You turn on the computer at 9am and read your e-mails. At noon, you make your way to the cafeteria for lunch. And at 5pm, it’s time to go home. The same work routine, over and over, gets old fast. Every day is the same, the same routine over and over. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Small changes can help you take control of your work day and make sure things do not become monotonous. While routine tasks are part of many jobs, as various studies from the German Institute for Occupational Safety and Health show, there are things you can do to make sure you’re not bored at work.
One in two employed people has recurring tasks, explains Joerg Feldmann from the institute. However, only one in 10 felt this was a burden. Bigger problems are caused by tasks that have extremely detailed processes and rules, affecting almost one in three of all employees.
Here are seven simple tips to break out of the daily routine:
Sitting permanently in front of the computer does not only make you slow and sluggish, it also quickly gets monotonous. “The worst thing is when everything is the same. Even small changes can have a psychological impact,” explains Dirk Windemuth, an expert with the German Association of Occupational Accident Insurance Funds. A simple but effective change is standing up from time to time. Ask your employer for a standing desk or make a few phone calls while walking around the office.
Add variety by moving a meeting to the kitchen or even outside. Or how about combining a meeting with a jog or a walk at the end of the evening? This also helps bring tired thoughts back on track.
Take Your Lunch Break
When walking into the cafeteria, some might think of the film Groundhog Day: You always go at the same time, the food is always the same, you always sit at the same table and with the same colleagues. Switch things up by going out instead of going to the cafeteria. You could also meet a different group of colleagues.
Seek Fresh Ideas
Meetings often reach a dead end when the same people speak up over and over again. It can be extremely refreshing to get suggestions from new colleagues. Why not even ask the trainee how they would tackle a project?
Change Workflows And Processes
In the accounting department, are the balance sheets always processed in the same order? To break through this eternal repetition, it is sometimes enough to just change the order of what you’re doing.
Technology can make things easier – but sometimes less is more. Instead of constantly working at the computer, it can be a welcome change to jot down ideas with pen and paper. Another good idea is, when you need something from another department, to go and discuss things in person instead of writing an e-mail.
Annoying routine tasks are less annoying when employees are given a short break afterwards. You could, for example, reward yourself with a coffee break after you’re finished with the annual financial statements. – dpa/Tobias Schormann