If you find yourself longing for greener work pastures, don't immediately go looking for the first exit ramp off of your chosen career path. The Balance Team, which specializes in professional- and personal-growth seminars for administrative and executive assistants in Fortune 1000 companies, suggests these 10 tips for staying content at work:
1. Keep Personal Problems Personal: When you're preoccupied with personal issues, it's difficult to concentrate or be happy at work, says Alison Rhodes, a founding partner of The Balance Team. By all means, make sure you have your kids covered in the event of an emergency, but realize that nobody's personal life is ever going to be completely problem-free. Just as you need to let go of work to enjoy your time at home, it's important to leave personal worries at home so you can focus and be productive at work.
2. Create an Office Nest: "You are at your job for at least eight hours a day, which is more time than you probably spend in your bed," says Jennifer Star, a founding partner of The Balance Team. "Make your space your own, decorate your area as much as your company policy permits, and make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as you can be in your office.
3. Develop an Office Support System: "Gathering a circle of colleagues who share similar backgrounds or lifestyles can take a lot of pressure off you at work," says Rhodes. "When you are able to voice your feelings to people who understand, it can really help minimize stress.
4. Eat Healthy and Drink Lots of Water: "Maintaining a good diet and keeping yourself properly hydrated throughout your workday can really make a big difference in your energy level and attitude," says Shirly Weiss, a certified holistic health and nutritional counselor and consulting expert for The Balance Team. "And if you can manage to maintain a diet of whole foods, as opposed to refined foods such as sugar and bread, then you'll really be ahead of the game.
5. Be Organized: Create a manageable schedule to handle your workload, suggests Stacy Raden, a founding partner of The Balance Team. "A sense of empowerment stems from accomplishment," she says. "When you feel overwhelmed, it tends to intensify dissatisfaction. By being proactive and taking control, employees can feel a sense of satisfaction, enhanced confidence and motivation.
6. Move Around: "Working in an office can be a very sedentary job, so it's especially important to your overall sense of health and happiness to take a few minutes during your workday to get up and move a little," says Jason Bergund, founding director of Dancetherapy, a dance class, and a consulting expert for The Balance Team.
7. Don't Try to Change Your Coworkers: "You can't change anyone; you can only change the way you react to them," says Star. "Don't let other people's actions affect you. Just figure out a way to resolve conflicts and avert uncomfortable situations."
8. Reward Yourself: Identify a reward outside of your job, and indulge yourself, says Raden. Whether it be dinner with friends, a movie, exercise or a manicure, treat yourself every once in a while. Just as stress from home can interfere with work, the positive aspects of your life can influence mood at work as well.
9. Take a Breather: "In yoga, we pactice the breath of joy, in which we inhale a long breath and then exhale laughter," says Sarah Schain, founding director of Yoga Tales studios for children and a consulting expert for The Balance Team. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Inhale deeply, then exhale laughter and bend forward. Try to do this movement 10 times.
10. Focus on the Positive: "Identify the things that you like at work, even if they are as simple as your coworkers or the nice view from your office window," says Raden. "You create your own mind-set. If you stress the positives, you will make your job more enjoyable. Worrying about the negatives may cause you to become overwhelmed."