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The truth is that you will spend a large portion of your life working, but you don’t have to suffer through it all. This simple, five-point plan changes the way you perceive your time on the clock, and helps build a positive environment, focused on the great things you can accomplish. While these points are made from an office setting, they can be applicable to different lines of work.

  1. Stay thankful. Don’t focus on what your company is not giving you, regardless of if you have a background or do work that warrants what you think should be more pay. Even if it’s hard to afford your lifestyle, even if you lifestyle is only a four-year degree, be thankful that you have a roof over your head and can take food to your family or afford shelter and food for yourself. Also, don’t forget to say thank you. Affirmative words make a positive difference for those you see on a daily basis, and mean far more than you know.  Staying thankful is the most important thing you can do to change your daily life and stay focused.
  2. Don’t use the company motto sarcastically. While it is funny at the moment and serves as temporary comic relief, using the motto in jest only breaks it down over time. Sarcasm is something I value, but save it for small things that don’t undermine the company’s values or goals; Those are your goals too.
  3. Be positive. Positivty is contagious, not just for your own outlook, but for your coworkers. Avoid incessant venting, complaining, and huffing about things that can’t be changed, and learn to accept the positives of your daily activities. Coworkers who are outwardly negative and frustrated can wear you down over time. You have to know when to reinforce them (it can’t be every time they grunt), but when you do, do so positively and leave them with words of encouragement. In other words, they will vent to you, and you need to have them focus on the help they have provided, let them know you have been in the same situation (empathy and a message of reassurance), or remind them a difficult task is not their fault. To change the outward negative attitudes of those around you, you will have to do some work. Set an example.
  4. Take your breaks. You get breaks on the job for a reason, and they are legally set by OSHA (in the states) so that you can rest. Not taking you breaks with impede your functioning and slow your work. You’re not showing your boss how dedicated you are by not taking them. If you need a break, then obviously, you’re working hard, right? There is no reason to make yourself a martyr at work. Go out, take a walk, and come back in ready to focus on your task.
  5. Take nothing personally. When you mess up, and you will, don’t take it to heart or get upset. If you know you’re working hard, then the error was an accident, and those things happen to the best of us. If you know you’re doing the best you can then you are your best. There is always hope in rearranging your work load or implementing simple checklists or organizational structures to avoid future mistakes. Offer a solution instead of a self-punishment. If others get mad at you for your mistakes, give them time to realize it’s not the end of the world—but don’t tell them “it’s not the end of the world”, instead, wait it out. Mistakes should turn into new goals.

Good luck out there!