In this post, we’re exploring five key principles that you can build into your life in 2021, to improve your overall wellbeing and enjoyment at work.
Developing a connection to a person or cause helps work feel meaningful and purposeful. It may be that you share a sense of connection to your colleagues, as for many, it’s the people that keep them coming back to work every day. Perhaps you feel aligned with your employer’s overarching mission – you might deeply care about the purpose of the company and the impact it’s having on wider society. Or maybe connection comes through the difference your volunteering hours make. Find something in your working life that evokes a sense of connection.
Putting boundaries in place is an important aspect of protecting your wellbeing. This can look like establishing a routine that separates working hours from non-working hours, which is particularly important while working from home. You might create a new ‘commute’ by going for a walk around the block before you start work or change clothes once you’ve finished for the day, to create a sense of separation. It’s also about getting comfortable with saying no before you become overwhelmed or overworked. If you’re at risk of taking on too much work, be honest with your manager about where you’re stretched and ask for help.
Unplug from tech
The demand for and reliance on technology has never been higher. By day we’re glued to our laptops to get work done, by night we’re chilling out with a Netflix binge, scrolling through social media feeds, doing an online fitness class, or catching up with friends over Zoom. Tech is an essential and valuable part of our lives, but we can also foster healthy habits without the aid of a screen, to bring us back into the here and now. Consider switching off your devices for just 15 minutes. How can you spend that offline time to boost your wellbeing? You might go for a walk in your area and listen to the sound of birdsong, pen a letter to a friend you haven’t seen for a while, get lost in your thoughts, or really relish a quiet moment with a cup of tea. Start with small time increments each week and see where they take you.
Learn how to look after yourself
Your health should be your top priority and looking after yourself takes time and dedication. This level of care can play out in all sorts of ways, from having a balanced diet, finding exercise that’s right for you and getting enough sleep, to being creative through art or writing, learning new skills, or building a sense of belonging through social activities. Being overworked, overly stressed or severely sleep deprived will have huge repercussions on your wellbeing.
Find enjoyment at work
We can’t expect every working day to be a happy one, but everyone deserves to broadly enjoy their work. And since we spend so much time at work – around 80,000 hours across our lifetime – it’s important to find sources of enjoyment within this huge chunk of our lives. Not only that, but the dissatisfaction or unhappiness you feel in your job will seep into other areas of your life, impacting your mood, energy levels and relationships.
Seek out enjoyment at work by using your strengths; some people feel good about their job because they’re putting their top talents into practice. Others thrive off the social element of work, from being part of a like-minded tribe. Having a positive impact on other people can create enjoyment too, through informal mentoring or training of new colleagues. There’s no right way, because your enjoyment will be unique to you. But if you’re counting down the minutes each day until you can clock off work, it’s time to make a change.
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