December 2002 - Taking a Productivity Break
- Taking a Break
- Tips for Enjoying Work this Month
- Creating Fun in Unusual Ways
- Resources (links, books,
a Productivity Break
Taking a break is a good thing. As we move into
the holiday season, it is very easy to
become overly stressed. There are
fewer work days in December and many people are trying to arrange business in
order to leave town or spend more time with family.
may be worrying about next year already. For the time it takes you to read
this newsletter and explore the links, try to put those concerns aside.
Relax, laugh and stop thinking about all the work pressures or other pressures
that normally consume your thoughts and fill up your day.
will find that you return to work refreshed and more enthusiastic.
- Make a list every
day of the many things what you are
grateful for. If you do this first thing in the morning, your day will
go more smoothly. If you do it before you go to bed, you will sleep
- Take time to be with your co-workers in a non-work
- Enjoy a holiday lunch, pot-luck or dinner.
- Work on a project to help less fortunate
people. Many organizations donate food, clothing or gifts.
Becoming involved opens your heart and allows you to feel the love that is
- Decorate the office in workplace-safe ways.
Many companies sponsor a lobby tree or other festive decorations.
- Take short breaks throughout the day to say
something nice to someone. You will make someone else feel better and
you will feel better yourself.
- If you start thinking that taking time for fun is
keeping you from the "important" work, remember that taking breaks
actually increases productivity. Connecting in a positive way
with co-workers improves morale. Therefore, you have an
obligation to your company to take time for fun!
- When someone does something that irritates you this
month, instead of getting mad, think to yourself, "Gosh, isn't that
cute!" You may be thinking, "She's crazy" right about
now. Please hold your judgment and try it — just for this month.
- When you find yourself worrying about something,
make an appointment with yourself a week from now to worry about it.
Until that appointment, DO NOT worry about whatever it is. After a
week, you may find that the problem has disappeared, changed or
evolved. You may choose to postpone it again or you may want to face
up to it.
- If you are having trouble letting go over bureaucratic
ineptness, management antics or your co-worker's bad habits, take yourself
outside for a break. Pretend you are five years old and skip around
the building. Imagine you are going to visit the Wizard of Oz. I
suspect that you will see the situation differently when you return.
- Just when you think you cannot take any more of
<whatever situation or person>, pull out a picture of someone you
love. Spend 10 minutes thinking about all the things you love about
them. Who cares about that other situation or what that other person is
doing when you have such love in your life!
- When the winter blahs have you down, imagine you
have won the lottery and can travel anywhere in the world. Spend 10
minutes planning what you would do, who would share in your winnings, where
you would go, how you would enjoy your life. FEEL what it feels like
to have everything you have always wanted.
- Take some time to imagine how you would create more
fun at work if you were CEO or the boss. Think about all the wacky ways you would
encourage your team to enjoy themselves every day. If you are the CEO
or the boss,
do this exercise for real with your management team. You may find some
of these ideas can be implemented easily.
- If you are a manager, call a meeting of everyone who
reports to you. At the meeting, your only agenda is to have fun with
each other. Do whatever works for you. Tell jokes, tell funny
stories, talk about people who are important to you, talk about your
wildest dreams for fun — do whatever works for your group.
Most of all, find time for fun this month. We
wish you a very, merry month!
What some companies are doing:
- This Job Should Be Fun!: The New Profit Strategy for Managing People in
Tough Times. Bob, Ph.D. Basso and Judi Klosek.
iUniverse.com, ISBN: 0595141420, 2000
- 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work, Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes. Publisher:
Berrett-Koehler. ISBN: 1576750191, 1997.
WARNING - you may break out in smiles or laughter
when reading some of these!
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