Your boss might not want to hear it, but let’s face it– work can get real boring, real fast. When things get slow, you find yourself checking the time every five minutes. This makes for a long day.
Here are 10 ways to distract yourself from a long, boring day of work.
1. Set a New Goal
This can include many things. For example, you can set a goal related to work, or you can just set a general goal.
Maybe you want to form better connections with your coworkers. You can call them up and thank them for their hard work, or plan to bring in cookies the next day. Maybe you want to fit a little more activity into your desk job– you could plan to stand up and take a little walk once an hour.
Having a goal gives you something else to focus on when the day drags on.
2. Always Keep a Book or Journal
I make a point to always have a novel to read, as well as a small journal in my work bag.
When it’s genuinely so slow that I no longer have anything to do, I can whip out the book and start reading. This also has the benefit of making you look smart and not just distracted to clientele or coworkers.
A journal also does this job pretty well. You can make to-do lists, put down your favorite songs, create poems, or write about what you see around you. No one will ever know what you are writing about. It could totally be business related!
There’s also the option of just reading about something that interests you online. If you have a hobby, take the opportunity to do some research.
3. If it’s that Boring, Begin a Job Search
If you hate your job that much, it might be a good idea to start looking for a different one.
Even if you’re not serious about leaving, looking at available jobs might kill the boredom for a while. Yesterday, I found a job listing for an obituary writer. It was kind of morbid and interesting to see available in my town.
If you are serious about leaving, it’s just generally smart to have something lined up before you get too fed up and quit anyways.
4. Do Some Skills Practice
I’m notorious for always practicing my typing speed at work. I’ll pull up google and search up a typing test to see how much faster I’ve gotten. It’s a fun competition with strangers and gives me bragging rights as the fastest typer at work.
Regardless of the skill, improving on it may give you a sense of pride. Maybe learn some fancy vocabulary for emails to impress your peers, or get super good at memorizing strings of numbers. You never know when you’ll need to convince someone you have a photographic memory!
5. Clean and Organize
One thing COVID has taught me is that wiping off desks can be very cathartic. Thoroughly cleaning every crevice of your workspace will kill plenty of time and make everything smell great. Bonus points if you can see your reflection on your desk.
Also try keeping things fresh by re-organizing your desk space. Tilt the computer a little differently and put the stapler on the other side. Doesn’t it just feel like a brand new job? But seriously, maybe some redecorating wouldn’t be a bad idea.
6. Befriend Your Coworkers
Approach this one carefully, or else you’ll be stuck looking at pictures of someone’s kid day in and day out.
With that said, making friends with your coworkers can be an amazing way to make your work day shorter. They’ll begin to stop by and chat when it’s slow, and that’s a signal you can do the same. Just say good morning and show a general interest in their lives, then boom– new office friend. You might even get a Happy Birthday next year!
7. Make it into a Mental Game
Don’t play tag or the floor is lava, but pretending everyone’s a government spy is okay sometimes. I like to keep a running story in my head complete with inner dialogue. No one will infiltrate my workspace.
If you have tile, make sure not to step on the lines or your mother’s back will suffer. This is an age-old game that simply works to stop boredom. Seeing how many spins you can do in your rolly chair with one push is also pretty fun.
8. Waste time on the Computer
Send a nice email to every single person you know. This brightens their day, and shortens the length of yours. Your boss will certainly appreciate some “thank yous” for the work they do instead of the usual complaints.
Of course if that’s not your jam, you can always play sudoku or solitaire on the computer. I hear Reddit is also a great choice for killing time at work. Basically, do something with the internet to bring your mind elsewhere.
9. Learn Something New
Maybe it’s about time you learned how to play poker, or how to train a dog. You can’t bring your dog to work, but I believe a deck of cards might fit into your bag. Everything else you can just read about.
There’s some really fancy new apps out these days that make it easy to learn a new language. I’ve found learning enough Spanish to help Latinx clientele is very, very useful.
If you can get your hands on Photoshop, editing photos is an extremely good skill to learn. People pay decent money for good digital images.
10. Get Some Fidgets
I might die if I didn’t have my Shashibo. I can fold it into a million different shapes and I love telling people what it is because “Shashibo” is so fun to say.
Having something to keep your hands busy can really ease that sense of restlessness you get from sitting all day. That’s right, these are great for my fellow leg bouncers out there.
Fidget toys have become super popular with the youth, and the reason is clear once you get your hands on one. You can get ones that fold, ones that spin, ones that pop like bubble wrap, and ones that squish. Whatever you fancy, there’s something nice to fiddle with for you.
There are plenty of ways to play and keep the boredom at bay. Work doesn’t HAVE to stink, as long as you keep these tips in mind. Thank you for reading and feel free to leave me