Research shows that time spent at work takes up approximately a third of our lives. That’s a huge amount of time, so you’re going to want to enjoy it while you’re there! Most of us get so bogged down with day to day mundane tasks and horrible budget meetings that we easily forget why we applied for the role in the first place and what we can get out of it. Some of my tips are relatively obvious, others less so. Here are a few pointers on how to make your working day just that little bit better:
Make some physical changes
Physical changes to your work environment can make a massive difference to your level of wellbeing at work. If you have a messy desk, use a quiet afternoon in the week to tidy and clean it. Get a plant, photo or decoration for your desk. File all those odd bits of paper or throw them away. All of these little touches can make your work environment feel like it’s yours. After all, work is almost your second home, so you want to feel at home there, right? Make sure your chair is comfortable and any monitors you have are at a suitable height so you’re not straining your neck and shoulders.
If you stay chained to your desk day in, day out then you’re going to go mad. Humans need a change of environment every now and then to be able to be productive. Go out on your lunch break, even if it’s for a quick walk. Eat your lunch somewhere else besides your desk! If you have the option, it’s a good idea to work from home occasionally. The changes in your environment can make your working life a lot easier and more enjoyable.
If there’s an event coming up, ask if you can go along to it. Not only will you exercise your networking skills but you’ll also have a day away from the norm.
Have some sound
Does your workplace either go completely silent or does it have a constant buzz of noise? If you’re able to, listen to some music. It can refocus your mind from distractions as well as unbearable silence.
Okay, so the workplace isn’t the place to make your friends for life (some of them are!) But humans are social creatures and we need to interact with others every now and then. Take some time to get to know a colleague you don’t usually speak to. Take a break away from your screens and desks and go for a quick chat with someone new. Breaks are really important and there’s no point in taking a break from one screen, only to replace it with another; so leave your phone alone! Another element of socialising is to try and stay out of office gossip. There may be an element of comradery in it, but in the long run it only ends up in unnecessary drama and could get you in more trouble than you think.
Have some perspective
This tip isn’t going to make work more ‘fun’ or ‘enjoyable’ but it’ll help you get more out of your job than you may be getting right now. Why did you apply for this job? Was it just for the money and location, or is it because of the new challenges it presented? Do you love the industry? If you’re feeling as if you’ve stopped enjoying work as much as you used to, this is completely normal (honeymoon periods end for everyone), however you may need to gain a little perspective on why you applied in the first place. Are you getting everything you wanted when you applied? If not, maybe you need to try and jig your responsibilities around a little. It’s common for us to get bogged down with day to day things and forget why we’re actually here.
Plan what you want to achieve in the day or week and make sure you try and stick to it as much as possible. Be realistic and set your expectations. Try and beat them if you can – then you’ll feel a lot better about your working day and what you’ve managed to accomplish! Make a list of tasks you want to accomplish before you leave work for the day. That way, you can switch off the minute you leave work, knowing what you need to get working on when you return.
Keep snacks around you
Hunger is the worst when you’re trying to focus on something. If you can, keep some cereal bars, nuts or fruit around your work area. If you have something you can nibble on between meals, it will make you more productive and you’ll enjoy your job more. As well as this, if you’re dehydrated you won’t be able to focus properly. Keep drinking water every hour.
Have something to look forward to
If you’ve been looking at firing up a big project, do it! If you have something you’re looking to achieve that will be fantastic for your career, you’ll have something to work towards – making you more motivated.
Outside of work, book a trip away or book tickets to an event such as a concert or show. Having something to look forwards to makes you realise that there are other things in life other than work.
There are so many different things you can do to change up the daily grind. Hopefully some of these tips will get you enjoying work just that litter bit more each day.