Wednesday 20 September 2023

How to Bring More Fun into Your Work Life

In today's fast-paced and highly demanding world, finding joy and fulfilment in our work can often be challenging. However, incorporating fun and playfulness into our work life not only enhances our overall wellbeing but also has a positive impact on productivity and job satisfaction.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Those who enjoy themselves inhale more oxygen, generate more endorphins, enhance blood circulation in the brain, and think more creatively. Moreover, individuals with clear and open minds can challenge conventions and gain new experiences…fun in the workplace promotes pleasant emotions and increases intrinsic motivation, which boosts the workplace’s creative climate and employees’ creative behaviors”.

By using several strategies and activities that can inject excitement and enjoyment into our work life, we can enjoy a more balanced, healthy and fulfilling career.

Discover your passions

One of the keys to infusing fun into your work life is identifying your passions and aligning them with your professional path. Reflect on what interests you, what excites you and what energises you. By incorporating your passions into your work, you'll find greater purpose and a sense of fulfilment, making it easier to experience joy on a daily basis.

Cultivate positive relationships

Positive relationships play a crucial role in creating a fun and enjoyable work environment. Foster connections with your colleagues, seeking opportunities to collaborate and celebrate achievements together. Engage in open communication, support each other and promote a friendly atmosphere. Remember, laughter and camaraderie have a significant impact on reducing stress levels and increasing overall wellbeing.

Break the monotony

Monotonous routines can drain the joy out of work and leave you feeling unfulfilled. Injecting variety and creativity into your daily tasks can reinvigorate your motivation and bring about a much-needed sense of fun. Look for opportunities to take on diverse projects, explore new skills or suggest innovative ideas. Additionally, try incorporating short breaks throughout the day to engage in enjoyable activities or stretch your legs. These small changes can make a big difference by breaking the monotony and infusing a sense of play into your work.

Make tasks fun

Turn your work into a game by incorporating elements of competition and reward. Set personal goals, keep track of your progress and celebrate achievements. Also, create challenges or friendly competitions with colleagues to boost engagement and enthusiasm. By making tasks more interactive and enjoyable, you’ll be motivated to approach your work with renewed energy and vigour.

Embrace humour

Laughter is an excellent way to bring fun to any environment, including the workplace. Don't be afraid to share a funny story or engage in light-hearted conversations with your colleagues. Embracing humour helps alleviate stress, fosters a positive atmosphere and creates lasting memories. Just remember to maintain professionalism and be mindful of your audience.

Engage in mindfulness

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your work routine can enhance your overall wellbeing. Take short breaks to practise deep breathing or engage in quick meditation exercises. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, increase focus and improve overall job satisfaction. By pausing and being present, you can maintain a positive mindset and infuse your work with a sense of calm and enjoyment.

Tuesday 12 September 2023

How to Make Difficult Decisions at Work

Throughout life we must regularly make difficult decisions which can make us feel uncomfortable and, in some instances, cause us anxiety and stress. When those decisions relate to our place of work, the distress can feel even more heightened for fear of upsetting work colleagues or managers, or even losing our job.

What you must remember is that although the decisions can be painful and you might be experiencing feelings of guilt, they can shape your future and your mental wellbeing. If we are hesitant for too long and it begins to affect our mental health, it can make it even more difficult to make a decision.

Types of difficult choices

You’ve probably experienced at least one of the following:

  • Accepting extra work when you’re already under a lot of pressure
  • Asking your manager or colleagues for help
  • How to best manage the company’s budget
  • Applying for a promotion

It’s often easier to avoid making these types of choices but this can prolong the negative effects on our mental health, causing even more anxiety, stress and sometimes depression.

Ways to make difficult choices easier

  1. First, before you make any choices, you need to take time to consider your situation and the possible outcomes. This will help you to gain clarity and be prepared for any changes that will occur. Don’t rush into anything but also don’t take too long or you might never make the choice. 
  2. Gather as much information as you can so that you can make an informed decision. If you don’t have all the information you need, ask the relevant person the questions you’d like answering.
  3. Consider all the options. Not all choices are black and white and there might be different routes you can take that you hadn’t thought about. You could even ask a close friend or family member for their thoughts as it can be good to get a different perspective. 
  4. Don’t put it off for too long because the longer you leave it, the greater the fear becomes and that can leave you feeling emotionally and mentally paralysed.
  5. If you have got to a point where you really are struggling to make an informed decision, simply trust your instinct. More often than not, if something feels wrong, then it usually is. 
  6. Don’t make your decision based on fear as this can turn out worse in the long run. When you make choices out of fear, you have lost control of the situation, and this can later result in feelings of regret, resentment or anger.
  7. Be kind to yourself. When faced with difficult decisions that are affecting your mental wellbeing, take time out to take care of yourself. This could be going for a long walk in the countryside to clear your mind, spending time with friends or playing a sport that you love. A study by Walden University found that “when anxiety is not managed, the body shifts to a negative stress—or toxic stress—state, which has the opposite effect. There is a decrease in blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which promotes lower cognitive functioning and sends the brain into a chaotic state. In this state, the brain is unable to access the information it needs to make logical decisions.”

When we are faced with difficult choices that are challenging, overwhelming or stressful, after careful consideration, try to make your decisions based on what feels right to you.