We all do it from time to time… We get to work at the usual time bright and early Monday morning, we spend the next few days working from task to task, meeting deadline after deadline, all the while wishing, hoping and praying that Friday afternoon will arrive that much sooner so that we can clock out and enjoy the peace and quiet at home and in our personal lives that we spend all of the rest of the days of the week looking forward to.
And in between all of those moments of wishing, hoping and praying that Friday afternoon will come as quickly as possible, we run into periods where we feel excruciatingly bored – or worse, burnt out – from the focused work we’re supposed to be doing in our day jobs that we convince ourselves that time will continue to drag on and on and on, forever.
Sounds familiar, right?
Many of you have told me that, no matter how much you actually enjoy your jobs at face value, you find yourself constantly looking forward to those Friday afternoons where you can finally put your feet up, sit back and relax away from your desk. And guess what: I totally hear you there!
In today’s work culture, the expectation to put in longer hours and take on more and more responsibility seem to be at an all-time high… and coincidentally, it tends to bring the bouts of boredom, restlessness, and all-around dissatisfaction right along with it.
But here’s the thing… Work doesn’t have to be mundane all of the time, and it certainly doesn’t need to breed feelings of listlessness or unfulfillment quite as often as we like to think that it does!
On Episode 126 of the podcast this week, we’re tackling the concept of boredom and how we can reframe the way that we think of the lulls in our day in such a way that we aren’t dreading them… but are actually working around them to ensure that we are truly filling our days up with substance and meaning instead – no matter what it is that you do for a living!
So today, I want to focus on the rut that we all fall into from time to time—the rut where we constantly find ourselves looking forward to our time away from our jobs, by sharing some ways that we can take back our Fridays at the office by making them truly enjoyable again… rather than viewing them as just another day that we feel like we need to get through in order to survive.
Let’s get started!
Having a team lunch at the end of the week is a great way to put some fun back into your Fridays… And it’s something that is so super easy to do!
This could mean that you and your coworkers arrange to go out to a fun restaurant or café every Friday on your lunch break, or if you’re supervising a team of your own then this could be a great way to say “thank you” to those who work under you by offering to order lunch in for everyone on Friday afternoons!
The best part about this is that you don’t have to choose one place to eat lunch each week and stick to it… You could mix it up by ordering takeout and eating in your office’s break room, picking a new restaurant to try each week, or even incorporating a food theme into your Fridays (one week could be Mexican food, the next could be Italian, for example).
The possibilities here are truly endless, so if a team lunch seems like an option for you at your office, then I encourage you to give this one a try!
Schools all around the world often have “spirit weeks” where each day of that particular school week is geared toward another theme… Fun themes like: Crazy Hair Day, Pajama Day, Character Day, and so on are usually on the agenda and are meant to inspire school spirit in students.
That being said… Why not incorporate a theme at the office on Fridays? You could use the same silly themes that you might see during your kids’ spirit week at school, or you could totally make up your own to bring some silliness to the end of your work week!
One of the things that I really love to do during our busier times of the year (those months where we don’t have half-day Fridays) is to incorporate “Free Fridays” on Friday afternoons.
This essentially means that for the last few hours of the work day on Friday afternoons, I give each of my team members the opportunity to put their routine work tasks and other IWP-related projects aside so that they can focus on something that they enjoy doing or learning about.
This could mean that they use their free time to cultivate a skill related to their current position or a position that they hope to aspire to, explore a new hobby, read from their favorite book, or even take an online class or participate in a webinar that they’ve had their eye on but would otherwise never have time to check out during the work week.
Again, the possibilities here are endless and you can totally cater the “Free Fridays” in your office to fit within the scope of your business!
What has helped you to take back your Fridays at the office so that you’re not constantly looking beyond them, waiting for the weekend to start? Share any tips you have in the comments below…
And to learn even more about conquering bouts of boredom when it sets in and how you can fill up your days (at home and at work) with substance, be sure to tune in to Episode 126 of Productivity Paradox!