I am going to make a wild assumption here, and say everyone here has either been bored at work, or at school before. Crazy, I know. I only recently joined the work force, and have since been working 35 hours a week, which can get… well… boring. Some days I just want to turn off my alarm [very hard to do, as it is my father], go back to sleep, and forget about work. But I don’t! I get up Monday through Friday, like most other grownup folk, and take my lazy butt to work.
Unfortunately, that’s not the hardest part of my day. Distractions are plentiful, and when it’s sunny it can be impossible to focus on work. I figure most other people feel the same way, but how do you combat it?!
Be comfortable in your office [that is, if you work in an office – if not, make your workplace as comfortable as allowable]. I have slippers, and a cozy sweater [I get cold really easily, and there is nothing that distracts me more than the wrong body temperature.], a picture of my three best friends and I, a pretty pink box for my index cards, and various other pretty things. I always work better when I’m surrounded by inspiring/nice things; and having personal things like photos make it more homey and comfortable. Don’t make it too homey though, or you’ll find yourself curling up in the corner to take a nap!
Prioritize and reward yourself throughout the day. This is basic [recovering] procrastinator knowledge. If you do all the really important things in the morning when you’re still in your go-getter attitude mode, and save the fun things for the afternoon, you’ll power through the important things, and have lots of time to do the more enjoyable tasks. For example, I do all my clerical/email answering/organizing of events/research in the morning, then do house design and work on the website in the afternoon.
Set goals for yourself. I like to set at least one daily goal, and at least one weekly goal. After you set your goals, write them down somewhere, and remind yourself of them throughout the day/week.
Use programs like this blocker to control how long you spend on social networking sites like Facebook or Google+ during the work day. It’s far too tempting to spend your day checking out your ex’s new girlfriend’s profile instead of doing that report that was due last week.
Enjoy your breaks. Pack some delicious leftovers, take a book, and find a park or sunny bench where you can read and eat your lunch. Your mind will get a well deserved rest, and you’ll be all fresh for an afternoon of work! Better yet go home for lunch. It can be hard to do if you commute, or live a fair distance away from work/rely on transit, but I did this for the last three months of high school and it definitely helped me not want to rip people’s heads off.
Take your glasses off. This is a mostly metaphorical suggestion [although I do find it helpful to remove my glasses when I’m starting to get frustrated with work]. Stepping back and taking a break for five minutes can make the world of difference. Get up, take a five minute walk to the corner [or beach, if you work with me], play with the cat in the office next door [I work in a really relaxed environment, don’t know if you can tell], or just take your glasses off and shut your eyes for five minutes. If you stare at any work too long, be it exciting and creative, or crunching numbers, your brain is going to start confusing things and your spreadsheet will soon look like a big chocolate bar [or bed… or whatever you are craving at that moment].
What do you do to keep yourself on track?