Groundhog Day: Avoiding the “Same Old, Same Old” At Work

When you get up for work in the morning, does it feel like the same old routine, just a different day?  Has your life become a broken record of “wake up, put on suit, sit in traffic, stare at a computer, sit in traffic again, eat, sleep, and repeat?”  No, you are not Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day,” and you CAN pull yourself out of the mundane routine.  Slumps of monotony can be especially brutal when combined with the winter blues, so now that Punxsutawney Phil has sentenced us to six more weeks of cold, gray, and slush, there is never a better time then now to break that boring cycle.  You’ll be a much more productive and happy employee because of it!

Give Yourself a Break
We are assuming you are NOT shackled beneath your desk (and if you are, it might be time to contact the BBB or the Labor and Trade Commission).  You can and should take brief breaks throughout the day.  Take a stroll to the water cooler.  Step outside for a bit of fresh air.  Breaks like this keep you alert, and more content, when on the job.

Challenge Yourself
If you are overqualified for your position, chances are you are going to become bored very quickly.  If your work isn’t challenging enough, try talking to your supervisor instead of trying to discreetly play Minesweeper with the extra two hours you have at the end of the day when you finish your work.  Perhaps there are more challenging projects for you to be a part of that will not only pass your day by more quickly, but might also help you advance your career (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Get to Know Your Cube Mates
We know the workplace is for, well, working.  But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  The days won’t seem to crawl by as agonizingly slow if you have friends or people to converse with.  We are not saying to make a habit of gossiping all day with your peers, but taking a break to hear how Joe’s weekend was is one sure fire way to add a little change of scenery to a Monday.

Become an Expert in Your Craft
You might think you’re the bee’s knees, but every shoe could use a little spit shine.  All cliches and obscure sayings aside, nobody’s perfect (okay, one more.).  There is always room for growth and improvement.  See if there are any certifications or classes for your line of work.  Read white papers and e-books and attend webinars on topics pertaining to your craft.  Not only will you banish boredom, but you might learn a thing or two to help grow your company. (and subsequently your career, paycheck, you get the drift).

Volunteer in Areas where you AREN’T the Expert
Another quick change of scenery can be to offer your assistance in other divisions of the company.  Whether it is just shadowing or helping in a hands-on project, you will be gaining exposure to other parts of the “machine,” if you will.  Seeing how other divisions operate will make you a more versatile asset to your employer, and understanding how each division works together to make the company as a whole run will make you better in your own division as well.

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