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Archive for the ‘Work fun’ Category


by Greg Easton Photography

Today is International Fun at Work Day!!!  Take time to celebrate. Check out PlayFair’s great ideas to have fun at work.  If you missed out on the party today – just tell them tomorrow that it’s your make-up day.  There are some more great ideas here and here. There’s lots of ideas – wear a funny shirt, have a dance competition, brighten up your desk with a funny poster, figure out nicknames for your team, or bring your pet to work (in pictures if pets aren’t allowed in the building.)

Of course most of us already know that today is April Fools Day.  Today is also the start of National Humor month.  April 1st is a great day to spring back into humor. Revitalize your laugh box, warm up your humor muscles.

If you have a serious case of Adultitis, you might want to visit Kim and Jason’s Escape Adulthood. If you don’t know what Adultitis is, it’s possible the disease has progressed to terminal seriousness.  Be sure to check out the article “The Office Guide to Adultitis.” Visit your favorites like Michael, Dwight and Stanley to see how they rate on the Adultitis meter.

Many of us plod through our days, busily trying to complete ever-higher piles of paperwork while keeping on blinders on to the sunshine and laughter of the “outside world.”  The problem is that this behavior robs us of joy, fun and creativity during half of our life!  One can’t survive long in a no-fun zone. If the stress doesn’t kill you, you’ll could become a mindless zombie who is as good as dead anyway.

Instead try to incorporate some joy and entertainment in your day. Work hard AND play hard.  Make sure to take your break time.  Turn lunch time into recess.  Visit Recess at Work to find great ideas to celebrate Recess at Work Day on June 17th.  Try to do something fun everyday.  If you have benches outside near a tree, consider putting up a bird feeder.  Buy ice cream bars for a cool afternoon snack.  Bring in fresh flowers or simply dress in all orange for the day.  (Or you could dress in all blue so that whenever anyone asks how you are you can respond “I’m feeling a little blue today.”)

Check out this article to see How Zombies Can Learn to Have Fun. Look at funny pictures at Cute Overload and Awkward Family Photos.  Use today to help keep that unspoken New Year’s resolution to “have more fun this year.”  That’s one resolution that you’ll want to keep.

For a few more ideas try these spots:

Stress less at work.

Pranks for the workplace.

101 Ways to create humor at work.

Note:  So many people find work miserable and unpleasant.  If you can have fun there, you can have fun anywhere!  Good luck!

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Picture  by netwalker

Lately I’ve been getting stuck over-working.  I don’t mean staying late and getting overtime.  I mean missing break-time, or becoming so immersed in work that I don’t leave my chair for 2 straight hours.

While my boss may like this activity on the surface, it is not beneficial to either me or her.  The simple fact is that most of us do better when we take breaks.  You see this at any pre-school or kindergarten.  Kids are told to take a break to play or rest, or simply to change from math and numbers to art and drawing.

This change of pace helps our mind learn better, and improves our concentration and focus.  You’ll notice this whenever you say to yourself “I’m really stuck on this project, I’m going to wait until to tomorrow to do this to get a fresh perspective.”  The next day, after a full night’s rest, you look at the problem again and suddenly see a solution where you thought there where none.

So how can you make the most of your mini-breaks?  One way is to vary the type of activity to your mood and energy level.  If you are feeling ill, you may want to skip the walk and just take a quiet 2 minutes to close your eyes and take a couple of refreshing deep breathes.

Here are a few mini-break ideas to get you started:

  1. Walk around the building. This is an often over-looked break.  When you are stressed-out, frustrated or simply tired, this is a great way to loosen up and unwind.   It helps un-kink your back, neck and shoulders.  The physical activity your blood moving and the effects can help aid your concentration for the next 2 hours or more.   And even if it’s cloudy the light is better outside than those harsh fluorescent lights.  As an added benefit if it’s a sunny day you will even get some free vitamin D.
  2. Quiet time. This is harder to do than the others, but is highly effective.  Some places to go for quiet are; the empty conference room, your car, an empty park bench outside, a vacant cubicle, and in a pinch, the bathroom stall.  Quiet time is most effective if you can close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths without being disturbed.  You don’t have to be long – even 2 minutes will help, the key is simply some kind of reminder to do it.
  3. Internet break. Many of us are blocked from various Internet sites, but even work-related sites can sometimes be fun.  Look for jokes related to your industry, cartoons, pictures of babies, puppies or other cute animals, or a funny article about your coworkers.  You can find stress-relief articles on health sites, or simply go to a science web site and read about the latest, greatest technical inventions for an interesting change of pace.
  4. Stretch. Raising your hands above your head and reaching your toes 5 times in a row is a wonderful release for tension and muscle pain.  Often we don’t even realize we’re feeling achy until we get up.  And believe me, even if you have to do this at your desk, your body, and most likely your friends will thank you.  Even though you’ll feel exposed and vulnerable, wondering if people are noticing your belly, or your old shoes, you’ll be pleased to find they simply notice the pleasure you’re getting from stretching out your back, and soon enough they’ll be following suit.
  5. Music. Whether you like it loud or love to relax to quiet melodies, music is a great break.  It can invigorate you, especially if you sing along while taking a walk or working out.  You can use it to transport you to a tranquil oasis, where waterfalls quietly gurgle and birds sing in the trees.  Use your MP3 player to its full potential.  Listen at work, while in line, during a long car ride, or for 15 minutes after work.  Look for thing songs that really inspire you.
  6. Humor. Laughter is a great tool for relieving stress.  Keep a joke-a-day calendar, some funny one-liners, or a cartoon book like Peanuts or Dilbert.  Send funny pictures or tell the story about your dog in the snow.  Share your favorite silly commercial, your husband’s baby picture or whatever else strikes your fancy.  The smiles and happy memories will make you feel good and improve your day.

15 quick ideas to help you relax.

Great ways to relax at work.

Relaxify your workspace.

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earthly-paradise.jpg
Earthly Paradise by skyseeker
 

Having worked for over 15 years as a peon in the corporate world, I know how important break time can be.  Whether you use it break up the monotony of your day, or for a much needed rest from the hectic pace of work, break time can be a time to restore your sanity and rejuvenate your spirit.  Missing out on these brief respites of YOU time can severely slow your productivity, lower your creativity and keep you from performing and feeling your best.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that working harder means working better.  Over the years I have made the mistake over and over of not taking my breaks.  You become immersed in a major project with a deadline looming and the pressure makes you believe that stopping for 10-15 minutes will somehow make you lose your focus or idea.  What a load of hogwash!

Break time is the time to get your mind off your work.  This is when you reconnect with your spirit, energy and refuel.  Haven’t we all said that we get our best ideas in the shower, while exercising or at night just before bed?  For most of us, our minds work best when we give them time to rest and reflect on our work.  By changing your focus for just a few minutes, connections, creative sparks and solutions that were just out of reach come flooding in.

Here are a few tips to make the make of your break time.  Feel free to pick and choose the ones that appeal to you.  What may feel great to someone sitting at a desk all day may be horrible for someone on their feet for 8 hours:

  1. Talk about anything but work.  Talk to friends and coworkers all you like – just don’t talk about work.  Talk about your favorite TV show, the sunny weather or your children, but don’t give any attention to your current work.  Your mind needs to unwind.
  2. Step outside for some fresh air.  Sunlight, a cool breeze and taking a short walk can do wonders for your mind and body.  I’ve gotten many great ideas from making this one change to my daily routine.
  3. Find something funny.  Share a joke with a coworker, read the daily comics in the newspaper or listen to some fun music.  Keep a list of funny quotes and pick the one that best describes your day so far.
  4. Close your eyes and take 10 deep breathes.  Try to schedule your break so that you can be alone for a few minutes.  Then close your eyes, smile, and take several deep, filling breathes.  This simple strategy will fill you with energy, calm your racing thoughts and bring you a few needed moments of peace.
  5. Stretch the stiffness out.   Stretch the kinks from your neck and back.  Gently roll your neck to the right feeling that slight pull on your tight neck muscles, then let it loll to the front for a count of five, shift to your left for a moment, and finally tilt it backwards.  Do the same for your back, bending as far as is comfortable.  Repeat two or three times if necessary.  Enjoy yourself as the feeling of flexibility returns.
  6. Eat a healthy snack.  Munch an apple, drink some water or have a handful of nuts.  These nutritious snacks will keep you going for the next few hours by giving you a good boost of energy.
  7. Play your Nintendo Gameboy or PSP.  This idea is for older folks too.  There are games and puzzles for almost any taste.  The machines fit easily in your desk drawer and provide hours of entertainment.  I recommend a quick game of Sudoku or Shrek SuperSlam.  You can also watch videos on your PSP.  Just imagine watching SouthPark or The Simpsons for a quick laugh.
  8. Listen to a guided meditation.  Buy a CD with several 10-minute short meditations on it and listen to one each day.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can relax in the midst of chaos.  Playing it on headphones means you can listen anywhere – even in a slightly noisy breakroom.
  9. Play time.  Keep a super bouncy ball, a paddle ball (with the ball on the string), bubbles or a pack of cards in a special drawer.  When things get rough revert to childhood and play a little.  If you can find a play buddy it’s even better.
  10. Rock out to some great music.  Whatever gets your feet tapping and head bobbing.  Music is a great mood changer and just a few minutes with a favorite song can lift your mood and put a smile on your face.

Break time give you two chances each day to relax, unwind and add a little fun to your day.  Use yours to the best of your ability.  Please feel free to add your own tips and ideas in the comment section.  Have a wonderful day!

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cars-and-more-cars.jpg
Cars, cars and more cars Uploaded on June 11, 2006 by smith


I'm in no hurry, I'm on my way to work.
--bumper sticker

 

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Thanks to Mike Kerr and his newsletter #229 for sharing this wacky but inspired invention. This creative and ingenious device was part of the Washington D.C. Project for the Arts. Designed by artist Tom Greaves this red and white 5-foot tall box was small in size but big on impact. When placed on the street the Compliment Box gives out random compliments such as “You are awesome,” and “You have a nice voice,” as well as “People are drawn to your positive energy.”

The machine generated increased foot traffic in the area and was a huge hit. The interesting thing is how many people wanted one of their own (me included). I say don’t stop with one! Let’s add them to all the heavily pedestrian cities, put one at your office, and of course department stores and businesses with long lines. I remember when I lived in Florida and a Wal-Mart near my work put in a TV screen at every register that played Wal-Mart TV. They had clips from comedy shows and funny commercials among with the ads and information. Several times it gave me an early morning smile to see a Seinfeld clip or a silly pet commercial.

Why not use a little technology to make your day a little brighter? I would love to see this idea shared and copied in new and inventive ways in the future. How about a vet’s waiting room that plays America’s Funniest Animals videos or a doctor’s office that plays medical jokes? What kind of ideas can you think of?

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office-fish.jpg

 

Ok, I know, tomorrow is Monday and you hate to think about it. Is it your boss? Coworkers drive you crazy? How about your workspace? It could be a little easier to deal with on a Monday morning. I didn’t realize how much a dull, boring workplace could impact your perceptions until I was surrounded by the typical gray cubicle world of Corporate America for several years.

I was lucky, I was allowed to surround myself with family photos, cartoon characters and whatever else tickled my fancy. When I saw this awesome article from the Chief Happiness Officer, I really saw how inspiring it could be if all offices followed these creative ideas and invested a little effort in their workers surroundings. Think of how much simple things like a new paint color, colorful throw rugs, or even some soft background music (instrumental if need be) would change the whole experience at work. Go ahead, ask your boss, it’s worth a try – the worst they can do is say no.

Here is the link. I’m sure you’ll agree this kind of environment could help anyone be more relaxed and creative! http://positivesharing.com/2006/10/10-seeeeeriously-cool-workplaces/

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