Have you ever had one of those days where time just seems to stand still? No matter how often you look at the clock, the minutes seem to barely pass and you are bored, bored, BORED.
If you work in an office, the answer is most likely a resounding YES! It may not be every day, or even most days, but some days the time just moves slower than molasses in the winter time. And it is freakin’ dreadful trying to get through those days.
Well, lucky for you, I had a few too many of those days in my first job. And now, I have a few tips to help you speed up a sluggish workday:
- Use Your Time Wisely
The commute to work can be an energy zapper. You wake up feeling on top of the world, but after thirty minutes of being cramped up in your car or on a hot train, you become tired. Use that half hour wisely. You could answer phone calls, listen to an audio book, learn a new language — anything to keep your mind stimulated!
- Take a Healthy Mid-Morning Break
When it’s time to take a break, avoid reaching for big sticky cakes and heaping spoons of sugar in your coffee. While the sugar will keep you energized for a while, it won’t be long before you crash and find yourself counting down the seconds to lunchtime. Simple carbohydrates burn off fast, so replace them with lighter alternatives such as chocolate raisins or apple slices with peanut butter. Now your energy levels and hunger can remain stable.
- Change Your Ambiance
If you experience symptoms of tiredness even when your mind is focused on a task, you may want to take a look at your surroundings. Perhaps the office is dimly lit, the windows are small or the room is dark even on the sunniest of days. Let in some energizing light of your own by adding some big bright pictures, personal photos and flowers. You could even re-arrange the furniture. Now you can enjoy your little corner of the world.
- Give Your Eyes a Break
Do your eyes feel heavy throughout the day? Hardly surprising if those little peepers are focused straight onto a computer screen for hours on end. Give them a break by looking at different objects for a few seconds. Glance up at the ceiling, the floor, that picture to your left, that vase of flowers to the right…anything that’s not digital! It’s said that you should stare at something twenty feet away for twenty seconds every twenty minutes to avoid damage to your eyes.
- Get Some Fresh Air
Don’t stay trapped in your cubicle all day long. Drag yourself up from the chair and take a fifteen minute walk. The day flows better when you take time to stop and smell the roses. Take in a good healthy surge of invigorating fresh air. You’ll certainly notice an increase in productivity when you have blown away a few cobwebs!
- Crank up the Music
Nothing can lift your spirits better than an upbeat tune. If you find boredom creeping in, slip on the headphones and blast out one of your favorite tracks. If you’re lucky enough to have a private office, dance it out!
- Have a Laugh
Laughter is a quick way to brighten the day. Those little moments when you smile at someone or share a joke with a colleague are instant happiness boosters. So go ahead, watch that funny cat video! Play a practical joke on your co-worker – just make it harmless and keep humor workplace friendly!
- Spread Happiness and Positivity
Yes, spread the joy because happiness attracts happiness. Take an interest in your fellow workers and factor in some time during the day to get to know them. How did Jane’s presentation go? Talk about the weather or compliment a fellow team member on a new outfit. You could even leave sticky notes on colleague’s desks with notes like “You’re awesome!” or “Way to crush that presentation!”
- Add Inspiration to Your Desk
Try something different to add creativity to your space. A pet rock from your son or daughter might be a good reminder of why you’re working so hard. A miniature sand garden might help you stay calm and relaxed. A funny poster might be just the motivation you need to get through the day. Whatever your style, find something that’s meaningful and inspiring to you.
- Plan Activities Outside of Work
Make sure you have something to look forward to outside of the office. It could be a weekend away, a nice glass of wine when you return home, a television program or an evening with friends. Dangle this motivation in front of you like a carrot all day long and the hours will fly by.
- Get Moving!
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that sitting can kill you. I’m sure you’ve also heard the little secret that exercise is good for you. So, why are you still sitting for 8-9 hours a day? Get up, and get moving already! It’s shown that breaks can keep you focused (and less bored), and can even help you retain information better. Make that break a walking break and you’ll have even more energy to get through the day.
- Set Personal Challenges
When you set up individual goals to complete each day, your productivity and overall vibe will improve. Instead of dreading your inbox, especially on a Monday morning when it’s swamped with correspondence demanding your attention, challenge yourself to become organized or rethink your processing. Make it your goal to get through a set number of emails by lunch, and plan to reward yourself with an extra five-minute break if you do. You will find you can whizz your way through the mail in minutes when there’s an incentive involved.
Boredom is a case of mind over matter: If you notice it creeping in, don’t waste another second indulging it. Use every moment wisely and life will become exciting and productive — naturally!