Written by Hadar Naftalovich

As many of us return from a (hopefully) pleasant summer, we arrive just in time for the usual hustle and bustle of the back to school period. Not only do children have increasingly busier schedules, but adults are also faced with heavier workloads. If this time of year feels daunting, how can you look forward to the hectic routine that seems synonymous with fall? How do we make our obligations things we want to do as opposed to things we must do?

Taking some tips from what researchers term “the happiness advantage” can help you do just that.

While popular culture may teach that success (financial, social, or otherwise) leads to happiness, scientific evidence suggests that the very opposite is true. In fact it is happiness, which often leads to success! Happiness brings with it motivation, efficiency, and creativity, making it in everyone’s best interest to have happy workers and an upbeat work environment.

Is there an aspect of your job that you especially like? Is there something outside of work that you enjoy? Perhaps something you’ve been meaning to do but don’t seem to have the time for? One key strategy is to make sure that there is at least one item on your list that you are truly looking forward to doing.

Take a minute now to consider your workday. Is there an aspect of your job you would like to do more of? Great! To the extent possible, make plans to increase the amount of time you spend on that task. Conversely, is using the word “enjoyment” in the same sentence as “work” a foreign concept to you? If so, remember that one’s mindset is an important aspect to the happiness advantage. Hate those Monday morning meetings? Challenge yourself to find at least one opportunity or good thing in each meeting. Have some downtime on the stressful ride from school to work? Buy yourself an audio version of the books on your bedside table, or make yourself a playlist of the music you love but never have time to listen to, and press “play” during your morning commute. Now your dreary time on the bus or train will have at least one positive aspect to it – the day already seems brighter!

Summer is over, but it doesn’t have to end just yet. Make time for day-to-day “vacations” and your happiness will help you succeed!

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