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spike bullet December 2002 - Taking a Productivity Break 

Taking a Break
Tips for Enjoying Work this Month
Creating Fun in Unusual Ways
Resources (links, books, articles, humor)

color bulletTaking 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.

You 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.

You will find that you return to work refreshed and more enthusiastic. 

Tips for Enjoying Work this Month

  1. 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 better. 
  2. Take time to be with your co-workers in a non-work situation.  
  3. Enjoy a holiday lunch, pot-luck or dinner.
  4. 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 being shared.  
  5. Decorate the office in workplace-safe ways.  Many companies sponsor a lobby tree or other festive decorations.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

Creating Fun in Unusual Ways

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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!

World Wide Web graphic  Internet Resources

What some companies are doing:

book graphic  Books

  • 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.

world wide web - articles  Articles smiley graphic

WARNING - you may break out in smiles or laughter when reading some of these! 

spike bullet If you have comments about this month's topic, please let us know or take our newsletter survey.  If you would like to receive free notices of the new monthly topic, please sign up for our mailing list.

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.  We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

Page updated: March 31, 2014   
Institute for Management Excellence, Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved

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The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

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