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I spend a great amount of time in my office. This is quite a common thing to do for about 99% of the population, it seems. Office jobs are extremely common, and , well, quite boring. There are a significant amount of people out there that love spending time at their desk, but I am not one of them. For grad students, desk work will take up about 75% of their week. The rest of the time is in the lab, or crying in the bathroom. The hours spent at a desk are quite long and can often be boring if you are waiting on experiments to finish or your adviser to email you back. People do not realize that practically 1/3 of your life is spent at work, so have fun while you are there . I have written about the things that make me happy (check it out here), but not about what makes me happy while sitting in my office lol. Here are a few things that I incorporate into my workday (aka office job) that I know will make your workday better.
1. Random dancing.
Random dancing will make your workday better for sure. Now don’t laugh at this one but it really does bring excitement to my workday. No one is so busy that they can’t spare like 5 minutes to just dance it out in their office, or if you are really gutsy, your lab. Play really uplifting music and just dance away. Heck, if you have office mates, get them to dance with you too. It’s good exercise and will just give you that boost of happiness to make your day that much better.
Yes, this may seem a bit silly, but life is too short to not be silly. Play some music and do a bit of dancing. If you are afraid of what other people think, just head off to the bathroom and go dancing there.
2. Desk games
Now this one is good if you have a desk. If you are working at like a restaurant, you can’t really do this. I would suggest going to amazon and just typing in “desk games” (here, I did it for you) and pick out a few that you would find fun. The desktop tiki toss is my favorite. I absolutely love the ring game, but there are so many to choose from. It is also fun to have your office mates come by and play when they can. You’ll be the most popular and fun person at your office job in no time.
3. Get a standing desk
When I was doing civil engineering work, I spent all of my time at my desk. People don’t realize how exhausting sitting all day is, and when I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was go workout. So, I bought a standing desk so I didn’t get stuck sitting all of the time. I was gaining weight fairly quickly and needed a way to burn a bit more calories during the day. I bought this one and a comfy mat to stand on as well. Standing desks are amazing and they keep you moving. The fun aspect comes when you realize you can dance literally all parts of the day. In fact, that’s exactly what I did. And if you are not having fun, you’re already standing up so you can walk right out of the door and go somewhere to have fun!
4. Play music
Listen to your favorite music. Try and see if you can name off the name of the song as well as the artist. If you have a job where you can play music out loud, see if you can quiz your office mates. I do this all of the time and it helps bring happiness to the office, as well as some competitiveness. I like to listen to playlists on YouTube. Here is a link to my favorite YouTube Music Playlists. I like these playlists because they help me concentrate and get things done. They also put me in really good moods.
5. Wear funny socks
I did this everyday when working in an office. We had to dress up professionally except for our socks. Everyone had super funky socks too, which was awesome. I would go online and order the craziest designs as well as some humorous ones too. I have a pair of socks with sharks on them, a pair with Bob Ross, and one that has Bigfoot. You would be surprised how just something as simple as socks can bring you so much joy throughout the day.
6. Go For Walks
Instead of spending all of your time in the office, break it up and go on frequent walk. Listen to a podcast or an Audible book. I used to do this during lunch and it made my whole day so much better. Taking walks reduces stress and will overall make you feel so much better during the day. If you are stuck inside most of the day, you know how soul draining that can be. Just a 15 minute walk is all you need to make your workday so much better.
7. Listen to Audible Books
I have written about my favorite audible books to listen to. Here is the link to that. Anyway, a really great way to make your workday better is diving deep into a really good book. You can listen to any book on Audible while you work. It’s hard to be sad about work you have to do when you are on an adventure in some far away land. Listening to books was one of my favorite ways to make my workdays better. I know that it will help you as well.
What are some things that make your workday better? This is just a small list as I try and find as many things as possible to make my office time a little less, boring. I’d love to know how you guys spark joy in your day. Post those in the comments!
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Hello, Mr.Mindfulness. I got a stand up desk for my WFH office. I understand. I was working a call center job (on which there is usually no free time) and I was putting on weight. It hurt. The stand up desk helped. Unemployed at the moment…and searching. Your thoughtfulness towards grad students is appreciated. My hours were spent translating greek and hebrew, writing papers, and writing counseling session notes. 😁