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Keep Positive at Work with These 22 Tips

Keep Positive at Work with These 22 Tips

It’s not always easy to stay positive at work.

Sometimes because it’s Monday and you’re tired and would like another weekend right now.

At other times because it’s Wednesday and you are doing some boring routine work or you are being dragged down by negative attitudes around you.

So in today’s post I’d like to share my top 22 tips that help me to have and maintain a positive attitude while I work (and that often helps me in my private life too when things get tough).

I hope that these tips help you become a positive individual at your workplace. You can also share the positive vibes with the people around to make the experience enjoyable and successful.

1. Start your day right.

How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Breakfast can be ruined by a stressed-out morning.

Positive podcasts or positive conversations at the breakfast table can set the tone for your entire day.

Find a routine to lift your mood and encourage you to be more positive and productive at work. It should be one where you feel confident and strong enough to deal with difficult situations.

2. Positive people can be a threat to your mentality.

No matter if you’ve started your day in a positive way, that can quickly be derailed by negative energy flowing in as you get to work.

Here’s how you can protect your mind and yourself from that:

Concentrate on minimising.

It is possible that you will never be able completely to remove the negative influence of people and energy at work. Concentrate on making small adjustments to improve your work experience.

Spend less time with negative individuals.

You should spend more time with positive people. Sit down and really think about it. Make a list of 3 of the most negative people, and 1 of the most positive.

This list is a great way to get clarity on how you spend time and find easy ways to change your habits.

Spend 1 minute in gratitude

What do you ask yourself?

What 3 things or people can I be thankful for at work today?

You can use your smartphone to write down the answers (I use Simplenote, a free app).

Practice gratitude in this simple way each day – or at least a couple of times a week – to keep your focus on what is positive in your workplace and to stay more resistant to negative thoughts or words from others.

3. Fill your mind with positive thoughts.

An easy way to further refuel your positive attitude – besides spending more time with the positive people – is to spend time with people and sources further away that uplift you.

On your way to or from work, you could listen to positive podcasts or music. You can also read a book or blog on your lunch break or when you are waiting for something.

Positive attitudes can spread quickly, so make the most of this to bring more positivity into your life.

4. Plan your day.

This will keep the stress down, help you be more relaxed and focused and so it’ll be easier to keep that positive attitude throughout your day.

Set realistic goals every day and each week. Because unrealistic expectations that you simply can’t match at the end of the day or work week will only make you feel bad and perform worse.

  • Use a to-do checklist that is limited. You should prioritize your daily tasks so that you begin with the most crucial one and then work your way through the list. This list should be kept short to avoid stress and to allow for more time.
  • Prioritise your most important task. This is usually the hardest thing to do during the day. But if you get it done then you’ll feel good about yourself, you’ll feel relieved and the rest of the day will feel lighter.
  • Take regular breaks during your day. Otherwise you’ll perform and feel worse in the afternoon or at the end of the workweek. I work for 45 mins and then take a 5- 10 minute break.

5. Take one thing at a moment.

This simple sentence can help you to keep your focus – and your sanity – if things are hectic and stressful.

Plus, you’ll do a better – and surprisingly often a quicker – job if you only focus fully on one task or step at a time.

6. Your environment can help you maintain a positive outlook.

Make sure you create a positive and supportive environment by shaping your physical workspace. This includes your phone, computer, and so on.

You can do this by adding:

  • On a post-it note, write down some inspiring quotes or useful tips.
  • Small plants can provide a relaxing greenery.
  • You can also include a picture of your loved ones or a goal you have, such as if you are planning to travel somewhere.

During tough times, the last idea will help you to remember why you are doing your job. It’s always good to keep your most important whys close by to easily refocus and refuel motivation.

If you can’t keep them in the workspace for some reason then keep them on your phone or in a notebook in your work bag.

7. Your co-workers will feel more appreciated if you help them.

Create an upward spiral in the workplace with kindness, a grateful attitude and a positive attitude.

As an example:

  • Help with a useful task. It could be as simple as adjusting a computer program’s settings or bringing an extra bag with you to a meeting.
  • Show your appreciation When you were doing the exercise of gratitude in tip 2, you may have thought of something that you would like to share with a colleague. You may not think much of it, but if someone is having a bad day or week then this small gesture can be the difference between a good and bad one.
  • Do a little act of kindness. You could also bring them a banana or a coffee.

They make work more enjoyable, fun and morale-boosting.

In the end, you will also receive kindness and assistance from others.

8. Learn how to make dull work enjoyable or acceptable.

You will always have to perform some tedious tasks, no matter what your job is.

You can make them more interesting. Or at least acceptable.

You can:

  • Imagine how great it will be to complete the task. Instead of focusing so much on how it’s boring.
  • Deal with yourself. Set the timer to 10 minutes, and get started. Take a break, or work on something interesting when the bell sounds. To get them done quickly, do these tasks in small bursts. That’s a lot better than procrastinating on them for hours or days.
  • Create a pleasing distraction. Listen to music, a podcast, or the radio. I usually combine this with a small bargain that I make with myself to complete boring tasks.

9. Make your lunch break a relaxing and slow one.

This natural midpoint of your day can be a relaxing time.

Eat slowly. For easier eating, place the fork between bites. Each bite should be enjoyed.

You can release a lot of stress by eating your lunch slowly. That’s at least been my experience. My afternoons are better when I take my time eating my lunch rather than gobble it down quickly.

10. Don’t get caught up in the complaining trap.

Anne Lamott wrote once:

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”

The same is true for complaining.

Venting is certainly helpful. Do it only for a little while. Don’t overdo it and don’t make it into a routine every day or many times a week.

It will harm you more than it does the person or thing you are complaining about. Plus, people may start avoiding you because now they want to protect their minds – as described in tip #2 – from your bad attitude and that one person that just won’t stop complaining.

11. You should be kind to your self when you make mistakes (or experience a setback).

It’s tempting and for many of us a habit to beat ourselves up when we make a mistake or have a setback.

But I’ve found that a better path forward is to be kind to yourself and to be constructive. Asking yourself questions such as:

  • What can I take away from this failure?
  • What support would I receive from my friend/parent in this situation? Then, you act and speak to yourself as if he or her were there.

12. Understand that other people’s negativity is often not about you.

It is important to criticize in order to improve. A heated exchange of words can help you and your colleagues release tension and frustration.

If a coworker or your boss is always negative or criticizing of you, it’s more likely to be about them. It’s them lashing out because they are having trouble at home, because they don’t like their job anymore or because they’re having a bad week or year.

You can lessen the pain by being understanding. Do not blame yourself or your actions, but rather the person who has done it. Spend less time with this person, and more time with positive people in the office.

13. Make your day easier by being mindful.

Mindfulness helps me focus better on the tasks I have to complete.

To work mindfully simply means to me that I am fully in the present moment and focused on what I’m doing right now. I don’t think about the past. I don’t think about what I have to do tomorrow.

Some tips to help me be more mindful include:

  • Slow down. Slowing down makes it easier to concentrate and think. I feel less disorganized.
  • Take one step at a given time. I tend to lose focus when I multitask.
  • Take a two-minute break to practice mindfulness in the afternoon. By taking a short break in the late afternoon, I can clear my head and reduce any stress that has built up. During this time, I either sit down or lie on my back. I close my eyelids. I close my eyes and then focus on taking deep belly breaths. Focus only on the air that is going in and out.

14. Find out how to quickly de-stress yourself and find your center again.

If the stress is ramping up during the day then it’s very helpful to already know what helps you the best to quickly reduce that before you get dragged down into a negative funk.

My favorites include:

  • Mindfulness break of 2 minutes As explained in the previous tip.
  • I need to remember to take my hourly break. Otherwise they won’t help.
  • A good laugh is always welcome. Take 3-5 minutes and watch something funny or listen to a funny podcast on Youtube.

15. Take on challenges to help you grow and learn.

When I approach the inevitable challenges of work with a growth mentality, I find myself feeling more confident and better prepared. The growth mindset is about learning new things and improving yourself to find motivation and purpose.

Rather than from the perspective that I don’t want anything to change and just stay in my comfort zone.

It is sometimes easier to say than do.

But breaking down a challenge into small or tiny steps and then just doing and focusing on one step at a time can make it a lot easier and doesn’t mean that you have to go too far outside of your comfort zone if you’re not up for it today or this week.

16. Celebrate your small and big successes.

Don’t just celebrate big successes and achievements. Celebrating small achievements can help you to stay motivated and more positive.

If you’ve for example finished the first step of a challenge or a new project then celebrate that with a tasty snack or your favorite lunch.

17. Let positive moments and accomplishments rain down upon you.

If you’re having an uninspired or tough day then take 2 minutes to think back.

Remember your best moments and accomplishments at work. You might remember the time you helped a client with a serious problem or when you had to work together on a difficult project. You could also mention when you won an award or received glowing praise.

You can also expand this exercise into your personal life and remember how you’ve improved in your favorite sport or hobby or recall a few of the most positive moments you’ve had with your family or friends.

This will help you to feel better and more optimistic.

18. Maintain a minimalistic, organized work space.

It is easier for me to concentrate and think clearly if I maintain a minimalistic workspace. I am also less stressed.

Because what’s happening on the outside tends to affect what’s going on the inside.

I have a standing desk with an adjustable monitor, a computer and a pen. I have a comfy chair, a glass water, a small piece of paper with a pencil and a notepad for my daily task list.

That’s it.

19. Do your very best.

I’ve recently started reading this quote by writer Don Miguel Ruiz every morning after breakfast:

Do your best. Your best will vary from moment to moment, and it will differ when you are sick or healthy. Simply do your best under any circumstances to avoid self judgment, self abuse and regret.

This is the best way to start my day. This advice makes me feel good when I finish the day.

20. Concentrate on the things you can control.

Don’t spend too much energy on challenges that may be beyond you such as some parts of how your company work, the attitude of your most negative co-worker or that you have to do some boring routine work during each week.

Use your energy, attention and willpower to the best of your ability, but focus on improving what you can.

And if none of the tips in this article and none of the ones you or your loved ones can come up with help out where you work because the company culture is too stressful, the work environment is too toxic or because you’re sick and tired of the daily grind then maybe it’s time to make a change.

It’s time to look at the things you can do to improve this situation. Start looking for a job that will give you a more positive and enjoyable experience.

21. Look forward to the future.

It’s a lot easier to stay positive at work if you have plenty of things to look forward to in your life.

Maybe it’s a date next week, a trip during the summer or going fishing with friends in a couple of weeks.

And if you don’t have much going on in your calendar right now, then plan for one or two things to feel more excited again.

22. Enjoy activities outside of work to recharge yourself and make you happy.

You need to be able stay positive during work and in your personal life. This means you must do things that make you happy and recharge your batteries.

Work-life balance is essential.

So don’t neglect your favorite hobby or sport. Don’t work too much so you don’t have enough time and energy for an evening with friends or the weekend with your family.

Make time and have energy to spare for these most important things in life and you’ll find that it’s easier to be positive about your work too.

Here’s the next step…

You might be thinking:

“This is really helpful information. But what’s the easiest way to actually stick with it and stay positive even on tough days?”

Well, I’ve got something special for you.

This free checklist includes my 14 best tips to stay positive every day. You can save it or print it so that you always have it handy for when you are stuck in negative thoughts.

Download the checklist for free by clicking the image below:

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