4 Things You Didn’t Know Would Make You Happier at Work

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Is putting work and happy in the same sentence an oxymoron? Yes? Let’s challenge that thinking and reconsider four things at work that can actually make you happier.

1. Routine tasks
Conventional thinking says that routines are boring. How can something boring actually make you happier? It is not the routine tasks that actually make you happier, it is the time you gain through routine tasks. Neuroscience has shown that developing routines for tasks you frequently do embeds them in your brain creating a pattern. As a result, you actually spend less time and attention on that task.

2. Embrace challenging or stretch assignments that leverage your strengths
The project that seems overwhelming, the promotion that would require you learn an entire new division within your company, or the opportunity to transfer to your firm’s London office could all be considered challenging. However, it is in these challenging or stretch assignments that we most often experience flow. Psychologist Martin Seligman asserts that the flow state is one of the three main drivers of human happiness. When it gets too easy or too comfortable often times you are not in the flow. Go with the flow to find your happiness.

SEE ALSO: Find a balanced approach to your busy life

3. Turn off your email notification alarm
Constant interruptions and working on someone else’s agenda are not the ingredients for happiness at work. Turn off the notification pings and pop-up messages. When you turn off the incessant interruptions, two things happen: You take back control of your time – and control has been shown to be important for happiness – and you can focus your attention on your priorities.

4. Say yes
Traditionally, we are told to be happier we need to say “no” more often. While I agree with this, I actually think that to be happier at work we need to say “yes” more often. However, there is a caveat. When you say “yes,” say it with your full heart and mind, and know how each “yes” will make you happier. Say “yes” today and really mean it and see if you don’t smile.

Carson Tate is part coach, business consultant and professional organizer who is the founder and principal of Working Simply Inc. Tate will lead the breakout session “Work Simply. Live Fully” at our Moms@Work event, Sept. 26 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Find out more.