Let's face it—it's hard to keep things fresh at a desk job. When you sit in front of a monitor for eight hours a day, some physical and mental wear-and-tear is inevitable. Some people are able to deal with the monotony pretty well—in fact, they may not even mind spending most of their days being "chained" to an office chair. However, what they may not realize that maintaining a sitting position for too long can actually be detrimental to one's health in the long run.
That's why it's so important to keep things dynamic. There's not much you can do to change your environment, but you can always mix up your regular routine every now and then to inject a little bit of fun into your day. If you work a nine-to-five and are looking to shake things up, the following five tips can help you structure some activities throughout your day to make your work feel less like work. Try these the next time you step into your workspace:
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#1 Don't eat your lunch at your desk
No matter how busy you are with work, you should never deprioritize your lunch break. It is the one part of your workday when you are guaranteed some downtime, so you should always try to take full advantage of it. Sometimes when you're on a roll, you may feel the urge to just eat your lunch at your desk so you can eat quickly and jump right back into it. However, the simple act of pulling yourself away from your monitor, even if just for a few minutes, will help you 1) actually enjoy your meal and 2) give your mind the short mental break it needs to power through the rest of the day.
#2 Opt for walking meetings instead
Depending on the work culture of your company, you may be able to swap a boardroom meeting with a walking meeting instead. This is an especially appealing option for those one-on-one meetings. There's no harm in throwing the suggestion out there—a walking meeting is a great way to get some fresh air and introduce a healthy change of pace, all while staying focused and productive. Take a stroll around your office building, or make your way to a nearby coffee shop and conduct the meeting there. It's multi-tasking at its finest.
#3 Always drink water
Staying hydrated is an important part of surviving a long workday. If you're headache-prone, getting on a consistent water routine can really help reduce those 2 p.m. attacks from occurring. Make it a habit to fill up your glass or water bottle as soon as you get into the office, and keep the refills going throughout the day. If your office has a water cooler, make sure to use it—it will give you a reason to get up out of your desk and stretch your legs a little.
#4 Socialize with your coworkers
Desk jobs can be lonely, but they don't have to be. The workday can get dull pretty quick if you don't have anyone to help you get through it. Get to know your fellow co-workers and take every advantage of every available opportunity to interact with them. The more you socialize with your co-workers, the less dull your work environment will be. Even if you can't catch up with your co-workers in person, you can still carry out conversations through inter-office communication tools like Slack or Skype.
#5 Listen to music
If your boss will let you listen to music while you work, do it. As long as it doesn't distract you from getting your work done, there should be no harm in jamming to your favorite songs while you carry out your projects. Subscribe to a music streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify so you can keep music playing in the background all day long. Sometimes, a few tunes are all you need to get your productivity up (and keep it there). In fact, songs have been used by workers throughout history as a means to pass the time during repetitive work. Whether you're into R&B slow jams, electro-pop, rock n' roll, or classical music, there's always something you can put on shuffle to elevate your mood.