When was the last time you were at work and the thought went through your head, I’m so tired of doing this over and over? It could pertain to just about any element of your life, because repetition is a natural part of our human workflow. Whether you’re at home managing a house full of kids (the most intense job on the planet in my opinion), or sitting behind a computer terminal in an office, you get good at things you do routinely.
But problems set in when you’ve completed that action a million times. Shoot, for some of us, we get bored after the third time. Then enters the overwhelming thought of doing this for the next 12 months yet again. And that’s when–without warning–frustration, lack of enthusiasm, and even depression set in.
That’s where I’ve found keeping things fresh is absolutely essential to keeping my head in the game.
The day I bought my kids a few Nerf guns (note emphasis on buying them for my kids), I thought I was going to pee my pants. While standing in the store isle surveying the myriad of foam-spouting weaponry, I had visions of us chasing each other around the house, diving behind couches for cover, successfully conducting top secret maneuvers through the kitchen…and blasting them in the foreheads while barrel rolling S.O.G.-style across the carpet.
The first few days were just that: Black Ops meets Barney. There were tears, screaming, miss-fires, thievery, espionage, and broken alliances. Everything you need for a good Nerf war.
But like all homes that engage in such land battles, eventually the spark dwindles. No one can find more than one gun (what fun is one?), and who knows who ate all the foam darts. Occasionally someone will find a few darts and blast a brother in the temple. It’s all good. But it’s short-lived. It’s never as fun as it first was.
Until Mommy and Daddy collect all the necessary equipment, and declare an all out war on the kids, during which Daddy sticks a pillow infront of his face, exposing only his huge shiny domed head, and announces a free-for-all contest on who can stick a dart on his melon.
The magic was back.
Often the hardest thing to do when faced with routine is thinking outside the box. You’d think it’d be easy: anything other than what I’m doing would be more fun. But thinking of how to incorporate that anything into your current something is harder than we sometimes think. But finding that elusive fun-factor element can make all the difference. Not only do we start to enjoy what we’re doing again, but productivity increases as well.
I’ve flown mini-RC-helicopters through my office wing, started random-funny-face contests, turned off the lights for a few seconds while a coworker is in the bathroom, even crawled under the conference table to surprise someone on the opposite end while they weren’t looking. Often exploiting the funny things about your own self can make even the most boring of routines exciting.
With a little work to gather the right resources, and some ingenuity, you can turn yuck into yahoo with ease! What are some things you’ve done to bring a little fun into your workplace? Share more ideas for others below! ch: