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Do you dread waking up for work each morning? Do you feel defeated, tired, and unhappy at the end of each day? Well, not for long, if I have any say in the matter. Your career shouldn’t suck the life out of you—instead, it should fulfill you. Here are 8 tips that will help you find joy in your work again:

    1) Start your day off right.

    If you start your day off in a bad mood or with a poor attitude, then chances are you won’t have a super enjoyable day at work. To instead set yourself up for a great work day, ensure your morning goes smoothly: make a yummy, nutritious breakfast; open up your blinds and let the sun stream through; spend a couple minutes journaling; and do some light stretching or exercising to ready your mind and body for the day.

    2) Keep a clean and pleasant workspace.

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t focus or relax at a messy desk. I’ve found that tidying up my workspace can have a serious effect on my entire day, and I bet that straightening yours up will work wonders for you as well. Once you’ve gotten that down, consider taking it a step further by adding some character: decorate your desk with your favorite flowers; put up pictures of your family and friends; incorporate soothing color schemes. Turn your workspace into a personal, aesthetically-pleasing environment—you’ll be happy to spend your time there.

    3) Focus your attention on the task at hand.

    Doing too much at once is the quickest way to stress yourself out—not to mention it lowers productivity levels. Jessica Tappana, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, says that instead of multitasking, you should focus on one task at a time. And if you can break these tasks down into smaller steps to tackle, even better. Furthermore, you should minimize distractions that may prolong the tasks’ completion or lessen their quality. Save that Facebook and Instagram scrolling for your break! Implementing these strategies will prove to lower your stress levels, increase your productivity levels, and help you to enjoy your work again.

    4) Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    I take it back—the quickest way to stress yourself out is to worry about every little thing that goes wrong: hamburger greased dripped on your shirt at lunch, traffic caused you to be five minutes late, and your Internet is moving at a snail’s pace. Take a breather and ask yourself: Is any of this worth my concern? In the grand scheme of things, does any of it really matter? The answer is no. Don’t stress yourself out or ruin your day by sweating the small stuff—deal the best you can and move on.

    5) Build relationships with your coworkers.

    Work doesn’t have to be void of fun—it’s okay to talk and laugh with your coworkers. In fact, building relationships with them can make work a whole lot more enjoyable! Dan Roberge, President of Maintenance Care, says he has found that maintaining these relationships is key to company satisfaction, even if that means communicating via text: “Texting each other has become the dominant communication method, but we encourage ‘fun-texting.’ We send each other funny GIFs and each employee has created a Bitmoji of themselves that we use often—it’s a lot of fun.”

    6) Take breaks.

    I don’t care how much work you have to get done today, tomorrow, or by the end of the week—it’s vital to your wellbeing (and the quality of your work) that you take a break every now and again. Based on scientific findings, the average American has a relatively short attention span of 8 seconds. Yes, you read that right. But we obviously can’t take a break every 8 seconds; instead, it’s recommended that we take a break every 50-90 minutes. So, make it a rule of thumb to take at least a small break every hour or so. You’ll avoid burning out, and you’ll also have a more enjoyable work day.

    7) Set short and long-term goals.

    Growth and development is key to an individual’s wellbeing. And while the lack of it may not put one’s life at risk, it can certainly have negative effects on one’s mood and overall life satisfaction. A new survey “2017 Job Skills Training and Career Development Survey” found that nearly half of Americans yearn for career development—but they aren’t all actively seeking it. To improve each day at work and your overall wellbeing, map out your short and long-term goals and then set out to accomplish them.

    8) Unplug once the work day is over.

    Don’t bring work home with you—when it’s time to leave the office, it’s time to unplug and recuperate. If you’re constantly thinking about work when you aren’t at work, then you’ll eventually despise your job. Create healthy boundaries: when you’re in the office, it’s time to get down to business; when you’re not, it’s time to cater to the other aspects of your life. Take advantage of your free-time by spending it with loved ones, running those errands, or doing a little something special for yourself!

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