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5 Tips That Can Help You Survive the 9-6 Daily Grind in Singapore

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Joanne Poh

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Even if you don’t completely loathe your job, you’ve got to admit that there are days when time just seems to crawl by. You struggle to keep your eyelids open in the unwholesome glow of your computer screen.

You have a ton of work to do but you’re just too darned sleepy to do a damned thing. If that sounds like you, that’s no way to spend every day of your life until retirement. Here are a few tips that can make the work day fly by and perhaps even make you a little more engaged and productive on the job.

 

Invest in a good pair of headphones

Listening to music or podcasts while you work is a strategy that can significantly improve your mood at work, and one I highly recommend if the sound of your boss’s screaming voice or the chattering of gossiping aunties wears you down. Create different playlists for various types of tasks.

When I was a trainee lawyer, I once sat in the office until 2am doing data entry. I would not have lived to tell the tale without an upbeat playlist which helped to occupy my mind during the mindless hours. You can afford to listen to podcasts when doing menial tasks. If you’re stressed out beyond belief, try a chill-out mix instead.

Good earphones don’t only have to be the sort that you pay hundreds of dollars for and are moulded to the shape of your ear. There are plenty of affordable earphones, such as the Xiaomi In-ear Headphones, that cost under $50 and provide fantastic sound and are definitely worth the money. Just do a bit more homework and you’ll be sorted!

 

Take a walk during the work day

All those hours spent seated at your desk are hurting your body, and if you never get any exercise at all throughout the week, don’t be surprised if your mood starts dipping and you find yourself unable to focus. If you’re not the sort of person who needs to have lunch with your colleagues every single day, take the opportunity to go on a brisk walk around the block during your lunch break.

Just half an hour will have you feeling a lot more awake in the second half of the day. If you are able to sneak off during the work day, escape for 15 or 20 minutes to get some fresh air and exercise. It makes a world of difference in breaking up the monotony of the day and you’ll be surprised how much energy you can regain.

 

Make plans after work

There’s nothing more depressing than plugging away during the work day with nothing to look forward to but waking up the next day and repeating the entire dreary routine. It’s no wonder so many workers have no incentive to be efficient at work, since it’s not like they have anything to look forward to other than an uncomfortable MRT ride home at the end of the day.

If you want to see your productivity soar and be a lot more focused, make plans after work each and every day. You don’t necessarily have to be partying every day, either. Even scheduling a viewing of your favourite movie on your laptop at 8pm can motivate you to power through the day.

 

Bring munchies

We all experience those days when we just really, really need an energy boost. This is particular pertinent if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t wake up early enough for breakfast—the hours in the lead up to lunchtime can be pure torture. Keeping some snacks and plenty of water at your desk can be the difference between life and death.

If you don’t want to die of MSG poisoning or suffer the crash that follows a sugar high, load up on fruit and nuts instead of chips and chocolate, which will have you feeling bloated and sluggish in the long run.

 

Work on a personal project

I hesitate to include this recommendation here because it might not exactly do too much to boost your work performance. But if yours is a mindless job and you don’t have enough work to occupy you during office hours or you’re serving out your notice period, those boredom-filled hours at the office can be channelled towards working on a personal project rather than wasted on Facebook.

Whether you’re working towards passing the CFA exam, trying to become fluent in Japanese, studying music theory or reading a novel, if you can find a way to sneakily do so at work you’ll congratulate yourself on having done something meaningful with your time, even if your boss might not agree.

Do you have any other tips for those who are trying to make the work day fly by? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credits:
Ryan Custodio

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.