Find a way to break the workday monotony

…all work and no play makes Eric a dull bookkeeper

…all work and no play makes Eric a dull bookkeeper

…all work and no play makes Eric a dull bookkeeper

…all work and no play makes Eric a dull bookkeeper

Your 9-5 can’t always be about work. I don’t know anyone who can focus on nothing but the task at hand for 8 consecutive hours, with only the need of one 30 minute break for lunch. One of the reasons I love working from home is that I can set my own schedule. Some days I have to run errands or finish off a weekend project that wasn’t quite done on Sunday night. Other days I just can’t seem to find the inspiration. Whatever the reason, there are days where I’m much more productive from 9pm to 5am than I am during the “usual business hours”.

One way to help break the monotony is to have a routine or tradition during “business hours”, but that has very little to do with work. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that gives you a productive boost during a time when you know you’ll be dragging.

For me, it’s music, and it’s every Tuesday. Tuesday is to music as Friday is to movie theatres. That is to say, it’s the day all the new releases come out. Every Tuesday morning, I open up my browser, and open up Rdio. Next, I pick out what new releases interest me, and try to get through at least 3 of them during the workday. If it’s a good week, there’s usually enough music to serve as a workday soundtrack until the following Tuesday.

I’ve found that each genre is best suited for a different type of work. Loud, lyric-heavy music is terrible when I’m trying to read or otherwise concentrate on details. However, when I’m straightening up the office, or filing, it’s perfect.

Other ideas.

Maybe you’re not into music, so one of these ideas might be more appealing.

  • Meals: pick a day to try out a new recipe, restaurant, or location to enjoy your lunch

  • Walking path: if you go for a walk (or jog) during the day, try out a different path from time to time

  • Pictures: if you’re inspired by scenery (but stuck in a windowless office), switch up your desktop wallpaper with something new on Monday mornings. Make it something you can stare at and daydream when you need 5 minutes to unwind.

Obviously, from the examples, it doesn’t have to be drastic, expensive, or time consuming. The point is to help boost your energy, and possibly your productivity.

What about you? Do you have any weekly office traditions? Even better, do you have any good work music to suggest? I’m always looking for new music.