Simple Ways To Change Your Mindset At Work (Part One)

Dear, Entreprenistas. Developing a negative mindset at work can be a raw deal, but it is also part of having a career and being a professional. Whether you love or hate your current job (or profession), know that it is normal to feel super ‘put out’ and discouraged by your work environment from time to time. There, I said it; you can breathe a sigh of relief. You are in fact normal for not LOVING every minute of your job. PS anyone who says they do LOVE every minute is, in my humble opinion, a big fat liar. Just kidding; not really. 😉

The question is, how do you work through a negative mindset so that you can enjoy your day-to-day and feel rewarded by the work you are doing? It's a tough question to answer because often, in my experience, a not-so-awesome mindset (aka professional-funk) develops from feeling hopeless and feeling that you have an inability to change a person, people or situation. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck. More importantly, it doesn’t mean that you must change careers or quit your job. Woohoo! 👏

Sometimes the most straightforward solutions are the most profound in what they produce. In the case of changing your mindset from a negative ball of ickiness to a positive bubble of happiness, I feel a simple approach is best. Here are what I consider the most reliable and simple ways to change your mindset at work.

PS once I started writing this blog, I realized how much I wanted to share with all of you Entreprenistas out there! Therefore I’ve split this into three parts. When you’re done reading part-one, read part-two here!

Change your work mindset from negative to positive!

Find the Zen.


Change Your Routine

Getting into a routine with your job is inevitable and can be very comforting and helpful. Just like a five-year-old gets upset when their nap schedule is screwed up, us adults tend to get grumpy when we don’t have a routine in place for day-to-day tasks. That said, if you’re an Entreprenista like me, you know that routines can also become boring and monotonous. Maybe it’s because two freedom-loving, hippie-hearted parents raised me. Or, perhaps it's because my restless nature has turned me into the serial entrepreneur I am today, but without fail, I always start to develop a negative mindset at work (and at home) if I’ve been doing the same thing in the same way for too long. Does that sound familiar? If it does, read on. If not, skip to the next tip! 👇

So, if you’re feeling down because you’re stuck in an office at a desk doing the same thing every workday, change it up! Maybe switch your morning tasks with your afternoon ones. Maybe change the days you have regular status meetings, or change the time of day that you have regular meetings. Maybe break your working cycle, get up every twenty minutes or so and walk to another floor so you can get a change of scenery. Side note: There’s plenty of solid research out there about taking short breaks every 90 minutes. Read this Huffington Post article for more.

If you have a flexible work environment, get out of your office! Whether your office is in your house or a traditional office building, go work at a coffee shop or in a park a couple of times a week. Just changing your routine a little bit can make all the difference in reinvigorating your passion for your profession.

Kindly, Stand Your Ground

If your work routine is not the issue, maybe it’s a dynamic that’s developed between you and your boss, a coworker, a client or some other member of your team. I’ll be honest, nothing gets me down more than feeling like there’s friction with someone I encounter regularly, or that I am not being treated respectfully, being taken advantage of, or just plain caught up in some catty office BS. Can I get an AMEN! 🙋

The times I have felt the most discouraged in the office or with my job have been because of a weird situation with another human at work. That’s just me, but I bet there are a few of you out there who sympathize and have the same issue. So what do you do?

Scenario One: Chatty Cathy

The age-old issue of dealing with a ‘Chatty Cathy’ in the office is alive and well. Moreover, nothing is more distracting and offsetting than dealing with a colleague who won't give you space to work! If you feel close to the person you are having the issue with, my feeling is that ‘kind-honesty’ is the best policy. Being honest does not mean that you should go up to your work-friend Cathy and say, ‘Hey Cathy! When you stop by my cubicle every hour and want to chat about your problems with your husband, I can’t get any work done, and it’s super annoying. Please stop!’ As you can imagine, this approach will hurt Cathy’s feelings and dump you in HR’s office faster than you can say ‘hot tamale’! What you can do is take Cathy to coffee, or the break room and in a casual way say, ‘Hey, Cathy. You know me, and you know I’m super weird about my work time--I know, it’s obsessive! {insert laugh from you and Cathy} Do you think we can limit our convos about the weekend to lunchtime and happy hour after work? I’ve just been slammed and really want to give you the attention you deserve!’ Sounds a little easier to swallow, right?

Scenario Two: The Nitpicker

Maybe a coworker is not the issue. Perhaps it's the daily demands from your boss, who doesn’t get all the things you have on your plate, or a super needy client who makes you feel like your work is just never quite good enough. If a Nitpicker is an issue, it will wear your motivation and inner spirit down over time. I’ve been there, and it’s a b*%ch. Here’s the deal. Nitpickers like to pick at their team, or vendors, or indeed anyone else, just for the sake of doing it. They don’t have a good reason most of the time, so get out of your head right now that you’ll be able to win them over if you ‘just work harder.’ I’ve worked with and for a few of these personality types and the ‘work harder model’ does not work on them (no pun intended 😜). In my experience, here’s what’s been effective in handling a nitpicker.

First, you will need to establish boundaries. Meaning that when you get an assignment from this person, you immediately set clear parameters on when it’s due, what the expectations are, and how you are expected to get it done. Second, you will need to refer back to these project-guideline agreements many times throughout your project or task. For example, the Nitpicky boss comes to you and complains about the timeline not being on track. An accusation like this presents the perfect moment to remind them that you both agreed to a timeline change due to a, b, and c variables. So, therefore, there is nothing to worry about--the timeline is on track. Hooray! Third, at any time in a project or conversation where you feel that there is going to be an issue, I highly recommend that you find a way to say, ‘I need more guidance or clarification.’ Alternatively, you can say, ‘In the past, I have not seemed to get a handle on your expectations, can you clarify this part?’ Or you may say, ‘Can you please clarify a, b, or c for me a bit more so that I can be sure I am producing the results you are hoping to achieve?’ It’s possible this question alone will end the conversation, because it may be that your boss (or client) doesn’t even know what they want. It’s also possible that you’ll get the exact information you need and be able to slay your boss with results...enter opportunity for you to prove your worth! 👊

Scenario Three: The Bandwagon-er

We all have a friend like this. It’s someone who seems superhuman in their ability to play at work and still get stuff done. The bandwagoner is a person who always invites you out to lunch, or drinks, or any number of other gallivanting adventures, and you go...because well, the bandwagoner is fun and engaging. However, afterward, you end up feeling behind schedule, resentful and wishing you would’ve stayed in the office and kept working so that you’re not stuck all night when you could’ve been out with your friends, or home with your family. It’s a little bit trickier handling a person who likes to pull others into their bandwagon. Mostly because, for some, it’s hard to say no. But don't fret, this is your daily dose of tough love. The solution is to say 'no, thank you,' plain and simple! Maybe take a weekend to figure out how often during the week you can allow yourself to get pulled into unexpected adventures with your friendly work bandwagoner...maybe you decide you can be available for one lunch a week, maybe more, maybe less. Whatever you decide, stick with it! You’ll feel better, and I promise your friend will be able to find someone else to go to lunch with her/him. Problem solved. 😅

You have reached the end of part one of the ‘Mindset Series,’ I know! Hard to stop now. Read part two here.

Let me know what other creative ways you’ve learned to change your mindset at work! Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Have a guest blog you’re dying to share with our Entreprenista Tribe? Get in touch with me here!


EM 💜