If you haven’t already taken my advice and left your job, you should do so now.
If you’re still not walking out the door, then all I can do is offer some friendly advice. Below are some ideas I used to follow when I worked at my last testosterone fueled job. This job was proper “boiler room” stuff, and these suggestions used to help me stay motivated and happy, so hopefully, they can help you too.
Do it NOW, not later
When you have one of those annoying chores to do, do not sit there and think about it. Just do it (as the marketing-gimps in Nike like to say). The more you think about doing a task, the less likely you are to do it. Each negative thought you associate with the task will increase the perceived difficulty level, making you feel less empowered to do it. This will also make you more stressed, so when you are eventually forced to do “that report” or “those figures,” you probably will not do a good job. So, quite simply, go do it now…avoiding all that unneeded stress (cue heavenly choir singing).
Listening to some of your favorite music can have a huge effect on your day. One of the key factors associated with a productive day is a good attitude in the morning. Depending on what type of mood you are in will dictate your music choice. If you’re feeling a little bit stressed, we need to lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Listening to relaxing music on the way to work can help with this, bringing your body back its normal physical and emotional state. If on the other hand, you are still feeling a bit sluggish or sleepy, some motivational music may help. Something like “Eye of the Tiger” from “Rocky.” However please note that every time I listen to this, it makes me want to punch my boss in the face, and then jump around his limp body with my hands raised high in the air, screaming for a lady named Adrian.
This may seem so obvious as to almost sound trite, but all too often people eat far too much food for their lunch, making it almost impossible to work in the afternoon. Obviously, the food content is important, but the volume of food is also important. Although I’m not fat by any means, I used to eat a lot of food for lunch. Some days so much that I would almost be struggling to breathe, whilst going through an episode of the “meat sweats.” When you eat too much food, your body has to compensate for it. Blood volume decreases in the limbs and muscles in order to deal with all of the incoming nutrition. This is why many people feel exhausted after large meals. An easy way to overcome this is simply by sticking with a light meal for lunch, like a salad or a soup. You won’t feel hungry, but you won’t be totally stuffed either, allowing for a productive afternoon.
Take as many breaks in the day as you can…as long as you deserve them. Use breaks as a means of motivation. If you get half your report done in an hour, take 10 minutes. If you get ¼ of your figures uploaded take 15 etc. This will give you something to look forward to. Also on your breaks try drinking water or green tea instead of coffee or caffeinated tea. This may seem a little harsh, but trust me. I used to drink about 4-5 cups of coffee every day. They give you a great boost, and then you crash an hour later. Green tea is great for detoxifying your body, and after a hard month with no coffee and lots of green tea and water, you will have far more natural energy.
Take some time out each day at the workplace to have some fun with colleagues, or even by yourself. Hide a mug, make a prank call to your boss, or place a stretched layer of plastic wrap over the toilet in the men’s room (my personal favorite). It takes a while to make it look invisible, but my God is it worth it when you see one of your mates coming out of the toilet covered in his own piss (or worse!). I assure you, a few small pranks each day will help you enjoy your days at work 10- fold. But be careful, I’ve seen some mixed reactions to the plastic wrap prank.
I hope these suggestions help! How do YOU stay happy at work?
This is a guest post by Chris O’Hara.