Editor's note: This is a guest post from Lisa of Getting to Zen
"If you are having a bad day, get another one and get it quick!" ~Rissie Harris
We all have moments when we don’t look forward to getting up and going to work (maybe you never do). We wish we could lie in bed until our inner voice tells us it is time to rise and shine. But then reality comes crashing down with the most annoying beep or a song--the alarm clock goes off, we sigh, roll over and reluctantly begin to get ready for the day. If you have a good work environment to go to, it makes this routine easier. If not, it represents the start of a series of challenges that you will be presented with throughout your day. Sometimes you are hired into a good work environment and other times it is up to you to create one.
So let’s look at some things that you can do to have a good day at work every day.
1. Make yourself the priority
“This above all; to thine own self be true.” ~William Shakespeare
Start your day by doing something for you first. This reinforces that you are the most important person in your life. It doesn’t have to take what you consider a lot of time. It can be anything that you enjoy; a hot shower; a quiet cup of coffee; 10 minutes of meditation; or some form of exercise. For me it is a running, walking, stretching, Pilates or elliptical workout. Try it, and see for yourself the difference it will make in how you feel throughout your day.
2. Get enough sleep
“He who sleeps half a day has won half a life.” ~ Karl Kraus
Getting enough sleep is essential to having a good day at work. Sleep provides relief from the previous day’s stress and prepares your body to take on the next day’s challenges. Crankiness, lethargy, irritability, unhealthy eating habits and just plain being in a bad mood all come from being over-tired. Being over-tired can also make it hard to concentrate and maintain focus—skills you may need for the job. Feeling good at work, starts by first feeling good—and feeling tired does not feel good.
So many of us have become so used to being tired that we don’t even realize that we are not functioning optimally. I try to get the recommended 8 to 9 hours of sleep; some of us will need more and some of us will need less. If you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day’s activities you have had an adequate amount of sleep.
Now there are those times when your obligations may keep you from getting as much sleep as you need, but when that happens, try to take a short nap the next day (if possible), or go to bed earlier.
3. Maintain a positive attitude
“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
It has been said that whatever you focus on the most, you tend to bring into your life, whether by choice or circumstance. So instead of falling victim to the negative attitudes that surround you in your workplace, make an effort to go against the grain and look for the good. Maybe your commute is short, maybe you are paid well, maybe your job is easy, or maybe it’s the fact that you have a job when so many in this economy don’t; whatever it is, be grateful for it.
4. Reduce stress
“Stress is the physical and psychological effects we experience as a result of the way we react to changes in the surrounding environment.” ~ Pavel Stoyanov
Stress can be such an energy vampire--have enough of it and you can feel like you have just run back to back marathons. Stress indicates that your life is out of balance in some way; physically, mentally or emotionally. First take some time to figure out why your life is out of balance. Are you worrying too much, are you doing too much or are you feeling pressure from those around you? For me, I become stress for all of the above reasons--exercising, meditating, journaling or confiding in a friend all help to relieve it.
5. Do your job well
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius
If you are not carrying out your job duties well, you will be guaranteeing yourself a miserable work environment. You are there for one reason, and one reason only and that is to produce the results that your manager/clients wants in the time frame that he or she wants them. Maintain open and frequent communication with your manager/client to make sure you are on track for achieving that goal.
6. Take Breaks
"I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently." ~ Ernest Hemingway
It is important to take several breaks during the day. Taking a break can rejuvenate and prepare you for your upcoming tasks. I often take a morning, lunch and afternoon break. If possible, try to leave your office or cubicle during your break, even if it is for few minutes. There is something about getting out of the office that resets the soul.
Below are some specific activities that you can do to rejuvenate yourself over your breaks.
> Go for a walk
> Chat with a co-worker
> Take a nap in the car
> Go out for lunch with co-workers
> Go out for ice cream or some other treat
> Have lunch later in the day (it makes the day seem shorter)
> Play a game (I sometimes see coworkers throwing a football around in the parking lot)
> Read a book or listen to music
Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Being miserable at your place of work is no way to live. You are in control of your reaction to the circumstances of your life. If you want to have good day at work, then create one.
Lisa (aka RunningBear) is the founder of Getting to Zen which includes articles on personal development, enlightenment, consciousness and awareness. You can sign up for her RSS feed or follow her on Twitter. In addition to blogging, Lisa enjoys long distance running, cooking, and sewing.
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