Many of us have to work to live. We need money to cover our overhead and responsibilities, hopefully with some left over for some treats and incidental expenses along the way. Earning enough in the best possible way may be the main concern of our minds.
Too often we feel compelled to compromise when it comes to our work; We can assume a role that we do not particularly like, feel obliged to please a difficult boss, travel great distances, maintain unsociable hours to keep our job. For a while this may be a necessary negotiation, it is vital to keep the different areas of our life afloat.
Some days will be better than others, so what makes a good day at work?
– Someone smiling as we walk through the door. It can lift our spirits, especially if, before we get to work, our day has already been quite tense. I remember one of my clients running a large call center. His mission at the beginning of each workday was to identify the most exhausted member of his team, then go and sit and chat with them until they started to smile. That simple action made everyone’s day better.
– Planning the day ahead it can be a good way to ensure that we start each day in the right frame of mind. Sometimes unexpected challenges or opportunities may arise, but having a to-do list can provide structure for our efforts.
– When we achieve what we set out to do it’s always a good day at work. That may be because we’ve done something that we know we’re good at. We can relax as our goal is to do exceptionally well. Yes, there is the stress of doing a good job, especially if we are considered experts in our field. There is the motivation to excel and not be disappointed, but when we are comfortable with the required skills, we can enjoy doing those tasks. Remember to also congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished.
– Feel that there is some flexibility to adapt to new demands, emergencies and opportunities can help us manage stress and have a good day. It is important that we are not working at full capacity all the time. Being able to adjust whenever an unexpected or attractive new request comes up can bring an enthusiastic and motivated feeling to the day.
– When we have been significantly challenged and have surpassed, maybe we had to acquire new skills and go deeper, it can really improve our confidence and self esteem. Doing something we are not sure of, maybe being new to a task, means that we may have to learn something in stages, undergo some training. Practicing, challenging ourselves, making mistakes, stepping out of our comfort zone can be uncomfortable at first, but can ultimately lead to a good day at work. Then we can start to feel better, more competent, having accomplished something unexpected.
– Have you ever put off doing something that you fear or don’t like? This can affect your health and well-being, as these tasks are unlikely to go away on their own. Once you start addressing them, it can bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Most of us have jobs that we are not eager to tackle; management and accounting certainly top my list. But doing a little bit each day or allocating a particular time each week to stay on top of those tasks can make for a good day at work. This helps you better manage stress, which supports your overall health and well-being.
– Appreciation can be an important component to have a good day at work. Maybe someone listened to our suggestions and took them into account or realized how hard we have worked and has given us recognition and credit when it is due. None of us can fully appreciate the effort and sacrifices someone may have made in undertaking a task for us. Gratitude and simple acknowledgment show good manners and can make a significant difference in the day of others.
– Quality interactions with others. They are also important, especially for those who work from home, where they can sometimes go days without seeing a friendly face. It’s important to set aside time to meet others, perhaps by networking or scheduling a coffee or short break to catch up and discuss challenges and experiences. Make sure you strengthen your relationships with friends and colleagues, as well as at home, by meeting with people who like you, support you, and are interested in talking to you in a non-work-related way.
A good day at work can have many elements. Doing a good job, in which you deliver what your client or client is looking for, perhaps anticipating their needs and being recognized as qualified, perhaps even as an expert, is certainly a positive way. It is also important to invest in your relationships both at work and at home, in order to establish a good support network around you.
Don’t forget to take some time away from work for yourself, time to enjoy your hobbies and interests, read a book, or maybe just sit back and enjoy coffee without doing anything. That also makes your day at work an even more satisfying and positive experience.