You have it so easy when you’re a kid. You roll out of bed at 8am, scoff a bowl of coco pops, spend the day doodling on each others workbooks and catching nits at school, and then BAM you’re straight back on the sofa watching Hey Arthur with a packet of love hearts by 4pm.
Then there’s uni – You’ve apparently entered “adulthood” by this point, however with approximately 6 hours of lectures a week…the majority of your time is spent munching pot noodles and watching daytime TV, while intermittently glancing at your latest assignment. By night you’re guzzling Jager bombs and boogieing to the latest chart hits. Rinse and repeat.
There really is no preparing you for the gruelling reality of 9-to-5 life. 6am alarms don’t feel anymore bearable four years in. Commuting doesn’t ever really become any less rage-inducing and if you have a desk job, your average day can pretty much look the same as the next. Don’t get me wrong, if you find a job that you enjoy, the work can definitely be fun and great colleagues make the week go by much quicker, but boy oh boy will you have days that you dream of escaping to travel the world!
To make the workday go a little quicker, I’ve come up with a 9-to-5 survival guide that’ll hopefully perk up a dull day.
1) Start your day with a strong coffee
Let’s be realistic, when you get up at 6am each day, nothing productive is really going to be achieved before you’ve received your morning caffeine fix. Start the day with a strong cup of Joe and you’re good to go! For best effects, top up your caffeine levels in regular intervals throughout the day to avoid the dreaded caffeine crash. Don’t get into the routine of offering too many people a cuppa, however, as you’ll find that one day you’re offering the team a drink and the next you’ve practically become the catering manager. You’ve only got two hands after all.
Disclaimer: Tea is also an acceptable source of caffeine. Vodka Red Bull at 9am, maybe not.
2) Find your people
When you’re living the 9-to-5 dream, you’ll find that you spend more time with your colleagues than pretty much anyone else in your life. Possibly even your partner or family (I’ll leave you to decide whether this is a good or bad thing). That’s why it’s of great importance that you find ‘your people’. They may be in your team or in another department. Either way, these individuals are the ones who will keep you sane, when everything else is driving you up the wall. From tea breaks spent venting about the latest office niggle, to after work drinks at the local pub, they make work-life a whole lot better!
3) Arm yourself with desk snacks
Sitting at a desk all day can be hungry work. Keep hanger at bay by stocking up your snack drawer with plenty of tasty treats. I’m living my best life when I’ve got a good selection of healthy, naughty, sweet and savoury snacks to pick at throughout the day. The same goes for planning a totally awesome lunch that you can look forward to all morning. Just don’t eat it by 11am.
Disclaimer: Don’t be the person who eats smelly/noisy food at their desk. No one likes that person.
4) Use your holiday
I will never know how some people allow their annual leave to go to waste. You’re getting paid to take time off work, what’s not to get on board with? I personally love to travel, so while others find themselves with excess holiday to use up at the end of the year, I have to ration mine carefully and strategically. And you know what, there’s nothing that keeps me motivated at work more than knowing I’ve got a holiday coming up. I’m a firm believer that our mind needs time to refresh and reset, so take the damn time off while you can!
The same goes for lunch breaks. Staring at a computer screen for eight straight hours isn’t good for anyone. Get up, go for a walk, go to the gym…whatever. Just give your eyes and mind a rest.
5) Don’t shame yourself in front of colleagues
As mentioned in one of my previous points, making friends and socialising with them outside of work is a fail-safe way to make your job more enjoyable, but for the love of god, don’t do something you’ll regret. Remember that you have to see these people every single day and they probably won’t let you live it down if you get drunk and do something hideously embarrassing. So no downing tequila shots until you’re sick, no drunkenly confessing to every cringe thing you’ve ever done in your life and definitely no smooching colleagues.
Disclaimer: Work parties are breeding grounds for regrettable decisions. Think before you act, or live with the Monday morning consequences.