Some days work is not your friend. You’re feeling a little down, or overwhelmed, or like focus is a magic trick that only other people know how to do.
The Office Space movie calls this “a case of the Mondays.” And it can happen any day of the week. (If you’ve never seen it, you should, it will make you happy that you don’t work in a traditional office.)
Your friends in traditional offices might be envious of your flexible work schedule, but some days you still have to go to work when you’re just not feeling it. Deadlines are looming. Projects need to get done. So how do you refocus?
Here are some of our favorite tips to get you back in the groove and feeling like Friday.
Listen to Michael Bolton at a reasonable volume
If you’re having trouble focusing or getting excited about your work, try music. Business Insider reports that music, pretty much any music, can help you stay on task when you have boring or repetitive work to do. Think checking emails or filling out a spreadsheet.
If you need to boost your mood, go for music with nature sounds. If you’re stressed, go for songs that you enjoy. If you need to focus, go instrumental. In general, lyrics are distracting and should be avoided.
Just remember to keep your headphones on so you don’t disturb your co-workers.
Procrastinate Like a Boss
So. you don’t feel like working. Is it because you have a big project that just seems like too much to handle? Is it because you’ve got so many tasks you can’t seem to find one to focus on? Try procrastinating.
No really. That doesn’t mean you stop working and go to the mall. What you want is structured procrastination, the kind that gets things done even if they aren’t your big important project.
You might decide to answer emails, proofread a report, or write something unrelated to your big project.
Straighten Up Your Flair
One great form of structured procrastination is cleaning. Sometimes you don’t want to work on that project because you’re not in the right mindset or you haven’t thought it all the way through. Doing something mindless, like cleaning, can give you a productive task to do while you think about your project.
So if you’re having trouble focusing or getting excited about your work, try neatening up your desk and work area. You’ll get a double benefit. Not only will your workspace be clean, but you’ll feel like you’re doing something productive. When you go back to work you’ll hopefully keep that momentum.
Go ahead and say you’re missing work
Give in. Sometimes trying to stay at your desk and fight that feeling is the worst thing you can do. If you’ve tried all the other strategies and none of them worked, try getting up and leaving your desk for a bit. Go to 7-11 and grab a chocolate bar. Meet up with a friend for lunch. If the weather is cooperating, go for a walk. Do something that isn’t work related.
But give yourself a deadline to come back and actually do the work. Otherwise, your little break can turn into playing hooky for the day. And you’re a professional – you don’t have time for that.
When you’re ready to get to work, contact Jackie. She’ll have you in an office tomorrow.