Tips & Resources
Productivity & Lifestyle

Tired of the Same Boring Work Routines? Use these Tips to Disrupt your Habits

Lisa Slisli
21 March 2019

Routine is part of who we are as human beings. It’s a vicious cycle that starts when we wake up and continues throughout the entire day. We are often living our days on autopilot, just sticking to our habits. 

This can be great when it comes to efficiency and planning; however, it keeps you trapped and can easily become boring. You may even feel like you are losing your inner adventurous soul and just waiting for something exciting to happen.

To avoid this monotony, we want to share with you some small disruption techniques to “reboot yourself” and gain control over your life which will, at the end of your day, leave you feeling more fulfilled and satisfied.

Let’s go through the daily routine and find some challenging disruption actions, you may be  willing to try:

Start off your morning with something new

Mornings are the toughest part of the day for non-morning people, like me. Whether it’s Monday or Friday, getting out of your bed is a slow process. However, some small changes could make this process easier and more fun while boosting your motivation for the day!

  • Don’t place your phone next to your bed. 

    • This way you need to stand and get out of the bed to turn off your alarm! Plus, you won’t press snooze as you’re already out of your bed!

  • Open your curtains and your window to get some light and fresh air in your room.

  • Don’t skip breakfast! Prepare some delicious breakfast and try something new!

  • Get your blood flowing and go for a run or walk.

  • Take a shower.

  • Try a new outfit! If you wear a  white t-shirt every day, try a blue one. 

  • Don’t check your social media or any of your online accounts before getting to work.

  • If you do feel the need to read something in the morning, read a book or newspaper, instead of scrolling down social media pages.

  • Prepare your lunch and snack for the day.

  • Leave home early!

  • Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself you’re awesome and strong (good for your self-esteem too).

  • TIP: Prepare everything for work the night before, like that you have more time in the morning to do something else.

Public transport, by car or another commute method

We’re all familiar with the commuting process. Whether it’s by car or public transport, these routines can be very stressful. 

  • Instead of commuting 20 min by car, try out the e-bikes or e-scooters. 

  • If you’re a fan of challenging commuting styles, try once a week to go by roller skates (don’t forget to love yourself and wear protection)!

  • Listen to new music and explore new artists. 

  • Change your habits by listening to a podcast or audiobook instead of music.

  • This is the perfect moment to rehearse your presentation for the day.

  • Catch up with an old friend over the phone during their commute. 

  • Avoid traffic by leaving before rush hour. 

  • Challenge yourself by trying a different route!

  • Participate in carpooling! Maybe even offer a ride to colleagues that live nearby.

Our daily 12 PM - 2 PM  meal break

Lunchtime: the moment everyone is looking forward to. It’s time to boost your energy with a lovely meal and catch up with some friends or colleagues. Get your mind off your work for a moment and enjoy this break! Even though lunchtime in itself is a break from your normal workday, the routine can get boring so freshen it up by doing the following: 

  • Prepare yourself a different lunch meal for each day. Or try meal prepping something different each week! 

  • Go for a walk and grab yourself something delicious on your way. 

  • Meet up with some colleagues from different departments. 

  • Catch up with some friends over lunch time. 

  • Try out a new environment, don’t always sit at the same spot! 

  • Set yourself a challenge and read 1 chapter of a book that you’ve been wanting to read. 

  • Grab a group of friends and plan to have lunch out of the office once a month. 

Don’t forget to take a break from time to time

Not enough people take breaks at work, which is unfortunate because they are proven to make you more productive. 

  • Try setting a timer for once an hour. 

  • Stick post-it’s in between your files, whenever you encounter one, it’s break time!

  • Try saying “YES” when someone asks you to go for a drink or lunch; this way, you have an unexpected break, which could be fun and exciting!

Work breaks usually include mindlessly scrolling on social media, running to the bathroom and having a cigarette until you’ve summoned the energy to return to work. We would even bet that you are reading this blog right now on your phone at work via an Instagram link. Make your break time more enjoyable by doing these things:  

  • Get rid of your electronic devices during your break and give your eyes some rest from that harsh blue light! 

  • Go for a walk. 

  • Catch up with some colleagues, or talk to some new colleagues you’ve never met before.

  • Read a magazine article. 

  • Catch up with the company’s agenda and find out what is planned for the week. 

  • Leave the office for a snack. 

  • Plan out your weekend. 

Spice up your daily meeting

Meetings are stressful, time-consuming and sometimes unnecessary. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the meetings are well organized but not monotonous, so people actually pay attention. 

  • Start with a quote of the day, a motivation of the day or anything not related to the meeting to create a less stressful environment. 

  • Write down bullet points you want to mention in the meeting. 

  • Try to challenge yourself by at least interacting once (or more).

    • Employee: Push yourself to ask at least 1 question during the meeting.

    • Meeting leader: Try to at least involve 2 employees within a talk.

  • Give yourself a time limit per point to not make your meeting last for hours.

    • You could try setting a timer to go off at the end of the meeting, so you know you have to wrap up. 

  • Make everyone stick post-its on the whiteboard when sharing ideas. This will increase interaction and creativity. 

  • Think outside of the box! Take your employees outside for once instead of being stuck between these 4 walls of the office.

Get off your phone and start sending pigeons around! (or just change your Communication habits)

Communication has become very digitized. It often feels like I spend half the day messaging online with coworkers and responding to emails. Here are some tips and tricks to optimize your communication at work and not get into the habit of just responding without intention. 

  • Forget about the online platform, go and TALK to a colleague. 

  • Allocate appointed time slots to respond to emails. 

  • Proofread everything you write! 

  • Try to get rid of filler words when you are messaging and get straight to the point.

  • Give yourself one new word a day that you must use in every mail you write, every talk/ chat you have.

  • Use emojis depending on the person you are talking to!

  • Use post-its, to stick on people’s desk to send them a message instead of just chatting it to them through a social platform. 

Daily afternoon dip 

We’ve all experienced this moment during the day that you do not have any motivation left, your eyes are very heavy and your mind is not being productive anymore. This is a sign of you are being overloaded, so here is some advice on how to get through these afternoon dips.

  • Clean up your desk. 

  • Organize your mailbox and get rid of spam (apply a 5S strategy). 

  • Plan your tasks for the next day.

  • Make a to-do list to have a nice overview of what’s left to do today or tomorrow. 

  • Stretch (don’t start doing the warrior pose in the middle of the office, but you can stretch your neck, arms, legs). 

  • Get a healthy afternoon snack to get your blood flowing. 

  • Try to stand more often instead of being seated all day. 

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. 

  • Enjoy some afternoon tea to relax for a moment! Perhaps with a nice piece of chocolate to accompany the tea.

Try new things and make your days more interactive and challenging! This will leave you with a more satisfied feeling at the end of the workday and keep your brain entertained and busy. 

To start your change, you might want to read a blog during your break, here are some other blogs you might be interested in: How to make your office move as smooth as possible; How to make your meeting efficient and successful; and How to build a winning team

If you really want to disrupt your habits and move to an office that is never boring, book a tour with OneCoWork and find out more about our workspaces in Plaça Catalunya, Marina Port Vell and Gotic, which has meeting rooms for up to 36 people!

Lisa SliSli is a OneCoWork marketing intern from Belgium, finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and soon to start her Master’s in Strategic Business Management.

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