If you’re happy and you know it, give yourself a round of applause because it follows that you’ll also be performing at the top of your game – and that is what gets you ahead. So come on, get happy.
The idea that happy workers who feel appreciated and see the purpose in what they do are productive workers is hardly an earth-shattering revelation.
The IMF’s chief economist for the Middle East, Masood Ahmed, is on record as saying that boosting productivity is an urgent and significant challenge for the Gulf States.
Workplace happiness is quite literally in the national interest. What can we do about it? Here are some ideas…
Slay the multi-tasking monster
Study after study shows that multi-tasking makes us less efficient, yet we’ve turned being busy into a badge of honor. Are we happier and more productive for being so busy? No. We are more stressed, burned out and overwhelmed. Our brains prefer to focus on one task at a time, especially if you’re learning something, so stop juggling 10 things at once and focus on the main task. Which brings me to…
Turn off the email
Constant distractions from emails, text and Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and other myriad messaging systems make you dumber. It’s official. Studies have shown that people who are always checking messages see reductions in their IQ.
In 80 clinical trials, Dr Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day. He found the IQ of those who juggled messages and work fell by 10 points - the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep.
Eagle or parrot?
Birds of a feather stick together, the saying goes, so are you an eagle or a parrot? Do you fly high and soar majestically, an inspiration to all around you? Or are you trapped in a cage, mindlessly repeating whatever gossip gets told to you?
The people you choose to spend your time with influence your mood and contentment at work. Getting embroiled in office politics, negativity and bad-mouthing others is not the path to happiness and productivity.
Feng Shui for your workspace
Is your desk piled high with reports, reference files, clippings, invoices etc? We’ve all heard the – admittedly annoying – phrase ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’. Which is all the more annoying because we know it’s true: clutter is a killer of productivity and creativity. Do you think Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg chain themselves to desks covered in towering piles of documents?
Is it really the job that’s the challenge?
It’s easy to blame the boss, colleagues, demanding clients or an unreasonable workload for your misery, but what’s your role in all this? Most people don’t want to acknowledge responsibility for their life, their story and what is not working. So if you’re ‘stuck’ in a situation that you don’t like, take a step back and ask yourself, ‘how did I create this?’ Perhaps the job isn’t in line with your values or you are not clear on the purpose of what you do. Then it’s time to examine opportunities, or talk with management about the possibility of an internal move.