WORK-LIFE BALANCE

6 Quick Ways to Be Happier at Work

Minor shifts in your routine and focus can have a huge positive effect on the quality of your work experience.
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I've written about workplace happiness in the past, but many of my suggestions require consistent effort. Here are five sure-fire, incredibly easy actions that will immediately improve your workplace experience:

1. Take a "quiet minute" each morning.

Within your morning routine, carve out a minute--60 seconds--to be silent, by yourself. Don't think about work. Read a poem or say a prayer. Or just rest your brain. You'll be amazed at how much extra energy it will create for the rest of your day.

2. Smile more frequently.

Smiling accomplishes two things. First, it tells your brain to be more happy. (Try being depressed with a huge grin stuck on your face.)  Second, when you smile it tends to make other people smile, too. It's contagious, in a good way.

3. Give yourself more credit.

Take a second to give yourself a mental and emotional pat on the back every time you complete a project, even if it's only a small part of a larger effort.  This creates a sense of accomplishment that keeps you from feeling overwhelmed.

4. Celebrate when you learn something.

If you're alive, you can't help learning something new every day. The trick here is to recognize when you've learned something new and potentially important.  That's a victory and worth a quiet, inner "hooray!"

5. Enjoy human nature.

Let's face it: People do really strange things. You have a choice when confronted with these foibles: 1) Be irritated; or 2) Be amused.  Being irritated makes you miserable but being amused helps you find creative ways to work around the limitations of others.

6. Say thanks to those who do thankless tasks.

You probably already know that you should thank co-workers and customers on a regular basis.  But what about the janitors, the facilities people, the call center staff? They've got really tough jobs and seldom hear that their contributions are valued.

More on workplace happiness:

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IMAGE: flickr/Irina Iordachescu
Last updated: Jun 30, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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