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10 Signs You Are Enjoying Your Work

10 Signs You Are Enjoying Your Work

Whether you are a location independent entrepreneur, work at an office, or otherwise, you are probably spending somewhere in the range of eight hours a day at work. Perhaps when you add commuting, that goes up to 10.

Say you need to sleep eight hours a night (you really should be). That means out of your available time, you’re spending about 63% of it at work, for a large chunk of your life.

If you’re going to spend that much time on something, you better make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing. You only have one shot at life.

How can you tell? Here are some key signs that you enjoy your work:

1. Time flies by and you lose yourself. You enter a flow state.

Flow is a nearly transcendental state where time ceases to matter–what is in front of you is all there is, and worries and other tasks slip away. It happens when you do something that is really enjoyable (like playing a musical instrumental you love) or being with someone you really care about.

It’s the same thing when you are doing work you really love. Time slips away and you look at the window swearing that the sun just came up when you see it’s dark outside.

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And the best thing about the flow state–it feels good.

2. You feel like you are doing something of value. You feel fulfilled.

Humans feel happy when they are connected to others, but also when they give or create something of value. It doesn’t have to be curing cancer (of course that would be amazing!); it could be more simple like being a carpenter and building things that people want or need. Whatever the job, you feel a deep sense of gratitude for being able to help and serve people. You feel like you are giving back and giving people your unique ideas, abilities, and talents.

It’s another thing that defines how a happy person lives their life, and how you too can stay happy daily.

3. You are excited to wake up in the morning.

If you aren’t ready and raring to get up in the morning, something might be amiss. Of course, everyone has off days. But if you continuously dread going to work to a serious amount, it might be time to change.

Whatever you do should get you excited to get up and hit the ground running full speed. It might involve you focusing on something about your job that you didn’t see before, but it should get you up and excited.

4. Your co-workers and superiors are seen as partners to give and produce something.

When you see the people you work with not just as other bodies in the office or guys who give you TPS reports to fill out, you are in the right place. You should see them as helpers with whom you can create something big. Maybe you aren’t the big boss deciding what that is, but you believe in what you’re doing, and you love that you get to work and struggle along with these people to make it a reality.

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5. You do not complain.

Many people complain about their jobs:

“It’s too early.”

“It’s too far.”

“I don’t like the people I work with.”

“I hate what I do.”

If you’re constantly complaining, you either need a mindset change (start appreciating what you have, compared to say, being unemployed and struggling to pay any bill) or it’s your internal guide showing you that you need to find a different job you would enjoy more.

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Whatever the case, in work you enjoy there may be times you complain about work load or an annoying task. But overall you know these are small potatoes compared to the happiness that comes from doing what you love.

6. You don’t mind the struggle.

Work can be a struggle. Writers spend hours editing and must work daily. Artists may do entire portraits and then throw them out. Engineers come up with designs that are faulty and have to go back to the drawing board of equations and figures.

But when you enjoy your work, you don’t care. You love the struggle. You love coming back, refining, and the process of progression to get what you want. The end goal of producing something amazing is worth it.

7. You get energized when you talk about what you do.

When people ask, “What do you do?”, you get revved up. You can’t shut up about it. That is a sign that you love what you do and you want everyone else to know.

8. You feel like your work is an extension of who you are; it is a part of your personality.

Work ceases to become work when it’s not just a means to an end. The perfect work is something that deeply resonates with something inside of you, and makes you able to output amazing quality and hours upon hours of production. You are expressing yourself and feel amazing and congruent with it.

9. You find yourself interested in extra items not assigned to you.

When you really enjoy your work, you’ll want to learn about your company or things that you might not be directly responsible for, but deal with the work in general. Even if you don’t have to do certain things, you want to learn more.

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10. You feel tired at the end of the day, but in a satisfied way.

There’s a difference between feeling tired because you accomplished a lot, versus being tired because you had to drag yourself kicking and screaming through the day using lots of your willpower. If you feel accomplished, satisfied, happy, and like you produced something of value when you work and that makes you tired, you’re doing it right.

Always remember:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

– Steve Jobs

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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