoga sessions or arrange staff nights out. Simply smiling at everyone you encounter can make a difference to how you feel.
About the author
Ryan Jackson is a serial entrepreneur and success coach who runs multiple businesses in the UK and abroad. Ryan is passionate about inspiring others to become the best versions of themselves through personal development. Ryan’s vision is to uplift his employees, clients and his wider community by sharing the success principles that have allowed him to build his own successful life. www.ryanjackson.org