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Monotonous? Repetitive? Tedious?

Are these words that you would use to describe your job?

Viewing your job as a place to fill time can quickly turn work into drudgery. Because most jobs require a minimum amount of time that is spent on site each day, it is up to you to fill that time in ways that are productive. Here are five things you can do to exercise your brain, and help you accomplish more at work.

1. Read something everyday. Whether it is the newspaper or a book; reading will stimulate your mind. If you have a new skill or software that you would like to be more proficient at work, take a few minutes to research it, and become the expert that everyone can come to with questions.

2. Make time to just relax and think. Some call it meditation while others just think of it as time to hear yourself think; either way set aside time to slow down and reflect on your day. This quiet reflecting can help you de-stress, analyze decisions and often find inspiration. Writing down some of your thoughts, especially as they pertain to improving work processes or projects that need to be done during down time, can help focus your mind later on.

3. Communicate with co-workers. When you come across a question or problem, take a moment to talk it through with someone else. Talking through it can help you come up with innovative solutions, help you see things from another point of view and, once solved, will convert the knowledge to your long term memory. Another benefit from sharing your new information is that stating the concept in its simplest terms can make it more understandable for all!

4. Change your workspace. Of course adding light, pictures, and a fan or heater can help make the area you work more pleasant, and therefore increase your alertness. If you add a poem, quote, article, or calendar of vocabulary you can stretch your brain by reviewing them when you need a momentary distraction. By doing this you will be consistently learning new things in an array of areas.

5. Get physical! Staying healthy and participating in physical activities helps your mind and body to work more efficiently and keeps you more alert. Eating a healthy snack in between meals can give you more energy and brain power to stay on task. Take a walk when you take your break. A change of scenery can help clear your mind, and allow you time to process new information you have learned or work through complications.

Keeping yourself motivated and challenging your brain will make you stand out amongst your peers, and may just earn yourself a promotion!