We spend a large amount of our waking hours at work and we derive a great deal of emotional stimulation from it. But not all our feelings about our workplace are wholly positive.

The problem with feeling negative or unhappy at the workplace is that it eats up so much of your motivation. When the major focus of your week is toward work-related tasks, you need to ensure you get some pleasure from it.

So, how do you stay happy in a workplace that is challenging, and sometimes exhausting? Here are a few key tips.

Use Productivity Tools

There are some tasks that unnecessarily sap your energy. These may be manual tasks or repetitive ones, but they are most likely to be the kind of chores that you don’t look forward to.

Don’t take it upon yourself to do everything from scratch. Look around online for helpful tools and resources that will automate certain duties for you.

Like creating reports—you could spend your time making a report in Excel or Word, or you could use report templates that will do half the work for you when you want to create a rent report like this.

To help your productivity, use Gantt charts to maximize your time (you can read about the benefits of Gantt charts here).

By finding creative ways to work around boring chores, you will find yourself looking forward to the other parts of your job that make you feel better about yourself.

Network Internally

You spend the bulk of your professional life with your colleagues, more so than with your family. Instead of keeping them at arm’s length, you should engage with them.

If you want to learn how to use a project management tool that your colleague knows well, ask them to show you how, when they have time.

Offer to mentor someone new in the company, or approach an established colleague or senior to mentor you.

Organize work lunches or after-work activities, where you can get to know your colleagues outside of the workplace.

Making connections is a core part of human life—by creating a workplace community, you will feel more comfortable with the people around you, and as a result, much happier.

Avoid Negativity

There will always be that one (hopefully not more than one) colleague who is negative about everything. They will gossip, spread rumors, try to drive a wedge between their fellow co-workers, and bring everyone around them down.

As much as possible, try to avoid spending time with such people. They may be fun to be around when you want to complain about your job or the company, but in the long run, their negativity will affect you and you will become just like them.

To stay contented and happy at work, you need to have a positive attitude. The work may be hard, but you can revel in the challenge, and the fact that you have a stable income.

You don’t need to be around people who will make you feel like you shouldn’t be enjoying what you’re doing. Though you can’t avoid negative coworkers completely, you can limit the time you spend with them so your happiness isn’t affected.

Develop Your Own Skills

Your job takes up a great deal of your time, but it isn’t the only thing you’re doing. You will be learning a number of skills while at work, most of which will go back into making your job easier for you and your colleagues.

Work on skills that will benefit you as a person, not just your company. Always wanted to learn about logo design or about starting a non-profit? Take courses to learn more about these, even if they have nothing to do with your job.

By learning new skills, you expand your mind and give yourself new perspectives on the world around you.

Plus, the skills you learn may help you become a better worker or improve your existing abilities enough to move you into a higher position at work.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Start your day by creating your task list, or looking over the tasks you already have. If you need work on an event sponsorship proposal that is due the next day, that should be your priority, rather than a report that is due next week.

Don’t try and multi-task at all times. While managing multiple projects sounds like it will help you accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, what you will actually be doing is distracting yourself from completing anything to the best of your abilities.

If you can keep your digital publishing tool working in the background while you finish something else, that process still works because the publisher doesn’t need your complete attention. But ensure that you organize the tasks in a way that none of them doesn’t distract you from what you are trying to do in the here and now.

By creating a schedule of duties and focusing on one thing at a time, you will feel a sense of accomplishment when tasks are completed, which will increase your job satisfaction levels.

Take Breaks

Focusing on work 100% of the time isn’t possible. The human mind needs breaks, and so does the body. Just because you are at work doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck to your chair for the 8-9-hour duration working on your design guide.

Get up from your chair every half an hour. Walk around. Drink water. Get yourself a coffee at 11am. Speak to someone every couple of hours. Close your eyes for 30 seconds. Or move to another area of the office to work, if it’s possible.

Any kind of mental and physical break will rejuvenate your system and help you work more efficiently. It will also help decrease fatigue so you feel better about yourself and happier at work.

A Happy Workplace Leads to a Happier Life

When you get back home from work, remember to switch off from work life. Keep these two aspects of your life distinct from each other and you will be able to feel more contentment about your work-life balance.