Having just read an article on How to be Happier at work, I wanted to share a few of the important points that I incorporate when running Wellbeing courses with corporate clients. I find that it is the small changes that make the most significant difference at work as these can easily be incorporated into working life.
1. Find ways to “break the momentum” of the day.
Our workdays are crammed full of emails, meetings, spreadsheets, presentations, and more which can result in feeling overwhelmed. By stopping that fast momentum by pausing to breathe for a few seconds before you talk to, call, or email someone you can inject a small dose of happiness into the moment.
“Without some breathing space in the face of constant demands, we won’t be creative, competent, or cheerful,” Sharon Salzberg writes. “We won’t get along with others, take criticism without imploding, or control the level of our daily stress.”
2. Don’t pick up the phone on the first ring.
I often suggest people take a breath and wait until the third ring before answering their phones. In that space is the opportunity to pause, get a sense of where you’re at and then act rather than reacting. We are so often on autopilot that it can be really helpful to observe and step back from automatic reactivity.
3. Wait to click send….
Don’t click send on that email right away. Take some time to re-read before responding. So often we do things automatically, sometimes with emotion behind it such as anger or hostility when giving yourself a break can allow us to see if we’ve crafted a conversation we actually want.
To Salzberg, much of real happiness is a matter of being aware of what you’re doing while you’re doing it — and enraged or angry people are rarely conscious of their actions.
4. Send the email to yourself first
Receiving your own email gives you the experience of being the recipient. Instead of getting into an energy-sapping misunderstanding, you can actually get a sense of how your message will be read.
5. Monotask once daily
When you get halfway through your day, drink a cup of coffee, and only drink the coffee. Just focus on one activity at a time rather than trying to squeeze in another item from the to do list. It’s a myth than multitasking is more effective – it simply isn’t the case.