Finding more joy in your work

Most of us could probably stand to find more pleasure in what we do. Jonas Altman is the author of Shapers, a book that focuses on rethinking how we work. He taps into the idea of job crafting to outline three simple approaches.
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Looking at how you view yourself as you move through the world.

‘The world of work is unique to each person – you get the choice to reframe it in your brain. Do you enjoy what you do? Does it give you energy? A friend of mine has started doing weekly meetings with herself. She asks herself: "what did I do and what happened this week? How am I feeling and what did I learn? What am I currently thinking about?" Those are her rituals to cognitively craft. A lot of people practise mindfulness, a writing practice, yoga or breathwork to get that sense of clarity.’ 


Looking at the relationships you have at work. 

‘Your relationships at work can determine the quality of your life and your engagement. Studies show that having a best friend at work makes all the difference. If you don’t have one, be open to ‘digital donuts’ – meetings with people with similar attitudes or values to you that aren’t formal. I often turn my camera off and go for a walk and jam. 

‘The other area is bosses. If you have a shitty or overbearing boss, they can destroy most of the meaning we have at work. So set boundaries. Instead of having a lot of communication, look at what form of communication works best and mitigate it or so that you don't have to pretend that you like them, so long as you're getting great work done and staying aligned with the company's mission. That tension doesn't have to be a negative thing – it can actually be a creative superpower.’


Looking at the activities that make up your working life. 

‘Meetings, calendar invites, emails, to-do lists. These days, those are a lot of people's work activities – which can harm your view of what you actually do. My hack for that is to set two, and only two, priorities for the day. When I show up in the mornings to get moving, I ‘cascade’ between the two as my mood dictates. Eliminate any distractions before jumping in – and respond to the world only after you’ve made headway.’

A version of this article was published in the Courier Weekly newsletter. For more useful stories, tips, tricks and simply good advice, sign up here.

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