A lot of people seem to think that if you can just be good at your work then you’ll be happy. The research doesn’t bear this out at all. Instead, it seems to be the case that if you’re happy you’re much better at your work.
For that reason, you need to take action to make sure that you are actually happier. Not only will your work be better, but so will your life overall. And who could possibly argue against that, right?
The first thing you’ve got to realize is that things that make you happy don’t necessarily need to take long. Even just watching a funny Youtube video can give you a positivity spike that can last for hours and influence your work, by making you more creative, making your memory better and making it far easier to remain interested for longer.
So, every so often when you’re taking a little break, don’t be afraid to do something small that you enjoy. Watch a video. Call a friend. Play a round of a game that you find massively entertaining. Just make sure that you only do it for a few minutes or so and that after that you return to your work.
Keep that up steadily throughout the day and you’ll be able to work for longer and be able to produce a better product besides.
It doesn’t matter if you walk to work or go for walks during your day – either way you’ll feel better for it. So, take a moment every day or so to walk for fifteen minutes or more to recharge your battery.
Even better, make sure that you walk through nature, as this has been shown to both help reduce your stress levels as well improve your health – both things that can really boost your productivity both in the short term and the long run.
So, go online, find out where your nearest park is and make time for it, somewhere in your day, to get there. Perhaps you can think about having a walking meeting with somebody if you’re too busy otherwise?
Eat fruits and vegetables
Yes, we all need to snack so every now and then. We all get hungry, after all. That we need to eat is largely outside of our control. What we eat, however, can have a huge difference on how happy we feel.
The foods that make us feel physically (and by extension mentally) worse off are processed foods, as well as white flour, sugar and everything else that adds to your swimming belt. Good foods, on the other hand, are things like nuts, fruits and vegetables.
For that reason, make sure that you’ve got something like slices of fruit or bits of vegetables ready to go when you get peckish, as in those cases you’re far more likely to opt for the healthier choice – which will help your happiness and your health! Fantastic, no?
People seem to underestimate the importance of sleep. That’s a shame, because it is such an easy way to feel better and be more productive. People that sleep enough are more productive, have better moods and can keep going for longer.
Those that do not sleep enough? There are indications that if they keep it up for long enough they actually damage their brains.
And, seeing that sleep feels so good, is it really that hard of a thing to do to make sure that you actually manage to get enough of it? Get to bed early. Start working later. Do something to make sure that you actually get the sleep you need (which is somewhere between 7 to 9 hours a day for most of us, according to research).
What are the best times to go to sleep and to wake up? It’s possible that going to bed an hour earlier, or waking up an hour later, may be just the shift your body is asking for... learn more here.
Have a social life
There is nothing quite as helpful for your happiness as having a social circle that is there to support you. So make sure that you take time to actually have a social circle. After all, though relationships help you through the bad times, they’re built through the good times. That means you can’t sit around frittering away the ‘good’ times at work and then expect them to be there to catch you when you fall.
Make hay while the sun shines by spending time with the people who you love frequently.
Another thing to note is that you should avoid doing so over social media. Social media is easy, but it does not match up to actually having a face time. So sure, use social media, just make sure that what you’re using it for is to meet up with the people that you want to hang out with. That’s time much better spent.
Long is not always more
Yeah sure, when you’ve got a deadline, or when there is an emergency at work, you might need to work longer. Don’t make it a habit though. You see, though you might think that working more hours makes you more productive, there is plenty of research that disputes that. This is because productivity drops steadily as you keep going.
For that reason, work only a set number of hours a day and try to keep to them. If you can’t, then get help or outsource some of your work (here you’ll find a list of the best websites). This both will give you more time to do other things, as well as making you more productive during those hours as you try to squeeze in everything that you need to do in the hours that you’ve got.
People that are happy are far more likely to succeed at life. This is such a robust finding the Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor spent a whole book called the Happiness Advantage exploring the issue (It’s a great book and I heartily advise you pick it up if you haven’t yet).
For that reason, stop sacrificing your happiness at the work throne. Instead focus on using your happiness to actually boost your work and your productivity. You’ll thank yourself, so will your boss and your family as well. That’s got to be worth it, no?