Whether you’ve been stuck in the same job for a decade or are a newly minted entrepreneur, you’re going to experience days when motivation is low, there is anxiety about the upcoming workload, or you are lacking confidence about the value you offer.
We’ve all been there, and if you stay there, those feelings and circumstances can hold yourself, your work, and your team back.
A recent Gallup poll showed that nearly 80% off American workers think of their job to be endured rather than enjoyed. That’s a staggering statistic when you think of how much of our lives is spent at work.
I’m going to share with you 3 key tactics you can use to enjoy, rather than endure, your work every day.
And no, it’s not “take a stretch break” or “stare at the birds” every 15 minutes. I’m talking about developing a genuine passion for your work so you can produce higher quality results and make progress toward your goals. If you apply these three simple techniques, you will be more likely to:
- Have more drive and commitment
- Be healthier (physically and mentally)
- Be more productive
- Face setbacks with less stress and more perspective
- Get along better with your colleagues
1. Have Confidence in Your Work
Second-guessing yourself and your work not only makes it hard to sell your idea or product, but it’s a big waste of time.
“It seems like this is the right approach, but what if I’m missing something?”…”Oh the client wants that?…I’m not creative enough to do that.”
Talking to yourself this way only creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more your second-guess (and third-guess and fourth-guess) yourself, the less likely you will be to think positively, take on new challenges, meet new people…and therefore make progress toward your goals.
According to the National Research Council, a growing body of evidence suggests that one’s perception of ability or self-confidence is the central mediating construct of achievement strivings.
What does this mean? Your judgement about your capabilities directly influences your behavior and chances of success.
Like most things in life, I was not able to understand this until I figured it out for myself…
As soon as I began to stand firm in my beliefs, strategy, and tactics, a few things happened:
- I wasted less time deciding on a direction and got more done.
- My colleagues fed off of that confidence and security, which allowed them to commit more to the project.
- I generally felt more enjoyment at the end of the day. “The satisfaction of a job well done” they say.
By simply making a decision and commitment to act with purpose, confidence and clarity each day, I am confident you will see those benefits as well.
2. Set High Standards
So, what else can you do to increase confidence, and therefore enjoyment at work? The sometimes difficult truth that we have to face is the same as anyone who has excelled in their career, craft or even hobbies.
You have to set high standards for quality, and give yourself the time, patience and discipline needed to work for it.
Have you ever set your mind on a thing, and then received it by accident or good luck? That thing then loses its grandeur. When we do not work for something and go through the right process to get it, we cannot appreciate its value.
Whenever we do a lousy job, rush through something, or do not follow a set process or procedure, we generally are not going to be happy with our performance, even if the results met the target.
According to a study done by staffing firm Robert Half, a sense of accomplishment is the strongest driver of happiness for employees under 35 years old.
This is why it is so important to hold ourselves to a higher standard: so that when we do accomplish our objectives, we can genuinely take pride in that achievement and build on it.
3. Celebrate Your Success
I recently listened to a podcast by Ed Mylett that said the human brain produces dopamine when we celebrate our wins, no matter how small. But what’s so interesting is that when we do not celebrate our success, our mind becomes numb to those achievements making it harder stay motivated and happy in our work. Our mind feeds off of that celebration and sense of achievement.
In the same way, many people are now starting to recognize that success does not necessarily lead to happiness, but happiness leads to success, which then leads to more happiness, and so on. They feed on one another.
Seeing that accomplishment is the number one driver of happiness for employees, we should take the time to celebrate wins of all sizes and get our mind trained and motivate for more.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not always easy to kick your mind in gear to stay motivated or to enjoy your work. Sometimes there are just going to be days where you feel timid and stuck. But remember, when you set high standards for yourself and your team, act with confidence and purpose, and take time to enjoy your success, you are bound to enjoy your work more every day.