Feeling a little overwhelmed, or worse yet, underwhelmed at work? Is it time to shake things up, get the creative juices stirring, bring some passion back to your nine-to-five?
Spring is here. In my northern hometown it’s still a bit chilly (it will dip below freezing again tonight. Sigh). But the days are bright and getting longer. Time for optimism and rebirth. If you’re looking for something new to perk you up at work, here are my top ten suggestions:
10. Think “Why?”
For one full day, consciously think about everything you do, and why you do it. If you can’t figure out why in less than 30 seconds, then . . .
. . . stop doing it; see if anybody notices. This is a fast way to see if you’re spending time on things that matter (word to the wise: if you’re new to the job, you can probably ignore this one for a while. You don’t know what you don’t know yet).
8. Walk away from the drama
Refuse to listen to any negativity. Ignore the office gossip; simply walk away. No need to explain why, other than a quick “gotta go.” You’ll feel much lighter when you go home at the end of the day.
7. Zone out
Rather than go, go, go at top speed without a moment to breathe, take a step back. Do nothing for five minutes (if you’re a real doer, this may be the longest five minutes of your life). Sit and relax or take a short walk. Clear your mind completely; concentrate on counting your inhales if it helps.
You will feel rejuvenated yet calm. Calm is good.
6. Ask to shadow a coworker whose work is a mystery to you
Connect with someone outside your department and learn what they do. Hang out with a production supervisor, ride around with a sales rep, crunch some numbers with an accountant. Walk a mile in their shoes.
5. Quadruple your lunch
Whatever you’re bringing to eat, bring three extra portions. Leave them out at lunchtime, with a note that says “Enjoy! First come, first served”. It’s a quiet way to start a pay-it-forward campaign.
4. Spring is the perfect time for spring cleaning
Take an hour to clear off the top of your desk, organize your email inbox, or manage your files. You’ll have that same great feeling you get from spring cleaning your home.
3. Pick a random coworker and describe them
Include hair color, eye color, height, what they’re wearing today, jewelry. How much do you really pay attention to the people around you? This is a particularly good one for managers – you should be paying attention to your team every day.
2. Find one thing you can improve
If it’s in your area of responsibility, implement it right away. If not, make the recommendation to whomever is in charge of the decision. Either way, own it and see it through to the end.
And finally, this old adage is advice I give to my daughters all the time . . . .
1. Dance like there’s nobody watching
At the office, substitute “dance” with:
Make that presentation . . .
Sell yourself . . .
Convince your boss . . .
In other words do the thing you dread the most, as though you’re loving every minute of it. You’ll not regret it, I promise.
Is there anything here that hits home for you? Or better yet, do you have a recommendation for something new to try at work this week?
A Blog by our Sally Banek, CPA, CMA