We’ve been there before. You’ve hit that entry-level slump where time seems to slow down and boredom is on the rise. Maybe job duties become repetitive or insignificant, and you start playing the game of counting down until the end of the work day.
Starting at the bottom and working your way to the top can seem very dull and boring at first. At some points, your workspace may look more like a prison. You start thinking of things you’d rather be doing and consider treating your boss like the office governor and begging for a pardon. It doesn’t have to be that way. Working at your job doesn’t have to be a constant battle with your clock.
The truth is you can actually enjoy yourself while at work. Keeping a positive attitude will not only help you be more productive, but it can also reflect favorably on your managers when they see you inject some life into the workplace. Here are some ways you can add some pizzazz to your workday.
Trim Your To-Do List
Take a look at your to-do list. Do you really have to accomplish all of it in one day? Odds are, you’ve already scheduled too many things into your workday. This can really bring down your fun, because deep down, you know you probably won’t get to everything on the list. Go ahead, shave off a few of the items and give yourself some extra padding on your other projects.
Cutting back on your daily project list won’t make you less productive, but will give you the time to make your projects your own. Take the extra time to look at your tasks differently and try to innovate. Some of the best ideas can come out of the strangest places when you brainstorm and think outside of the box. You’ll end up having fun and can show your managers that you’re leadership material with your new ideas.
Look Forward to Something
As soon as you clock in for work, you might long for the warmth of your bed or the welcoming arms of your recliner. One of the biggest reasons workers dread getting up in the morning is that they don’t plan any fun activities for themselves throughout the day. You should utilize breaks, if you aren’t already, to inject fun. You may think that you don’t have time, but your productivity will improve in the long run. Having little things to look forward to during the day greatly speeds up the day and lightens the mood. Try spicing up your shift with breaks that include activities you really enjoy outside of your work area. Catch up on your favorite TV show or book, take a walk outside, work on an art project, put together a jigsaw puzzle, or anything else that makes you look forward to the next break.
You don’t even have to take breaks alone. Find some co-workers who share your interests and invite them to take a 15 minute break to play a short game, discuss events from last night’s TV show, share photography, or any other activities you share. You’ll have fun as the day goes on, and you’ll also be able to grow and foster working relationships and friendship with co-workers, which can help your teambuilding skills.
Bribe Your Co-Workers
One of the best ways to beat the boredom at work is to involve others in the fun. While some may enjoy seclusion, eventually it will get to you. Odds are, there are several other co-workers looking for fun and excitement in the workplace too. Don’t be the one hoping fun comes to you, be the one who creates the fun. Email your co-workers asking for a joke and offer the one who submits the funniest joke a cup of coffee, or surprise co-workers with breakfast like bagels or fruit trays. If food isn’t your specialty, try making a CD of your favorite music to give to your co-workers or craft a special gift tailored to each co-worker. Have fun with your ideas and use your imagination, but always check with your manager before using any of your ideas or the ones listed in this blog.
You can also have fun by changing your workload with other workers or departments. Get with your boss and ask to help out another department with a project. You’ll get to meet people you might not be familiar with, your work will be a little different, and you’ll grow your skills set to be a more rounded employee.
The daily grind doesn’t have to be full of doom and gloom. A few simple things can help turn your attitude and performance around. While “entry-level” sounds Latin for “enter boredom,” it references a place to help get you where you’d like to go. In order to get there, you should have a little fun along the way. What have you tried to put a little spice in your daily work routine?
This is the dumbest idea(s) I have ever heard. Are you serious?????
Sorry to hear that my ideas are the dumbest you’ve ever head. How about a challenge? Can you come up with your own ideas to make work more fun? I’d love to hear them!
Employers don’t want employees to have fun. They want your butt chained to the seat and you’re lucky if you even GET a break. In this economy, you’re probably doing the work of three people for the price of one. No wonder everyone is so grumpy and sick of their jobs. They’re friggin’ exhausted.
What makes you say that, Mabel? Sounds like you’ve been burned by your current employer. All employers aren’t like that, and it’s up to you to find a company culture that fits you.
Great article. 2 (a) thumbs up from me.
Honestly, work is not meant to be fun, that is why it is called work. A clean seperation between work and social life should be present at all times. Never bring your personal life to work and never bring your work life into your personal life. Those of us that are able to distinguish the difference, appreciate and respect them, are the ones who succeed not only in the work place but in life. A casual conversation with co-workers about the last episode of S.O.A or Dancing with the Stars during a brief break or during a lunch period seems almost automatic. I dont think I have ever met anyone who does not associate themself with their co-workers in some way, shape or form. Although your article had wonderful intentions, no owner of any company wants their employees chit chatting and “having fun” when there is money to be made and work to be done. In this economy, funds do not come as easily to pay employees. Those who work during breaks and lunchs and stay after hours, are the employees that keep their jobs. Simple.
Thanks for expressing your opinion, Luani. I wish careers and the economy were that simple, but it really isn’t. There are several accounts of people who have worked through breaks and after hours but still lost their jobs. Every situation is different and generalizing can limit how you see things. There are also many studies that show a staff that has fun leads to higher productivity. There are some employers who don’t believe in this, while others do. That’s why it’s up to you to find the employer that is the best match for you.
I don’t go to work to have fun, but I do try to make the work fun, have a good attitude and take my breaks that I am entitled to have, which takes the edge off.
I think you are correct about other workers are looking for some fun and your suggestions may or may not work depending on the particular office environment. It can’t hurt to at least try to have a little fun and stop stressing so much.
Very true, Debi. Work should be no. 1, but that doesn’t mean you cant have a little fun along the way. Work environments range drastically among employers. Many things in other places isn’t allowed here and vice versa. Just like the article says, always ask your manager for permission before trying ideas from this blog or your own. Thanks for stopping by, Debi!
I am one who believes that an individual should choose a profession that one take pleasure in doing. This I know from my own experience allows me a stress free life, because I don’t dred going to work. one must love what they do to have fun at work.
Absolutely, Estelle. You should always try to find a job and work environment that best fits you, but there’s always a chance to raise moral and get to know your co-workers better with a little fun and fellowship. Thanks for the comment, Estelle. I’m happy to hear you’ve found work that is fulfilling and enjoyable. How did you find out about it? What makes it so gratifying?
I like these ideas – I think work should definitely be FUN – I start a new job next Monday and I find that I am more productive when I am having fun 🙂
Congrats, MJ!!! I’m so excited to hear about your new job! How did you come across it? How did you prepare? What was the process like? I’d love to hear your story!
And yes, I’m much more productive when I’m having fun at work, too.