Note: This is a guest post from Ryan Rivera of Calm Clinic
In today’s economy, millions of people are stuck at a job they do not find fulfilling. There simply aren’t many careers that bring joy and happiness to the average employee, and even if there were, the economy’s struggles make it much less likely that those jobs will be available.
However, when you find yourself at a job that doesn’t make you happy, you need to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of victimization. Many workers start to let their jobs become a chore, believing themselves powerless against the evils of their corporation.
Yet no matter how much you dislike your job, your boss, your coworkers, or your company, there are always ways that you can still make work fun for yourself, and look forward to getting to the office every day.
How to Make Work Fun
1. Be the Office Baker
Everyone loves cookies. You can make it your mission to become the office cookie maker, making cookies once a week and bringing them to the office. You can try out new recipes, alter old ones, and see how your coworkers react until you have come up with the perfect recipe.
2. Compete With Yourself
Friendly competition is always exciting, but rarely will you find other employees to compete with. Instead, compete with yourself. Take the tasks of your job and make a fun game out of them, trying to beat your efficiency and speed with each passing day.
3. Make a Game Out of Recurring Problems
Does someone mistreat you at work? Does a boss pick on you or a client call you names? Make a game out of that too. Come up with a bingo board or checklist of what you expect to happen during the week and check off each item that does. If you get a bingo or check off every item, treat yourself to something fun.
4. Make Positivity Lists
When you dislike your job, it’s not uncommon to see coworkers and bosses disrespecting you or not properly valuating your contributions. Sometimes that’s the case. Other times, however, your perception of your bosses, coworkers, etc., colors your interactions so that a harmless meeting will seem like a great affront.
It’s important to change that mindset. You can do that by doing your best to make a list of every positive thing to come out of every negative interaction. Write out every good thing you may have learned, what positive reasons the individual may have spoken with you, etc. Even if you are being mistreated, this exercise will help you learn to see the good in every extended interaction.
5. Plan Work-Sponsored Events
Workplace events are a useful way to bond with coworkers and create friendships at work. They’re also a useful way to get the company to pay for activities you wanted to do anyway. Organize the entire company together, see if the company will sponsor it as a team building exercise, and soon you’ll be creating more workplace friendships making an environment that promotes fun activities.
6. Decorate Your Desk
Most companies will let you decorate your desk with fun little trinkets, or something that you can use to cheer you up during a tough day. Take advantage of it, because these fun trinkets can give you the boost you need to make your workplace less stressful.
7. Create Art Based On Work
If you find your work causes you anxiety and stress, try to turn that into something creative. Turn it into inspiration for art, whether you enjoy painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. Art is a very effective outlet for workplace stress, and a good way to turn something negative (anxiety at work) into something positive (an art piece).
8. Plan Events Immediately After Work
Holding a grudge against your workplace is another reason that people become a slave to their workplace anxiety. You can counter this by never giving yourself an opportunity to hold a grudge. Schedule fun little activities with friends and family for the moment you get off work, so even after a hard day you don’t have time to sit and be distracted by negative thoughts.
9. Bike To and From Work
Finally, consider biking to work. Exercise is known to boost the chemicals in your brain that create a good mood, and the energy you burn biking will also allow your body to experience less tension. After work when you bike home, the stress you felt from your job will simply melt away under the exertion of biking.
The key thing to remember is that even the worst work workplace environment can be turned into a fun place, provided you use your creativity and show a willingness to change your mindset. You don’t have to love your coworkers, your bosses, or the tasks you complete at work. But you should always find ways to focus on your own happiness, looking at work as a tool to create happiness rather than something that’s hurting it. Find a way to make work fun for you, and you’ll find that your job quickly becomes a place you live.
Ryan Rivera is a staunch proponent of creating a stress free world. He writes about anxiety and panic attacks at www.calmclinic.com.
Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography
“Find a way to make work fun for you, and you’ll find that your job quickly becomes a place you live.” place you live or place you LOVE??????!!!
I think it will be a place you live. What you should be after is a place where you come ALIVE!
How about “the place you thrive!”?
Thanks for your tips. However, they are just short-term relievers.
In the end, you’ll remain in pain and be a victim of the paycheck.
The only way to transform your life and set your heart & soul free from the prison of the paycheck is to find your passion, follow it and connect it to a profitable path.
I’ve tried these short-term relievers and I can tell you that they don’t help you create a life you can be proud of.
Thanks, Ryan. Good tips for increasing your enjoyment from work. M. Tohami, I don’t think you’re disagreeing with Ryan. He’s talking about enjoyment, whereas you’re talking about fulfillment. If your goal is to be fulfilled from your job, then true, these tips are never going to get you there. But if you don’t see your job as a means to personal fulfillment, only to a livelihood – but you don’t want to suffer while making a livelihood – these tips can certainly help.
One idea which can maybe accomplish both is to look for the personal growth and development opportunities that are available in any and every type of work. Working on character traits (patience, caring, empathy) or values (honesty, diligence) can give you deep personal satisfaction, even if the work itself isn’t inherently so.
I especially like number 2. Competing with yourself is a great thing to do. It removes you from the need of comparing yourself to others and enables you to stretch yourself to the limits.
Sometimes, I feel that I may not be doing the best that I can do. This motivates me to do better. On the contrary, if I compared myself to someone else, I maybe motivated to do better, although the energy around me would not be as positive.
Lovely article! I thought your tips were incredibly creative and fun; but yes, find something on the side that fulfils you!
You know, I have tried most of the things on this list and I have to say it does help. Of course you have to actually like your job too! Great Job, Ryan
If you are truly passionate about your work- if what you do for a living is a passion of yours- you definitely won’t have any problem finding fun in what you do.
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