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:


Paula · 6 Jan ’11 at 10:00 am

not so much a workplace thing, but for our christmas eve, us “kids” made our own slip’n’slide – 20metres down a hill, covered in water & detergent! Needless to say, we had a BLAST and we’re all covered in cuts and bruises 🙂

(and I also was attacked multiple times by both siblings bearing nerf guns!)

    Christopher Hopper · 6 Jan ’11 at 11:20 am

    I’m reading this forgetting that people on the other side of the earth can have slip n’ slides for Christmas without fear of getting hypothermia. That’s awesome! (And Nerf guns, too? Too cool).

Seth · 6 Jan ’11 at 11:12 am

I got a “Vanilla Ice” hair cut because the shaggy dog look wasn’t fun or controversial in the house anymore.
Just ten minutes ago I also posted some Ywam foundational values right about the computer to change the atmosphere. They would seem to come in handy.

Amy · 6 Jan ’11 at 11:20 am

Love this!

Millard · 6 Jan ’11 at 1:03 pm

I’ve got a CT later, I’ll see if I can’t spice it up 😉 Love the Noggin shot! 😀

Oh..and I love Nerf Guns. 😐

    Christopher Hopper · 6 Jan ’11 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks Millard. Next time we’re in a hotel together, we’ll have to Nerf war it up!

Amanda · 6 Jan ’11 at 1:14 pm

Marshmallow guns are better than nerf guns. The ammmo is easily replaceable and eatable. Me and my sister have marshmallow guns to keep my younger brothers and their friends out of our bedroom. My brothers have nerf guns and they constantly have to ask us for their ammo back. I highly recommend marshmallow guns.

    Christopher Hopper · 6 Jan ’11 at 2:40 pm

    Oh my goodness! I’ve never heard of such a thing! Where do I get one?

Katie · 6 Jan ’11 at 5:15 pm

I thought occasional wind-up-toy races in the art dept. were a good morale booster, but unfortunately the bosses didn’t see the value and just shot me the evil eye. These days my dog reminds me to take a break and play.

    Christopher Hopper · 7 Jan ’11 at 10:45 am

    It’s often very frustrating when leadership doesn’t share the same appreciation for the spontaneous. I feel very fortunate to work under people that enjoy humor. The real questions is, does your dog like wind-up-toy races? Thanks for sharing Katie!

Amanda · 6 Jan ’11 at 8:46 pm

They are available online. There are two different types, one is made of pvc pipe and works like a blowgun. The Other one has a suction and fires more like a machine gun. That’s what I recommend.

    Christopher Hopper · 7 Jan ’11 at 10:45 am

    Dually noted. Machine gun marsh-mellow gun it is!

Jennifer Hopper · 7 Jan ’11 at 12:22 am

Great post! You always keep my life interesting 🙂
I love you endlessly!

Robert Treskillard · 8 Jan ’11 at 11:15 am

Great post, Chris, and very inspiring.

“That’s where I’ve found keeping things fresh is absolutely essential to keeping my head in the game.”

Looks like you certainly kept your head in the Nerf Dart game! LOL


reenie · 10 Jan ’11 at 12:32 am

Hahhahahahha !!!!!!! Christopher this is called Homeschooling LOL We will find and do whatever we can to make the mundane exciting and fun – from just reading outloud together to making Math out of a game of Risk (yes you can do it ) ……. It has to be real or it won’t fly around here – I love the Nerf Wars, We just had Trace’s 11 Birthday party and actually invited his friends to all bring their nerf guns, crossbows, and darts…..We brought the large cardboard boxes to hide behind- and wa- la Nerf Heaven (all moms step away from the door) I did insist that they all wear safty eye glasses – You know you can still poke your eye out (lol ) But man they had fun – AND so did the dads!!! It is good to keep a fresh perspective on life and even the stuff we HAVE to do over and over~ YOU Called it !!!! Lovedddddd this !!!!

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