We spend over half of our awake time at work, and most of us still think about work well after working hours are over. When work takes up so much of your life, it is important to find joy in our work to keep ourselves balanced and happy. Yet, many of us often find work stressful, frustrating, never-ending, and as a result, we wake up every day feeling angry and tired and begrudgingly go to work.
Why is a positive attitude important in the workplace? The answer is simple: it is scientifically proven that happy people are more productive at work. But, it is easier said than done, when many of our jobs are often less than exciting. How do we maintain a positive attitude in the workplace? Below are some of Working Den’s tips and positive attitude examples to help you create a good attitude at work.
Ask yourself: “Is this attitude productive?”
Stress, anxiety, frustration, and scepticism are only natural reactions when you encounter a problem at work. Humans have evolved for millions of years by using these mental reactions as mechanisms to survive.
However, while these feelings are useful to help humans survive in the wild, they are often very counterproductive at work. When people are stressed and frustrated, they often find it more difficult to explain themselves clearly and get their ideas across. If you experience these negative feelings often, it may affect how you collaborate with your team and affect your performance at work.
Instead, ask yourself whether your attitude is productive? Are you offering criticism because it will make a project better, or are you just complaining for your own satisfaction? Is your anxiety helping you be more careful with work, or is it making you run away from the problem? In other words, is what you are feeling helping you solve your problems? Using a productivity framework to assess your attitude can help you eliminate negative thoughts that are counterproductive and frame the problems in ways you can tackle. Over time, this framework can become a natural reaction that helps reduce friction and negative thoughts during work, and you will become much happier and more productive at work.
Set boundaries with work
Boundaries are important in any relationship – we all have comfort zones and emotional triggers. Our relationship with work is no different, but many people do not think about work that way, and it is a self-help favourite to say “bring your full self to work”.
However, if you do not define personal boundaries and needs at work, work can feel like an abusive relationship that robs you of your joy. If you do not say “no” to projects that do not contribute to your personal developments, you will become a “yes” man that handles too many things without achieving anything in your career. If you do not set proper working hours and communicate those boundaries with your colleagues, you will have to reply to emails and work messages well into the evening and during weekends.
Having reasonable personal boundaries as well as personal development goals can help you weigh your priorities and help you maintain a healthy relationship with work, which will result in a happier you.
We have shared this tip many times in our blog articles, but it is only because it is the best medicine for your mental health. People who practice gratitude are usually happier, calmer, and find it easier to achieve work-life balance.
Gratitude is also an incredibly simple practice that only requires a little bit of discipline. Every day, you should list three to five things that you are grateful for in your life, which can be about work or something in your personal life. If you tend to forget this practice, simply incorporate it into a step in your daily routine – perhaps you can mentally work on your gratitude list while you brush your teeth, or tell your significant other about your gratitude list before you go to bed every day. This easy step can train your thoughts and shift your mindset to help you create a positive attitude at work and in life.
Reframe your role at work
If you feel stuck at work and feel like it is a day in – day out grind, perhaps it is time to reinvent your role. Studies about job satisfaction have shown that those who are the happiest at work often practice “job crafting”, which means they define what the role means for themselves. If this is possible for you, perhaps you can take some time to investigate how you can “craft” your job to make it more enjoyable. Is it possible to mentor somebody and help them become better at work? Or perhaps you can work on a new, exciting project? Maybe even organise new team-bonding exercises to help you feel more connected to your coworkers?
Whatever that means for you, the practice of “job crafting” can help you see your role at work in a new light, and make work more exciting for you. Over time, you will find increased job satisfaction, which leads to a more positive attitude about work.
But, at the end of the day, it’s just work
Sweating the small stuff is the easiest way to make yourself miserable at work – after all, to be human is to err. Many of us think of mistakes at work as personal failures that reflect badly on who we are as human beings, but that is often not the case. When you stress about something at work, ask yourself: “Does this matter in one day, one year, or 10 years?” Work is a learning experience for most people, and what matters in the long run is whether you learn from your mistakes and try harder the next day.
Finally, you need to remember that work is just work. Although it is an important factor that affects our sense of fulfilment and belonging, a person can be defined by so much more than his or her job. When you feel frustrated at work, simply shift your focus to other things that are more important in your life: your relationships, your hobby, your health, etc. Putting things into perspective is a good way to appreciate the good things in your life and maintain a positive attitude at work.