January 6, 2012

10 tips for sanity at your boring job.

Inspired by... well, my boring job, here's my advice for those locked in to a desk and computer all day. This is primarily for those who don't have loads of important tasks piling up. Enjoy!

1. Start a blog. If you're reading this, there's a high likelihood that this is something you're already doing. Go ahead. Reward yourself with at least one creative outlet in your day. Make a "you" space! Blogger.com can set you free.

2. Healthy snacks. A lot of times I feel really bored because I'm tired, and I've realized that the more I snack throughout the day the more alert I feel. So obviously you can't choose Skittles and chips every day because your waistline would hate you, but it also won't give you the energy you're hoping for. On my menu today was oatmeal with blueberries, dark chocolate dusted almonds, banana chips and peanut butter, yogurt covered pretzels and a big yummy chai tea. It helps hunger, boredom, and gives you something to do with your hands besides needlessly surfing the web. Pack ahead and it will keep you healthier and wealthier (avoid the vending machine rip off).

3. Get a space heater. Okay so it can't speed up time, but it will certainly make you feel cozier, creating the clever illusion that you are actually home snuggling with your husband. Alright, not quite that good, but I'm warm and it's a vast improvement.

4. The three P's. Pandora, Pinterest and Polyvore. You gotta have good tunes to motivate you and a reliable procrastination tool or two. Done.

5. Catch up on emails. We've all got 'em. They sit there and intimidate us with their length, but if you set small goals then you can chip away at them slowly. Sorry to my friends who I keep waiting too long. I scare easily.

6. Fling rubber bands at your boss. Careful here. Use your judgement. Only for certain times of day or moods, but be on the lookout because it's an opportunity for a battle you don't want to miss.

7. Talk to your boss about sports. Or insert his/her topic of peak interest here. If you've done the appropriate research, this could result in 15 minutes of the coveted human interaction of a desk job, and also time not spent staring at a computer. The subject matter may also get him riled up and maybe tip #6 can be applied later in the day due to the excitement and potential rivalries created.

8. Meet friends for lunch. You need to have something to look forward to! Especially since human interaction is probably minimal at your desk, like I said in tip #7. Today I'm meeting with the same friend for the second day in a row. How lucky am I?! Also, I take lunch at 1PM instead of noon so that when I get back at 2, the afternoon literally flies by. A good tactic if you have that flexibility and have your healthy snacks on hand.

9. Hydrate. I feel like it's all inter-related: boredom masquerades as hunger and hunger masquerades as thirst. If you feel bored you might be hungry, but first, check if you're thirsty. Dieticians say that a good way to lose weight is always drinking a fair bit of water before reaching for a snack. A lot of times, this will fulfill the craving that you thought you had. And if you keep it up at a good pace, this will also fill your bladder giving you an opportunity to leave your desk. Double win.

10. Plan "standing" time. During the summer, our office is usually filled with that starchy cold air conditioner air, and I feel like I can't even wear a skirt to work because it's so cold. So my supervisor and I, the nature-lovers that we are, alternate taking walks outside. She'd go for a few laps and I'd go when she returned and we were both better for it and more "productive" (like on those emails I mentioned) when we returned. It's a bit harder in the winter so we've joked about an office calisthenics routine to get everybody moving. What can I say - we're really the office cheerleaders. "We can do this people! Only 40 more minutes til quittin' time!" I recently read in Fitness Magazine that it's very hard to undo the damage done at a desk job in a typical evening workout session. It's so deadly to be on your behind on day! Our plans during the winter are to run more errands instead of using departmental mail, send fewer emails and deliver messages on foot, office stretches, and hydrate more to lead to pee breaks. We're accepting more ideas.

And if none of these seem to help your dismal situation, there's secret tip #11, if you dare - find a new job.


Happy Friday!


  1. hahaha, love this! And now I want to make a fort at work :-)

  2. i can so picture an SFS rubber band battle! hilarious.

  3. i'm sure you can picture all of this going down, victoria :) such is life.

  4. Loving this list! And yeah I undertake 6 on a regular basis..But sometimes it gets out of hand when we start throwing CDs and other office supplies...so we stop when someone gets hurt.. Haha! Want to be more peaceful this new year.. But I toootally second all your suggestions.. I haven't really tried the healthy snacks part..Where can I find the choco dusted almonds of bliss? Sounds amazing!

    Did I mention this was a great post? Yup! T'was.

    Janette, the Jongleur


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