Lately, and for the first time in at least a few years, work has had me at a desk, in an office without much chance to get out for fresh air, a stretch of my legs or anything in the way of getting refreshed and energised. Suffice to say that the term “work slog” or “groundhog day” come to mind.
I’ve been trying and testing all the different ways that distract me from the office biscuits and help lift me out, and elevate my spirits from the work funk that I may have found myself in.
1. SCREEN TIMEOUT
Leaving my screen work for 10 minutes or so is possible is the only reason I don’t have square eyes right now. I spend all my time at work, behind a desk working on the rest of the operation, and keeping other staff as and where they should be.
The lighting on your screen, as it is not natural, can lead your brain into a dark place and your eye to start examining the backs of the eyelids if you don’t get up and give it up for a little bit.
2. KEEPING YOUR DESK/WORK SPACE CLEAN AND TIDY
Simple things like working in an area or on a desk that feels nice to be in/at makes all the difference. Make it personal, give it the aesthetic that you would like to influence your work. The more things that you have around you and going on, the more you have to be distracted by, therefore potentially sacrificing the amount of work you get done, but also the quality of your work.
3. FRESH AIR
When you can, just freshen yourself a little bit by getting some fresh air. Open a window at the very least. Certainly for me, I’m found myself with the heaters on full and I’m sat behind a desk with no fresh air around me for much too long throughout the day, if not all day! Not only is this really bad for your skin, to just be drying out, at some point, I feel like it starts to dry out your mind and zap all of your work energy because we just get to be too comfortable, and for anyone else doing a minimum of 12 hours a day, you’ll be with me in saying that it’s all too easy to get sleepy. Get some air, take 10 minutes to stand outside, or open a window and be as near to that as you can be.
Get up! Shake it off! Move around and wake yourself up again.
I remember reading an article a while back about a lady who struggled with either squats or lunges, and she would take herself to the service stairway at work every day and bit by bit she built up the amount that she could do. Before she knew it , not only had she mastered the move, she was losing weight, and feeling lost in her day if she didn’t take the time to complete the exercise. This was just from taking a few minutes a day and hiding away to get a break from being at her desk. Why shouldn’t this work for the rest of us too? I know I certainly make the most of an empty office, using the tables for either tricep dips or inverted pushups. I have also been known to bear crawl up and down the office when no one is there to see me, but shhh….
Maybe offer to do a coffee run and walk to the cafe, what a perfect way to get out for a little bit.
Keep a list of your goal achievements to hand. Have them listed realistically and in a place that you can regularly see them. Let this encourage you to keep going, to push through and to reach each of them in turn. Visualising the future is such an effective drive, it keeps you focused, and reminds you that you’re doing what you’re doing for a reason. Having a goal for the end of the day is also a nice motivator to get that far, you may find it more of a push if you change your end of the day goal to a reward so that you can only have it if you complete the tasks you have to get through.
6. CHANGE THE CONVERSATION
If your day is just really mundane and you’re flagging, not getting anywhere.
Change the pace by changing the conversation. Speak to your colleagues about something, anything but work. Discuss your goals with them, that’s a huge motivator!
“Man, I’m really hoping that by the next quarter I’ll be able to book XXX holiday. Have you got any holidays planned?”
7. EAT THE FROG
No, not literally. It means to get the worst things out of the way first thing in the morning. Doesn’t that make a difference to the rest of your day? Knowing that the worst is over? It’s like when you get to the end of Monday and you can honestly say that at least you haven’t got a full week still to get through. Get everything you don’t want to do, free yourself up in knowing that you’ve got the job done first so that you can sit back and relax at lunch. B R E A T H
8. STAY HEALTHY
Keeping only healthy, fresh when possible snacks/lunch at work means fueling your body on foods that will actually benefit your mind and body. No one likes the sluggish feeling left over from heavy, fatty, or greasy foods, so why would you put them into your body? This isn’t saying that you should all meal prep, because let’s be honest, how many of us actually have tupperware with lids that fit? Just by keeping a couple of zesty oranges, maybe some celery and hummus, and a big old bottle of water to hand makes all the difference. How satisfying to know that even if thats all the healthy foods that you eat that day, at least you’ve given your body something good.
Try these things next time you’re in a work funk and let me know how you get on! What tips do you have to break the mundane and make it easier at work?
*All images from Tumblr.