At Slingshot Group we are driven to help people love their work. But we’re not the only ones talking about it. Just google “love your work” and you’ll find tons of articles about how to find more joy in the workplace. Things like finding your sweet-spot, working with people you like, and doing work that is meaningful. But what about those things that are what I call, “joybusters?” Those things that actually suck the joy right out of you and leave you hating your job.
Here are five things that I consider the top “joy busters” in the workplace. But here’s the thing– they have little to do with others’ behavior and everything to do with you.
Joybuster #1: Procrastination. Putting things off until the last minute only produces stress. Stress creates tension, and tension produces irritability.
Solution: Create a plan and work the plan. Don’t just think about the task itself; think about the best process to accomplish the task. A good product in spite of a bad process usually comes at the expense of good people.
Joybuster #2: Messy workspace: Not everyone is a neat freak. But you don’t have to be a neat freak to appreciate a clean and organized work environment. We all know that elated feeling when we walk into our personal spaces that have just been de-cluttered and cleaned.
Solution: Determine that you will spend at least one hour a week to invest in your work environment. Maybe that’s adopting a live plant, painting a wall, calling the carpet cleaners, cleaning the mirror, or re-arranging the furnishings. Your environment matters.
Joybuster #3: Personal neglect: It’s nearly impossible to feel joyful in any situation, especially at work, if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. We get tired, hungry, sick, and negative when we neglect taking care of ourselves.
Solution: Take responsibility for your lifestyle choices. Start by becoming more disciplined. To be the best version of yourself you must invest in your whole being… mind, body, soul, and spirit. By taking time every day to care for yourself, you will soon find a renewed energy, a natural smile, and a greater capacity to love others.
Joybuster #4: Lack of skill: Though you may be working at your dream job that lines up perfectly with your passion, calling and gifting, without the skill to do your job well you will be frustrated and easily stressed out. Lack of skill can cost you time on the job, the results you (and others) are expecting, and the fulfillment that you desire at the end of a workday.
Solution: Always be learning. Be aggressive when it comes to mastering the skills that it takes to successfully do your job. If technology isn’t your friend, take a class. If skills are getting rusty, don’t neglect practice. Never underestimate your potential to grow into your talent by mastering the skills that allow for your greatest contribution.
Joybuster #5: Unresolved conflict: This is a sneaky one. At the risk of being uncomfortable in a disagreement, it’s easy to just sweep conflicts under the rug and pretend they don’t exist. As unresolved conflicts build up over time, they foster a toxic wasteland of relationships where dishonesty, distrust, and resentment prevail.
Solution: Learn the art of confrontation. Value people enough to speak the truth in love immediately. Take responsibility for your behavior. Take the initiative to resolve the issues in a constructive, honoring way. Though it could be incredibly hard work for you, the freedom that results from talking through conflict to the point of mutual resolution will eventually release the joy inside of you.
Life is short. And statistics show that the average person will spend 35% of their waking hours over a 50-year working life. So why not do all you can to live the best life possible, where you can genuinely experience “workjoy” as a natural part of your workday?