New Year New Me. It’s probably more like – New Year Same Stuff. How do we inject a little more fun in our day to day, this year?
For some of us, we love what we do – we are having fun as soon as we show up and start creating our magic. For most of us, there are things about our work that we love, things that we tolerate, and things that we dread. I have found that these things typically align with our love and dread align with our strengths and weaknesses, respectively.
Because of this, there are often things that languish on my ‘To Do’ list until the very last minute. Likewise, I find myself doing some things before I need to, at the expense of other more important tasks.
So- every now and then to inject a little fun into what my brain finds not so fun – I do different things to mix it up. Fun is light-hearted enjoyment; what is fun to an individual typically lines up with their natural tendencies.
Here are a couple of things that I do when I need to mix it up.
- Pandora or Spotify Playlist switch-up.
If I can listen to music while I work (no meetings, rare). I will try out a playlist or artist that I typically would never try. Next up: Country genre and Billie Eilish.
- Number my massive to-do list and play the random work game.
Massive to-do list – sometimes that’s 35+ items. I number each one of them. And, then I use my app, Pretty Random, to pick a number. No matter which item I picked, I do the task for at least 15 minutes. For those things I dread, this is often the way they actually get done. I love checking off things on a list, so this is delightful to me.
- Sit in a new place with a new view.
If I have the flexibility to do so, I will go and park my work materials in a different cubicle, a new coffee shop, or a different place in my home. It’s sometimes not as convenient as my typical space, but every now and then it doesn’t hurt to have a different window to look out.
- Google that ish.
I have created hundreds of plans. Somedays I research a topic that I am already pretty knowledgeable on as if it were brand new to me in order to get a new perspective and to check out the latest thinking. You never know when the information presented differently will lead you to think a little differently.
- Give routine meetings a fun twist.
If I have a recurring meeting consistently with the same group, I might add a little splash to the meeting routine that people can look forward to. At the top of the XYZ meeting each week I might add ‘Today in History’. I make sure that the facts are random, covering different non-offensive topics. It gets people laughing and talking before you even get started.
- Large Meetings – Add in icebreakers and trivia contests.
I have found that kicking off a large multi-hour meeting with an icebreaker can set the tone for the entire day. There are a number of fun icebreakers online, and you can keep them simple. It can be fun to put in short trivia contests as people come back for breaks; again, there are a lot of applications and options on-line that work with smartphones. This is just light-hearted fun to break up the monotony of sitting and discussing topics for hours at a time.
These two small inserts can also help teams move quicker in forming relationships; fun is a great framework for relationships.
Truly, fun is in the eye of the beholder. Consider different ways that you can infuse fun into your workday. Why? I think it makes you more productive; it makes you more creative. It can cause laughter, and we all need more of that. The real question is, why not?