Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, a realist or an idealist, or a little mix of everything, keeping a positive attitude at work is key to avoiding burnout. That doesn’t have to mean taking a pollyannaish view of the world. Instead, it means striving hard everyday to create purpose and meaning in what you do. Here are a few ways to do just that.
1) Find Puzzles to Solve
The definition of a dead end job is one that leaves you incredibly bored every day. This is true whether or not your boredom stems from completing more rote tasks, or from simply having mastered the skills your current position requires. Your boss, however, may not know you feel this way, and may very well welcome a request for more challenging work, as long as it is politely phrased. In fact, if you have some clarity about where you’d like to go in your career or in the company at large, you could even propose or volunteer for new projects. You’ll feel pleasantly stimulated as you challenge yourself, and you’ll likely impress your boss with your initiative, too. That’s a big win for your career, for the company, and for keeping a positive attitude at work.
2) Stay Fit and Comfortable on the Job
Let’s face it: even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, sitting all day at a desk can be a big drag on your body and your mood. The answer? Get moving! Bike to work, do stretches at your desk, take frequent breaks, hold a walking meeting — just get those endorphins pumping and your muscles moving in different ways throughout the day. And when you do sit down at your desk, make sure you have comfortable equipment like an ergonomic keyboard to reduce strain on your muscles, prevent injury, and keep you working pain-free throughout the day. After all, there’s no bigger drag than working through pain.
3) Mix Things Up
Just because you’ve been operating one way for years, doesn’t mean there aren’t other great ways to achieve similar — or better — results. Rather than switching roles or companies, why not pick a stale business process, research different approaches, and give them a try instead? Doing so will change the way you think, and it just might reveal some new innovations, too.
For more great tips in this vein, we highly recommend reading LifeHack’s 15 Ways to Stay Positive at Work. And if you have any great positivity strategies, let us know in the comments below.