how to be happier at work tips from productivity expert tonya dalton

How to Be Happier at Work

As we round out Season 7 of Productivity Paradox this week on Episode 091, I wanted to touch base with you here and discuss just a few ways that you can keep our “happiness train” going as a means of encouraging yourself to be more productive and effective in the workplace. After all–from what we have uncovered through the course of the podcast season–happiness is a huge indicator of how motivated we feel and how productive we are as a result… right?

In that light, one of the biggest questions that I have come across from listening to all of you and from reading your comments is this: How do I become happier at work?

While this question is clearly not as cut-and-dry as we might like, I am so thrilled to tell you that I’ve think I’ve stumbled over a few great ideas to get you started on your quest for finding happiness in (and outside of) the workplace.

Let’s get started!


Tips for Boosting Happiness at Work


Savor Your Time –

We talk a little bit more about this in Episode 091, but I really want to drive the point home here that it’s important that we stop rushing and start savoring the time that we have… even when we’re at work!

Savoring, or slowing down, not only helps us to hang onto those little bursts of happiness that we get each and every day, but it can also help us when it comes to our procrastination. It seems a little strange, right? But it’s true!

Think about why we procrastinate: We’re uncomfortable with the task at hand and want to do something more comfortable or familiar instead. It’s easier to follow the urge to check email or social media and put off this dreaded task…

But when we savor, we take that task and we slow down to give it space – no switching quickly to something else. When we slow it down, we’re apt to pay attention to the more enjoyable aspects of the tasks… and nip our tendency to procrastinate in the bud.


Help a Colleague

Just as volunteering your time at your favorite food pantry or local charity drive can give you an extra boost of happiness… Helping out a coworker with a difficult challenge, or even something small can do the same when you’re on the clock!

Now, I’m not saying that you do anything huge or heroic to help, but a little bit definitely goes a long way – and it’s even better if you try to make it a daily, weekly or even monthly habit.

Stuck on some ideas to help out around your office? Keep it simple to start! Grab your coworker’s favorite coffee or beverage when you take a break; ask if they need help on a certain project or task; or, offer to do something simple, like type up notes after a meeting or grab something for them off of the printer…

You might just be surprised at how effective even the smallest of gestures can be when it comes to strengthening your relationships with your colleagues while boosting your own happiness in the workplace.


End Your Day on a Note of Gratitude –

Here’s the thing: We are more likely to remember the bad parts of our day than we are to remember the better parts… At least, that’s usually how it goes for me. I wake up in the morning with a big smile on my face and everything seems to be going right along according to plan… and then something happens that throws me off track, and that’s all that I can think about for the rest of the day!

If you’re anything like me, then it may be incredibly helpful to start making it a point to end your day at work on a note of gratitude. It may sound difficult, especially when you’re just starting out… but I have found that the simplest way to do this is to think of something—just one thing—about your day that you really appreciated, and to write it down.

Studies have shown that the more people do this regularly, the more optimistic they feel and the happier they are overall at the end of the day. I encourage you to give it a try!


What are some of the ways that you make your happiness a priority at work? If you have any tips and tricks of your own, I’d love to hear about them! Be sure to share in the comments below… and join me in the discussion of savoring time on Episode 091 of Productivity Paradox!



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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton