12 Ways to Make the Work Week Go Faster
Have you ever experienced the work week feeling like it lasts forever instead of just five days?
Is there any way to make the work week go by faster?
Feeling sluggish at work?
How do we speed up our sense of passing time?
These are all valid and common questions most working professionals ask themselves multiple times throughout the week.
For many people the sense of passing time is about how busy you are or how distracted you are. How about those weeks when you are just dragging, and the week seems to last forever no matter how busy you are?
How you experience the passage of time is very much about perception and your response is usually very emotional. People have a tendency to become very emotional in all possible ways except positive when they perceive time to be moving very slowly.
Here are 12 Ways to Make the Work Week Go Faster, or at least seem to.
One way to make the work day, and consequently, the work week, to pass more quickly is to find ways to challenge yourself. You can do this by yourself or along with peers in your work environment.
If you can challenge yourself in the workplace this will provide the mental stimulation you may need to have the days speed by. A lot depends on your workplace and what is or is not allowed.
Don’t become stuck in workplace daily tasks. Instead involve yourself in the more complicated and complex tasks and time will pass quickly. This works well if you really like a mental challenge.
Challenge yourself to take on more than what is expected of you. This will accomplish two things. First, time will fly because you will be busy and mentally stimulated. Second, your boss is likely to notice the possibility of good things opening up for you down the road.
Set up competitions between yourself and any willing coworkers. This works well if you have similar or the same tasks that can be judged by time and quality. Set up some competitions but don’t forget to notify your boss so she knows what’s going on.
Challenge yourself to find ways to learn new skills and improve the ones you have. Time yourself when writing up a report. Try to cut the time by a few minutes every time you do the report.
2. Take Enough Breaks:
Now that you have challenged yourself, give yourself a break. If you continue to do the same thing over and over again it gets tedious and tiring. Time starts to drag on and then one day just drags into the next and soon it feels like the work week lasts for seven or eight days instead of five.
Take at least three breaks a day and don’t spend them at your desk. Do not eat your lunch at your desk. Get away for a real break.
Change your environment when you take your breaks. Go for a walk around the building. Go out to lunch. Have lunch in the break room with friends from other departments.
Do whatever it takes to make those two breaks and lunch a time of renewal. The more repetitious your job is, the more important these breaks in routine are in order to make the work week go faster.
3. Look Forward:
Having the work week go past quickly can be attained by having something to look forward to. Now some might say that just the opposite is true. The more you are looking forward to something down the road, the slower time will seem to pass.
For a few people the latter may be true, but for those that can spend some time during the workday daydreaming about what it is they are looking forward to, well that can have the same effect as taking a break.
Looking forward to something special can break the monotony of a repetitive function.
4. Live in the Moment:
Here we have what might appear to be another contradiction. We tell you to look forward in order to pass time quicker, and now we are telling you that living in the present moment will do the same.
Which one is it? It depends on the person and it might also be that the same person who can use all these techniques at different times. If you are truly present in the moment, those moments pass quickly. Most moments pass too soon when we are authentically engaged with them.
5. Stay Busy:
Be Productive – Stop watching the clock! Clock watchers will always experience time as passing slowly whether in the work environment or at home with family and friends.
If you work a job that has the same repetitive functions every day you need to break up types of work, but you still want to stay as busy as possible between the breaks. If you are lucky, your workday might consist of meetings, report writing, and supply ordering, inventory taking, budget development, assignments, and lots of social interaction.
If you can stay productive, if you can stay focused, then you can keep your eyes off the clock. If you need to plan out your days in order to keep them productive, then it will have been well worth your time to do it.
When you finish one project do your best to move on to the next one without looking at the clock. This is not an easy thing for anyone to do. However, if you succeed time will go by a lot faster. The more you practice this, the easier it will be to forget about glancing at the time.
You might start by trying not to look at the clock until you finished two projects in a row. If you can do this, then you will be able to slowly build it up until you never look at the clock until your breaks and your lunch time.
6. Do What You Love:
This is an important consideration in having the work week fly by. The old adage that time flies when you are having fun is true when you love what you do for a living.
Not everyone gets to love their work in this way. If the opportunity presents itself you should grab it and you will never have to worry about making the work week go faster. It is also just as true if your work is something you think is important – important to you or important to the future of the world… it does not matter.
What matters is the level of emotional involvement you have with the job. The higher the emotional involvement the faster the workday and workweek will go by.
7. Plan to Reward Yourself:
Again this is another form of playing games with yourself to pass the time more quickly. In this version of the game, you spent time planning a setoff rewards for yourself based on completion of your work assignments.
It is important to reward yourself at times and this seems an appropriate time. Develop a series of weekly work tasks and the rewards that would go with them. Keep track of the tasks when you are at work and when you complete them.
Not only does this put a fun focus back on the tasks, at the same time it gives you hope and something to look forward to.
8. Relaxation Techniques:
If you have familiarity with these ideas and techniques, practicing them both at home before and after work, as well as at work will give you tools for passing time when it begins to drag.
There are many different relaxation techniques that you can try. Deep breathing, mediation and visualization are only a few of the possible tools you can use.
These tools can be used at any time because they are quick, adaptable and easy. You can practice deep breathing at the same time that you are typing a report or sitting in a staff meeting.
Use a meditation where you visualize the passage of time. Use clock imagery, or if it suits you better, you can use a larger image of the passage of time. Whatever image works for you is what you should use.
This tool set also includes daydreaming and doing it without others knowing or noticing you are not entirely there. Only choose positive, affirming subjects for your daydreams.
9. Playing with Perception:
The experience of passing time is all about perception. We can use our perception to speed up or slow down how we experience time.
Along the same lines, we have all heard that “a watched pot never boils”. This is a slowed down perception of time. The more we push for anything to occur the longer it seems to take for that something to happen.
The key to this perception of time passing more quickly is to be calm mentally and realize that it is within your control. If you perceive time moving fast, it will move fast. If you perceive time moving slowly it will move slowly.
If you are desperate about pushing time forward, somehow your perception of it will resist and slow down. That is why the calmer you are, the more pleasant your thoughts, the faster you will perceive time as moving.
10. Let’s Get Physical:
The more physical the activity you are engaged in the more you will perceive time as moving more quickly. This is why you don’t eat lunch at your desk. This is why you want to take a walk outside or around your building on your lunch.
Just like competition, physical activity takes your mind off the clock. Since the entire experience of time is one of mental perception, anything that takes your mind off the clock will speed up the perception of passing time.
11. Nutrition and Sleep:
Take care of yourself. You will be better able to deal with anything that comes up at work if you have slept well and have good nutrition.
We have all had the experience of going to work overtired and how incredibly long that day was. It is very hard to get through that kind of day and we can’t wait to go home and go to sleep.
However the thought of getting home is so overwhelming that it leads to the sensation of time crawling by. So getting good night’s sleep and eating well is very important.
12. Use Technology:
Online timers can help you keep your eyes off of the clock. Set a timer for two to three hours (play with the amount of time) and get to work. Now you don’t need to look at the time or think about it at all. Just wait for the beeping. When the timer goes off take a break or switch tasks.
There are software programs that allow you to only work within a particular program. For example, if I’m working with Microsoft Word, I can select “view”, “full screen reading”, “view options”, and then “allow typing”. This helps eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand.
It is not easy to make the work week go faster, but you can see from these tips that it can be done. Try all of them out and see which ones work best for you.