It happens to everyone, including people who claim to have their “dream job” and those whose job titles rival secret agent or rocket scientist. None of us escape the work doldrums. Here are five ways to refresh and reset your workday world.
1. Update your physical work space.
As you go through a typical work day, pay close attention to what’s bugging you about your space. As soon as you notice something, write it down – even if it’s a minor annoyance. You can prioritize later. Are those seldom-used files crammed into a corner of your desk distracting you? Do you find yourself yet again needing to move the stapler or keyboard out of your way? Keep a running list for a week. Then make changes as needed. Fixing even the slightest irritations in your work space can really boost your overall mood. More ideas: How to Organize Your Office for Maximum Productivity.
2. Update how you spend your personal time.
We spend a considerable amount of our life at work, in transit to and from work, getting ready for work, and thinking about work. No wonder our personal time can seem so fleeting! Regain some control. Review and revise (or begin using) uplifting morning rituals and relaxing evening rituals. What brings you enjoyment? Reading a bit of fiction, savoring that first cup of coffee while watching a video on YouTube, indulging in your hobbies… whatever gives you something to look forward to will have you feeling you’re using your time wisely.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
3. Update how you spend your break time and lunch time.
What do you typically do during break and lunch? Change it up! Boredom often underlies unhappiness at our job. Plan one day a week for something different during your lunch time. Make small improvements to how you spend your break time. Find what’s fun and discover what re-charges you – body, mind, spirit. Check out 51 Things to Do When You Need a Break at Work for inspiration.
4. Update your approach toward colleagues.
Many of us spend more time with our co-workers than anyone else. Just like family and friends, our colleagues can sometimes drive us crazy. It can be easy to unintentionally hold a grudge against a co-worker. A knee-jerk reaction to a comment can quickly generate a simmering resentment. Is it time to look anew at a colleague who’s somehow offended you?
5. Update your approach toward your work.
Job feeling predictable, tedious, repetitive? Look for things to learn. Ask for additional duties. Investigate tasks or projects – small to large – that will switch your focus and force you to think differently. Feeling ho-hum about work stems from a sense of powerlessness. Change how you think about your job. Instead of considering yourself an employee, try envisioning yourself as an “intrapreneur,” behaving like an entrepreneur while working within your organization. Finally, make a list of the daily tasks you enjoy the most, and ask for more of those types of duties.
The more you’re willing to shake up your daily work life and try new things, the faster you’ll shake off those dreaded work doldrums.