6 Ways to Keep That “Groundhog Day” Feeling at Bay
Jan 25, 2016
By: Cathie Ericson It's a common problem in small-and medium-sized businesses. You arrive at the workplace, jump into the daily grind, and suddenly get that "Groundhog Day" feeling, as though today is just like yesterday. And the day before.
Same staff meeting. Same client issues. Same reports.
But there’s a cure for the Groundhog Day blues. Here are six ways you can inject variety and verve into your workday.
1. Give each day a theme
Maybe Monday is the day you set aside time for networking, Tuesday is when you focus on reports, and Wednesday is sales call day. You’ll still have routine tasks that you have to attend to daily, but according to Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Square, it allows you to focus on one particular big issue, rather than being lost in the day-to-day routine.
2. Learn a new skill
Want to love your job more? Get better at it or add a new twist.
For example, learn WordPress and offer to start an (approved) company blog. Learn a new software program that will make timekeeping, communication or billing easier.
Improve your speaking skills in a Toastmasters’ group. Offer to represent your company at trade association meetings. See if there’s a task you can take off your boss’ plate: You’ll learn something new, and she'll be delighted to get away from the daily grind.
3. Find a passion project
Whether it’s pro bono work or devising a new, more effective way to tackle an issue, focusing on something outside your daily routine can yield remarkable benefits.
Google is famous for its 20% rule, which supposedly allows you to work on your own Google-related project one day a week. Another well-known proponent of this creative time is 3M, with a similar 15% rule that yielded Post-It notes, among other innovations.
You might not be able to earn a company-wide edict, but with a convincing business case, you may get approval to pursue your passion project on company time.
4. Create or join an office team or club
This can be something you do outside the office, like bowling or kickball, or something you do inside, like a book club or a cooking club. The benefit is getting everyone to talk about something other than work.
5. Shake up your lunch hour
Just say no to the sad desk lunch. If you’re bringing your lunch from home to save money or calories, you can still go “out” by taking your lunch elsewhere.
If you eat out, don’t settle for the same sandwich place. Make lunch something to look forward to by trying new spots or meeting up with colleagues from different departments. Or, use the time to fit in a quick exercise class, a power walk or even errands to help free up your weekend.
6. Plan an awesome weekend
Speaking of weekends, take time midweek to look ahead at your weekend.
According to Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend,” you have to strategize your weekend to get the most out of it. She recommends planning three to five “anchor” events that will bring you pleasure and take you out of your routine. Midweek is the perfect time to make reservations, buy tickets or invite friends, so no matter how routine your work days may be, you have something to look forward to after the daily grind is done.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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