Is it ironic that I’ve decided to write a post about being more productive at work . . . while at work?
Yeeeea . . . today’s a slow day . . . as usual.
Which is why it is so important that “Being More Productive at Work” becomes my next challenge for beating procrastination.
Because although I only have five things on my “At Work” to-do list, four of which take less than a minute to complete, there’s always something that I can do to busy myself…
Like scanning the stack of papers on the end of my desk that need to be filed electronically. A task the the previous person in my position so graciously left behind for me. (Obviously, she had been procrastinating too. I don’t blame her; this stack is massive!)
Or working in a spreadsheet that has almost 500 rows of information that needs to be verified. A project that doesn’t technically have a deadline (though I should probably get on it because it’s been on my plate for almost two years now) and is supposed to have five other members of my team working on it too (but they don’t, because the link in the SharePoint says who last edited it, and it was me . . . three months ago).
Or trying to get a grasp on the latest responsibilities I’ve been given (yet another task the previous incumbent had been procrastinating on). Although there’s technically no day-to-day involved with it, the least I can do is train myself on it during those down times since everyone who’s handled it before me has made a mess of it.
Or bringing some organization to that black hole of a file room. (Gosh, I really don’t want to do that. It’ll just be junky again by the next week!)
Or get ahead on that monstrous mailing project I have coming up next month. I’m still waiting on the addresses, but I have the envelopes. I have the flyers. We’re just mailing the same thing to 3,000 people. (Don’t they have machines for this? Scratch that—don’t question myself out of a job.) The least I can do is start stuffing envelopes. Then when the addresses come, all I’ll have to do is stick the labels on the front of the envelopes and send them off to the mail room (thankfully they take care of the sealing part).
An of course, when these tasks get too tedious, when my eyes have grown wearing from staring at a computer screen all day, when my brain is burnt out and I can’t think anymore, and I’m sick of getting paper cuts, I need to remind myself to take a break, and I’m not just talking about lunch. Taking a five to fifteen minute break (and doing more than just going to the bathroom) every hour or two is not only beneficial to work health (if there’s such a thing), but mental and physical health as well, because we humans tend to function so much more properly when we’ve taken the time to recharge and refuel.
Yes, we are basically living robots.
This means that every once in a while, I need to get away from my desk. I already take walks in the afternoon, and although I bring my lunch, I still eat it in the cafeteria (I take my lunch late, right before the kitchen shuts down, so I can have some peace and quiet all to myself).
But I want to do more. Maybe one day this week, I’ll go out for lunch, maybe go with a group of people from the office, those whom I actually like, the only requirement—we cannot talk about work.
I tend to bring mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks to help get me through the day, but maybe instead of eating them at my desk, where I’m sure to be interrupted, I’ll eat them outside in the courtyard (if it’s a pretty day) or find a break area not in my department (maybe in a separate building onsite), where I can nibble and also read that book I’ve been procrastinating to finish.
Maybe I’ll start taking morning walks in addition to my afternoon walks. This could help with my stalled weight loss, especially since I’m only going to the gym two to three days a week now.
Would you look at that? Work doesn’t seem so bad now! I’ve actually got things to do! Of course, I’ll be looking forward to my breaks more than anything else, but at least I’ll have something to look forward to, and not just another endless, miserable eight hours spent in a tiny cubicle staring at a grayish-beige spotted wall.
At this point, anything is better than that!
Are you interested in joining Marquessa’s #TribeTuesdayWPChallenge? Is there a new life habit you’d like to develop over the next 30 days? Don’t procrastinate and wait until New Year’s Resolution time to do it. Start now. What better way to enter 2018 than with a new habit to enhance your life! Click here for more details on the challenge.