The Monday blues, the long Fridays waiting for 5 o-clock, the constant dread of every pending work day—this is the weekly tale of most office workers. The to-do pile, a chair that has formed to your ass and the same people day after day after day…. sound familiar?
Now I could be cliché and tell you to just keep your head up, but instead I’m going to give you some of my secrets to staying positive and overcoming the workday grind.
- Start your day with self love.
What do you do while getting ready that makes you feel more confident and motivated for your day? I personally do better after taking the time to do my makeup. I am a thousand times more confident and ready for my day along with whatever it throws at me. There are few worse ways to start your day than by waking up late, throwing unwashed hair in a ponytail, putting on the easiest thing to grab and then finding yourself walking in the door at the same time as the company CEO. That. Sucks. So whatever it is for you, take the time to do it. Get your shower in the morning, start early so you can enjoy it. Put on some music and do some singing or happy dancing while getting ready. Whatever it is that will leave you ready for an awesome day and whatever it brings, make it happen!
- Greet everyone with a smile and kind word.
Some days, we really don’t feel it. And I’ve been on both sides of a day being turned around with a sweet greeting. I’ve been the one, walking into work, answering a simple, “How are you?” with, “I’m fantastic!” You see people’s faces, how they go from “the-back-to-work face”, to smiling back and replying happily. I’ve also been the one walking in late, feeling like crap, wanting to be anywhere but when someone walks by beaming and greets me so happily, turning my whole day around.
- Create good vibes through desk décor.
Pictures of loved ones, motivational quotes or just personalization that makes your “home away from home” more inviting. I recommend plenty of colors, especially since cubicles for example, never come in happy colors. My desk could be considered over the top, I’ve got so many things on the couple walls that are mine that when I add things, I have to move or change it out with something. But anytime during my day I can lean back in my seat, take a quick breather while my eyes scan the faces of those I care about most, cute trinkets that were given to me reminding me of good times and a picture of Wonder Woman riding a Unicorn because that’s the greatest shit in the world! (aside from loved ones lol)
- Take lunch with a co-worker.
I don’t know about you, but in my office, we get so focused, we don’t take the time to connect with those we see every day. Faces you recognize from the hallway or emails passed back and forth, but you don’t know them. So invite your co-workers, maybe just one or two at a time, to go out to lunch with you. Get outside the office and turn co-workers into friends. After all, you probably see them more often then you do your other friends, may as well get a friendly relationship out of it. Plus, networking has never done anything but help people in their career, as long as it’s to grow, not gossip.
- Learn from your Superiors.
This will help your attitude and your career. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your superiors to have lunch or pick their brains. Learn their stories, how they got to where they are. It can inspire you and even amaze you when you learn that the CEO used to be the one driving the delivery trucks. Everyone started somewhere, and learning about those who have done it and made it will help you do the same. Which leads me to my next point.
- Always be teachable.
This may be the most important point, and it’s not as happy, but will help you move in a positive direction, which will help you stay positive. Take every single opportunity to learn something new. When learning the tales of others, see how you can apply what they did into your career. He who never stops learning is unstoppable and too many people stop learning, believing they know it all. When that is the case, you’ll get stuck in a rut and cease moving forward. Always be teachable. Always.
- If you can—listen to music.
With the job I do, I’m able to stick my headphones in and listen to music or an audiobook while I work. With some jobs, I know this is not an option, but if it is, it will lift your spirits and make your day go faster. *Make sure it’s upbeat music.
- Know why you’re working.
Yes, know why working helps your life outside of work, but I’m talking about within your job. Why is the position you’re in there? What does your company stand for? How does what you do fit in to the grand scheme? When you share your company’s values then no matter what position you are in, you’ll want to do it and do it well. I’m blessed to work for a company that takes care of people and for a leadership that uses money out of their own pockets to support non-profits in our community. On days that my job feels so redundant and small, I remember these things and they motivate me to keep pushing and be the best that I can be in whatever I am doing. Find that thing for you and remind yourself of it often.
- Other people don’t own your attitude.
We all know those co-workers—hell, even people in general in our lives. You look at their faces and you feel negative. They open their mouths and you sink. They react to things you did or around you and a grey cloud falls. But we can’t control others, we can only control our reactions and emotions. You also can’t take a bad attitude or reaction personally. At the end of the day, you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives; there is always a reason people act the way that they do. Your job is to bring the sunshine, and if they choose to accept it or not, at least your sun will dry up the rain around your own soul. Be happy, don’t let others bring you down.
- Don’t bring your work home.
I know, I know, some of you really have to bring work home. What I mean by this is, don’t bring the work stress and drama home with you. Consider your office door a reset button; when you walk in, release the stress from the life outside. When you walk out, release any negative feelings you confronted that day. Things happen that suck, some days are rough, but we get to choose whether to let that follow us. Let it go and get back to loving the life we have been given.
At the end of the day, no matter what chaos comes your way, remember that you have a job and job is a privilege. Too many people are fighting just to survive and would give anything to be able to work. Don’t take your opportunity for granted. Be proud of your role, proud of where you work.
My Grandfather told me when I was looking for my first job to be the best no matter what role I am in. And whether I was flipping burgers, in customer service or working finances, I have put everything I have into it and won’t stop. One day, I’ll tell you the story that came along with that advice, but that’s for another time.
You matter. You’re worth having a good day, you’re worth enjoying what you do. If you don’t like it, find another job, no one can force you to do anything. But even if that is you, there are still ways to embrace where you are and make the most of it—that all starts with your attitude. And in the words of our CEO, “Culture trumps strategy all day long.”
If you have any tips you’d like to share, leave them in the comments below.
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