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Six Ways to Sneak Fun Into a Boring Day

When your work day flat-lines, here’s how to jump start your spirits


by Kara Baskin

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A dreary slate of deadlines, meetings, and soul-battering drudgery doesn’t need to deflate you. Try career coach Michelle Ward’s top strategies for infusing your day with fulfillment, energy and a renewed sense of purpose.

1. Do whatever you need to set the “reset” button. What energizes you? Whether it’s a “sick day” from work to take yourself out for lunch, a movie and a massage; a journaling practice each morning; or a “pajama day” where you don’t even entertain the thought of leaving the house, pinpoint the things that “reset” you back to feeling like you, and do at least one of them ASAP.

2. For the love of all that's holy, get out of the office. Take a walk. Take a break. Get away from your desk. Leave the building. Grab a coffee. Call a friend. Read a book. Take pictures. 

     See also: 5 Steps to Liking Your Job A Little More

3. Give yourself a visual reminder of what you love. Make it happen in your workspace—on the wall, on your desktop. One of Ward’s clients put up a poster she designed, while another draws scenes from her hobbies (doing yoga on a beach, for example) on Post-Its and sticks them around her cube as daily reminders of the flip side of life. 

4. Start and end your day for you. Instead of just waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed, and heading right to work, think about what you can do for yourself before walking out the door. No need for the effort to be extensive, especially if you’re not a morning person. What takes less than 10 minutes but still gives you something to anticipate? Think about dancing to your favorite song, or doing a few sun salutations. Then, ask yourself the same question at day’s end. What can you look forward to before you go to sleep?

5. Set an intention at the start (or middle) of every day. Write it on a note that you stick on your computer or your phone. By focusing on just one word (“friendly” or “inquisitive” or “helpful”), you have a daily mission.

     See also: Trying to Balance Your Life? The Critical Element Isn't Time. It's Energy

6. Schedule a date with friends, right now. Email your posse and ask them to meet you for dinner. Sign up for a spinning class. Tell the family that you’re having an impromptu game night after dinner. Giving yourself something to look forward to after hours can brighten the drearier part of your day. Just make sure not to leave it until the last minute. Schedule it now, so you're committed to it later.

Photo Credit: Gregg Segal/Gallerystock