Weekends are different. If you are anything like me, you just wake up in a better mood. Knowing your schedule is dictated by you rather than by obligations to your job gives a sense of freedom that weekdays are not able to deliver. I have worked for decades in a 24/7 work environment. Working around the clock, new humor is often discovered. Here I found several lessons on how all of us can make everyday a Saturday.
Be in a Good Mood
You know the good old saying, TGIF? Well embedded in this saying is part of the reasons Friday's are easier to swallow for all of us. Gratitude for the day is the key. Each day you are up and out of bed there is something to be thankful. Even if you have a challenging work environment you can use gratitude to brighten your day. Maybe it is your health you are thankful for, or the stability of your employment, possibly your family or your pets. If we look closely, each of us should be able to find something to be thankful for each day. By starting our day with an attitude of gratitude, we will make the frustrating moments less focal and keep our brain engaged in seeing the positive.
It is not against any law in this country to enjoy yourself at work. Even the most difficult professions allow for enjoyable moments throughout the day. Science tells us a happy brain works more efficiently than a brain that is not in a good mood (for more on this read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor- or watch his TED talk). This means not only will you enjoy your workday more, but you will also improve your professional performance. Friendships, inside jokes and everyday acts of kindness can help to improve every work environment. Remember, your mood is your choice. Choose to be happy!
I have had some very healthy behavior modeled for me from co-workers. A few months back, some of our more delightful team members decided Thursday was the new Friday. This happy idea has brought hours of entertainment to our team over the past several months. If I ask these team members how they are doing on Thursday, they say they are great because it is Friday. I know it is not Friday, they know it is not Friday, but we usually engage about a conversation about the weekend and the conversation is always light and humorous. On Friday when I see the team again and I ask how the day is going they usually start the conversation with a mention of how nice it will be to collect eight hours of overtime pay (we all know this is not happening). Then we move to how in addition to that, they have two additional days off coming up. This inside joke always brings a smile to almost everyone who gets to be a part of it. We all know sometimes work is trying. Your choices of action, words and attitude can bring about improvements, not only for you, but for those working with you as well.
These are specific examples I have used in my isolated experience. While these might not be exactly the right options for you, I am sure you can use these thoughts to spark an idea about how you can use your attitude and sense of humor to improve your mood at work. The best thing about all of this is that happiness is contagious. When you work happier everyone benefits!
Do you have any tips you use to brighten your work day? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave comments to share your ideas with others. Working together we can make the world a happier place to live and work!