Re-Invent Your Work Mindset
How to Enjoy Your Work Right Now
When it comes to work we can sometimes get into a negative mindset. Because when we believe we have to do something, like it’s against our will, we rebel against it.
The reality is, we work because we want to.
Gasp!! Yes, I said we want to.
If you truly don’t want to work, then don’t.
Now I’m not saying you should quit your job and live on the generosity of others. I do believe we should take care of ourselves and live within our own means.
But the work you do and how you choose to feel about that work are both 100 percent up to you.
I want to support the life I choose to live and enjoy the work I do while I’m at it.
In the past, I grew to hate my job. I was miserable and complained incessantly about everything wrong with my work day. I complained so much and so often someone (probably my husband) finally said to me, “If you hate your job so much, why don’t you do something about it?”
Translation: Stop Complaining!
Well, that really hit me. I was choosing to go to work after all, no one was making me go. I did decide to have an income and contribute to my household, but no one demanded where I made that income or what it looked like.
I wasn’t actively looking for work or exploring other options, I was just complaining.
This little epiphany really opened my eyes. First, I didn’t want to be a complainer and second, I wasn’t doing anything about the fact that I was miserable and the complaining only made me more miserable.
I decided right then and there that I would do something about my career misery, I was taking charge. The crazy thing is that as soon as I stopped complaining, things got a bit better right away.
When I really started to look at my job I realized it wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t that bad. In fact, the more I looked at it with a fresh perspective I was amazed at how good it was and could be.
All the sudden I’m actually liking this job and it was a super simple mindset shift.
Here Is How I Shifted My Mindset in Five Simple Steps
1. Recognize your buried beliefs and the repetitive thoughts that cast a shadow on your work life.
Here are some negative thoughts we have about work, along with replacement thoughts that will serve your workday better. Practice noticing and then replacing the thought in your mind.
- I hate working. ~ What do I like about working?
- I wish I didn’t have to be here. ~ This job allows me to pay for things like yummy food and my nice house.
- My boss is a jerk. ~ My boss is under a lot of stress.
- My friend’s job sounds so much better. ~ Some things at here job probably are better but I bet some are not as good too.
If you can hear these or thoughts like them in your head during your work day you aren’t doing yourself any favors. It’s time to manage your mind. When you think crummy thoughts, you feel crummy, do crummy work, and perpetuate the negativity.
Think about a simple task like washing the dishes. You can resist and think, “I hate doing this task, this task is the worst” or any number of negative thoughts about washing the dishes.
These thoughts fuel your feelings. When I’m thinking things like I hate this or I don’t want to do this, I feel resistance, grumpy or unhappy.
When I feel resistant or unhappy, I drag my feet, I do a crummy job, or just hurry through it.
I do end up hating washing the dishes, and I reinforce that belief with my actions.
2. Focus on the positive aspects of your day.
Make a habit of thinking about what you like about your job, tasks, or career.
When at work I may think:
- I really like the quiet time during my commute so I can listen to Shanna’s Podcast.
- I like checking off tasks as I complete them.
- I enjoy talking to my co-workers.
When washing the dishes I may think:
- What do I like about this? The warm water on my hands and clean fresh scent. Making the dishes pretty, clean, and shiny.
- I am happy to have these beautiful dishes, or to have had that lovely meal.
- I love how clean the kitchen looks from my careful work wiping everything down.
3. Focus on the task at hand, don’t multi-task, and do an awesome job.
I can focus on what I am doing. I can be resigned that I will do it and choose to embrace the task. If I’m sweeping the floor I can take extra care and sweep off the tops of the baseboards to remove any dust that has settled there. I can do the best job of sweeping the floor I can.
It feels so good to have completed a job and done it well. Same thing at the office.
If I can focus my mind on the task. I can also meditate by shutting off all the other stuff going on and lose myself in the flow of the simple task.
This also feels amazing.
4. Actively seek ways to improve your workday.
How can I make this task more enjoyable?
- I can play music while I work.
- I can buy a scented detergent or candle that I love.
- I can buy pretty office supplies or decorate my office.
- I can pack beautiful picnic lunches once a week.
5. Be where you are and not in a hurry to be somewhere else.
Make sure you have scheduled your day so you aren’t overwhelmed or rushing from task to task. Leave breathing room in your day. Nothing is enjoyable when you're in a hurry to get on to the next thing.
Stop wishing away today for the weekend or for vacation. Be present and find ways to enjoy each day. These are the days piling up to create your life, don’t throw them away.
Practice these five things and you will begin to do better work, enjoy your work, and be way more pleasant to be around.
When you shift your mindset from complaining, checking boxes, or counting the hours before you can go home, to finding enjoyment and ways to improve everything about your day and what you do, your work life becomes so much better.
Now I’m not saying you have to learn to love a job you hate and that’s that. I’m saying you can learn to love a job right now and at the same time make choices that lead you somewhere else entirely.
When I applied these five things to my work life I ended up really liking my job and staying for a few more years. I enjoyed completing tasks around the house more and I was so much better to be around because the incessant complaining stopped.
When I stopped complaining I was able to see what I really loved about my work and the things that I simply didn’t. I did eventually explore more about my work life and changed careers completely but not because I was running away from work, I was simply moving toward work I really loved.
Why be miserable? This is your one life, why not make it the best life?