Even though my dream would be not to work in a 9-5 office setting, I've gotten pretty used to it over the past few years. Mainly because I've adapted some survival techniques that help me get through the dreaded 8 hours of sitting on my ass, staring at a computer screen.
Survival Tip #1: Caffeine.
While I'm not a die hard coffee drinker, I do need caffeine in order to get through my day without a headache. I don't have time/I'm too lazy to make a pot of coffee for myself in the morning at home. Also, I have to go out of my way to go through a drive-thru on the way to work, so I often resort to energy drinks. The biggest problem with this? Being the only 20-something in an office full of older, "I can't believe you drink that shit," coffee people. So I've been resorting to pouring my Amp/Monster into a travel coffee mug, and no one seems to be the wiser.
Survival Tip #2: The 10 o'clock snack, or in some cases, your lunch.
I'm not a big breakfast person, but even if I were, I wouldn't be wait until lunch before I ate again for the day. The 10 o'clock snack not only serves as my breakfast, but also marks the halfway point in between the start of my day, and lunch. Having a snack drawer is the key to not forgetting a 10 o'clock snack at home. If that happens, you're more likely to eat your lunch. Sometimes my snack drawer (SD) is full of granola bars and dried fruit, while other times it's full of peanut M&M's and anything sour. Clearly, the kraken dictates the supplies I keep in my SD.
Survival Tip #3: A late lunch.
I know that some of you might not be able to choose what time you go to lunch, but if you can, I would suggest going as late as possible. I refuse to take lunch before 12:30, unless I have an afternoon meeting I need to get back for. If I leave at 12:30, I don't have to be back until 1:30, which really means 2 - considering I go to the bathroom, grab some water, and take my time clicking through emails. 2 o'clock is what I consider to be the halfway point to the end of the day. Which brings me to #4...
Survival Tip #4: Take 30 minutes to pick up your desk/go to the bathroom at the end of the day.
Your office closes at 5? Start tidying up around 4:30. I start by moving piles from one spot on my desk to another. This makes me look busy and concerned about my work load; neither of which I usually am. Next, bring any dishes that need to be cleaned to the bathroom or kitchen area, and wash them until your hands start to prune. Finally, go to the bathroom, even if this means you stand in the stall, wait a minute, and then flush. Ta-da, it's 5 o'clock.
In addition to these tips, I suggest having a touch screen phone (who doesn't these days?) so no one can hear you clicking your text message heart out, and taking frequent trips to the bathroom, even when they are not needed. I would highly suggest finding a co-worker you can waste time bullshitting with. This can be tricky, but when you find the right person, sitting in each other's office or cube for an hour is perfectly fine, as long as you say, "I should really get back to work" once every ten minutes.
What are your office tips? I'd love to hear them.