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Three Ways to Add More Joy to your Work Day

One of the biggest rebuttals I get when I’m talking to people about Joy and how to add more of it into their lives, is “I don’t have time for more!” What if I told you that you don’t need more time in order to feel more joyous?

But let me back up a bit, because I already sense that the word Joy has lost you. I hear you thinking, What’s the big deal with Joy, anyways? Why does it matter? Honestly, it only matters to people who want to be successful. And lead fulfilling lives.

I don’t blame you if you think that Joy is frivolous or unnecessary. We’ve been programmed to think that way. At some point, when we’re around ten, we desperately want to “grow up” and we get all serious and throw away all of our rainbow t-shirts and glitter pens. For some completely mysterious reason, someone decided that boring was synonymous with serious – and success.

Young woman sitting at a table, alone, resting head in hands, looking bored.

Seriously, everything in a grown up world is beige. Or maybe grey, which is the edgy, modern version of beige. There’s no colour and there’s no creativity.

There’s no sign of nature, there’s no sound (Muzak doesn’t count), and there are no surprises. Everything is plain and predictable.

And we’ve accepted it!

Yet still we wonder why our lives are plain and predictable and the best answer we can come up with when someone asks how we are is “busy”.

Let me share a bit of a story. I lived in Indonesia for 3 years. My son was born there, too, but that’s a different story. If you’re unfamiliar, Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia made up of of a string of about 17000 islands which run between Singapore and Australia. One of those islands is Bali. You’ve probably heard of Bali. Maybe you’ve been there. Bali has a reputation for being ah-mazing, even within Indonesia. The whole country is fantastic, but there are a couple of things that set Bali apart. Firstly, the people there are Hindu, so they have beautiful rituals. But then there’s this: if you ask anyone in the rest of Indonesia how they are, they’ll say “good”. Like how we always say we’re fine (if we’re not busy). But in Bali, when you ask someone how they are, they will always say, “great”. And that, my friends, is what joy looks like.

2 female Balinese dancers

But what’s my point? My point is that when we experience joy regularly, we go from feeling fine/good/busy to feeling great. And – here’s the kicker – when we feel great, we make better decisions, we inspire action, and we build better lives, which leads to even more joy, abundance, and success.

So, let’s create more joy!

And let’s put it in our work space, since that’s where we spend a lot of our time. (And, yes, you’ll have the time to do these things, if you choose to.)

1. Colour

As I said before, everything in our serious, adult world tends to be drab or muted: beige, grey, maybe navy blue. Do you know there’s a word for the fear of colour? It’s Chromophobia. And most adults have it. So, to make your space more joyful, try adding bright colours. You don’t have to paint your office walls neon orange but throwing in some colour can help you and your space feel more lively.

  • Wall art – get a wall calendar with brightly coloured pages or artwork. Or ask your kids to colour or paint a picture. Then frame it and put it on the wall. It will add colour and make your kids feel great, too!
  • Flowers – you get the double whammy of adding colour, plus a touch of nature, which is good for our mental health as well as upping our joy factor.
  • Office supplies – get brightly coloured office supplies, like post-it notes and paper clips. Get a fun shaped tape dispenser. Bring back those glitter pens (or at least use coloured ink if you don’t want the glitter).
teal paperclips on pink background

2. Light

Over the past decade or so, we’ve become more aware of the importance of light in our work environments. While adding more windows and natural lighting options is great, there’s a little more to it if we want to use light to feel joyful.

  • Fairy lights – they’re not just for Christmas! I have them up year round all over my house, and have blue dragonfly fairy lights (of course) in my office. For an added bonus, hang them up near the ceiling to attract your gaze upward, which helps us to feel more expansive.
  • Mirrors – they reflect light and help the space feel bigger and brighter. But get creative! I have a mini disco ball in my office. You can also hang a decorative prism in the window, which will send rainbows all over your room when the light hits it just right. Tinsel, glitter, and sequins do the same sort of thing, so work those into your décor as well.
disco ball

3. Celebration

You can do all you want to make your office look good, but that means little if it doesn’t feel good. The drudgery of day-to-day work can suck the life out of your office and you! One of the best ways to boost the energy in your office is to celebrate! I’m not talking caviar and champagne every day – unless that’s your thing and then, by all means, do that – but more about the feeling that goes with celebrating.

  • Celebrate all the things, big and small. Whether it’s meeting a deadline or signing a new client, every success deserves to be celebrated.
  • Have a celebration ritual, so that you know how to celebrate when the good things happen. We have a terrible habit of not acknowledging our successes, and part of that is not knowing how. By having a plan, we remove that obstacle. Your ritual could be:
    • putting on a song you love and doing a happy dance
    • throwing confetti
    • going out for dinner
    • writing it down
    • lighting a designated success candle
    • putting a thing (rhinestone, paperclip, etc.) in a jar and watching the jar fill up over time
  • Make sure that your celebrations are immediate. If we put them off, we tend to forget to do them. They don’t need to take a lot of time or effort, they just need to happen.
  • Celebrate with someone else. If you have a team, call them together for a group happy dance or hug. If you’re a solopreneur, text your partner or best friend to share your success. (If you feel like you don’t have someone to celebrate with, message me!)
sign saying "yeah!" on brightly coloured confetti background

I could go on and on here about ways to bring more joy to your work day and work space, but I won’t. This little list should keep you busy enough for a while. As you can see, most of these suggestions really won’t take much extra time or add any more to-do’s to your list. There are millions of little things we can have and do to create more joy every day. It really only takes a tiny bit of effort, and the results are exponential.

What will you do today to bring more joy to your work day?

First published on Mompreneur – Canada’s Business Resource For Women