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Some days are difficult; some are great. This is true whether you love your job or not. Perhaps you had to make some difficult decisions, or maybe you did not have the winning bid for the client you had been working so hard to land. It is exceedingly challenging to feel fulfilled when you have these stresses and frustrations. This is why you should approach the end of your day with intention the same way you start your day with a plan. 

 

Here are some things you might do to cultivate intention:

Run through your achievements. Taking just five minutes to review what you accomplished in the workday is a powerful habit. By reflecting on your daily wins, you develop your confidence and reflect on your strengths. If you felt like you did not have a productive day, looking back on what you made happen can help provide a feel-good boost to carry you into your evening or weekend. Even if you did not check off all the items on your to-do list, give yourself credit for showing up and what you did accomplish. Do not dwell on those items you still need to get done.

Do some prep for the next workday. Before you end your workday, spend a few minutes writing out the tasks and goals you would like to accomplish next. Take the time to prepare for upcoming meetings and deadlines. By simply recognizing what you need to do next, you can reduce your mental burden. You no longer must lose sleep mulling over what you need to do because you have already noted the essential projects and meetings coming up next. 

Tidy up your space. Whether you are working at home or in the office, keeping a clean workspace can help you end the workday happily. When organizing your files, wash those coffee cups that may have accumulated and tidy up the things on your desk; this is like tying up the loose ends of your day. When your space is clean, you will not end the day feeling like you have forgotten something. 

Schedule things you enjoy. Shawn Achor notes that happiness does not just come to you–-you must invest the effort to find happiness. This means making time to do things that make you happy, whether that is penciling in a phone call with a friend or unwinding with 30 minutes of yoga at the end of the day. It is a choice to be happy or miserable. When you know you have something enjoyable to look forward to, you bring happiness into your life before you do the thing that sparks joy. 

“When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it.”  — Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work

 

Do not let difficult days at work derail you. There are challenges for all of us every day. You have control over how you think about your day and how you prepare for the next one. Use the tips above to infuse more positivity into your days, no matter what your workday looked like–and thrive.