Most people relish the opportunity to take a vacation because it gives them the chance to get away from work. They request time off, coordinate with family members and friends, choose a destination, and make plans that will help them get the most out of their time away. But how many of us put that same effort into making sure our work is just as relaxing or rewarding?
Think about all of the reasons employees might want to get away from the office. They might hate where they work. They might not be in the right role. They might be in a slump. Most of those problems boil down to the idea that we have little autonomy to make our jobs work for us. But what I've learned is that we all have more power over how we experience our lives than we realize.
If you want to feel less desperate for a vacation every time you go to the office, you're in luck. Here are 5 habits you can build now that will help you start enjoying your work today.
1. Leave your desk.
I can't tell you how many of my clients complain about never getting anything done because people stop by their desks to ask questions or chat all day long. In a world of open office plans, taking ownership of where you work is more important than ever. To take control, start working in different environments. Find ones that inspire you, relax you, or make you feel like you're on vacation. It could be your office cafeteria, the Starbucks across the road, or your back porch at home. Once you do this, you'll immediately start to feel like you have more freedom throughout your workday.
2. Exercise in the middle of the day.
Making time to exercise in the middle of the day can provide you with a much-needed energy boost in the afternoon. You know that sitting for long periods of time is bad for you, so prioritize this like you would an important meeting or task. Turn your lunch break into a gym break or make one or your meetings a speed walk meeting. More and more driven executives are making movement a part of their day and benefiting tremendously as a result.
3. Meet a friend or someone you admire for lunch.
If you're craving a break or need to find ways to rejuvenate, get away from the office and meet a friend during the day. This can also provide you with an opportunity to network with someone who inspires you. The more time you spend with inspiring people, the more energy you'll have throughout the rest of the day (and week). Look at this as a chance to boost your social life and your productivity levels.
4. Watch an inspirational video during the day.
How often do we save books or videos or articles for when we go on vacation only to get there and put them off because we want to unplug? There's no reason to put this off any longer. If you need a quick inspiration fix, there are endless TED Talks and YouTube videos out there for you, and there are plenty you can watch in less than 15 minutes. It's the perfect way to start your day or break up the afternoon. Here are a few to get you started.
5. Block off an afternoon or one full day a week with no meetings.
Most people don't make time to think. By getting some dedicated time to yourself, you'll be able to focus on your priorities, spend more time innovating, and have more creative energy for what you really want to work on during the day. I know this isn't possible for people with jobs that require daily meetings. However, if you have the ability and the autonomy to work this out, it will have huge benefits.