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A Deceptively Simple Way to Find More Happiness at Work

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

You don’t need to change everything about your job to see major benefits. A few changes here and there can be all you need.


Do you like what you do?

Now, I don’t mean that in the broad sense of wondering whether you’re on the right career path. I mean on a day-to-day basis, if you thought about every single task your job entails, could you name the parts that give you genuine joy? What about the tasks you hate?

It’s an odd question. We don’t often step back to ask whether the small, individual components of our job actually make us happy.

But maybe we should. As many as a third of U.S. workers say they don’t feel engaged at work. The reasons vary widely, and everyone’s relationship with work is unique. But there are small ways to improve any job, and those incremental improvements can add up to major increases in job satisfaction.



A study from the Mayo Clinic

found that physicians who spend about 20 percent of their time doing “work they find most meaningful are at dramatically lower risk for burnout.” But here’s what’s fascinating: Anything beyond that 20 percent has a marginal impact, as “spending 50 percent of your time in the most meaningful area is associated with similar rates of burnout as 20 percent.”

In other words: You don’t need to change everything about your job to see substantial benefits. A few changes here and there can be all you need.

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