One of the sad truths of adulthood is that summer isn’t summer anymore. When we graduate into the workforce we give up those sun-kissed days of aimless freedom and summer is just another season. It’s more than just a little depressing.
So how can we be happy at work? Wired recently posted “The Essential Guide to Happiness at Work” along with four ways to bring more joy into the office (even in summer!). I really like all of their suggestions, but I wanted to include some of my own tips.
Sharpen Your Mind
A healthy mind is a happy mind. Like a finely-crafted 1970s gas guzzler, my brain doesn’t work until it warms up a bit. Before I tackle my daily tasks, I like to take a few Sporcle quizzes. Thanks to Sporcle, I can easily name all 197 countries of the world and I also have a surefire way to nurture my noggin.
Optimize Your Space
Whether you work from home, in an office, or in a combination of workspaces, your physical environment contributes to your emotional well-being. Jody Glynn Patrick highlighted the health benefits of plants in the workplace, while I’ve explored whether clutter is good for the soul. The idea is to organize your workspace in a way that inspires you. Personally, I love to surround myself with objects and images that I love, whether it’s Brienne of Tarth lording over her double Jaime Lannisters, or a mosaic of tropical islands. As you organize your own work area, you might want to keep this Wired chart in mind:
Upgrade Your Tools
The right tools can make our jobs less frustrating. While your company may not be able to afford the latest and greatest technology, there are plenty of smaller items and nerdy office gadgets that will make work more fun. But don’t limit yourself to technology. A great tool bag, a good pen, a cute notebook, or even the best travel mug in the world can make your work a brighter place.
Master Your Relationships
My team recently took the DOPE personality test (no, we’re not all dopes), to understand more about ourselves and our teammates. While it’s fun to learn whether you’re a Dove, Owl, Peacock or Eagle (I’m an Eagle), it’s even more helpful to learn about your team and what kind of communication they need. You can stop so many problems before they happen if you think about who you’re talking to just as much as what you want to say.
I know these four tips won’t turn Mondays into vacations, but they do go a long way toward making work a little less work. What are your tips for finding joy at work?