When I was younger, I used to pretend that I was on a spaceship from Star Trek whenever I was in my Mom’s office in the basement of our first house. It had two, sometimes three computers, a fax machine, two drafting tables, and filing cabinets so it was easy to play with my imagination and pretend I was on the bridge, or engineering, or a science lab. I would click away at the keyboards of the different computers, which were really only typing into a word document, and pretend to give and receive orders.
A little further down the road, closer to the present, I would pretend to be a hacker — after watching the movie Hackers, of course — again just typing nonsense “code” into a text file and creating empty folders leading into nowhere. Sometimes I would be a hacker helping to save the world by “hacking the planet”, and other times I would be saving the world by being part of a secret agency. Again, I was doing absolutely nothing but playing and typing random characters into useless documents, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a lot of fun to do.
They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and pretending to be these characters was a lot of fun. (It’s still fun to play characters, I just usually get paid to do that now.) It’s cliché to say it, but if we could have more fun at work, it would be a lot easier to get through the grind. What if we could play these characters while working on whatever it is that we’re doing? Maybe put on an accent for a day. I’d recommend working on that accent and getting down the nuances of it (which is a lot of fun in and of itself) before attempting to do so so that you don’t sound like a stereotype, but imagine how that would change everything about you for that day? Or maybe during moments to yourself when you’re running an errand, pretend that you’re on a mission. You’re walking to your drop-point but there’s a chance that you’re being tailed. I recommend listening to songs from an espionage-thriller movie score while doing this, as it’ll make you feel like you’re in a movie. (The Bourne Trilogy soundtrack are perfect for this kind of make-believe.) You’d be surprised at how the most mundane task suddenly take on a life of their own, keeping you engaged and intrigued at anything that happens next.
Sure it’s just pretend, but you can suspend your disbelief for a few moments here and there, can’t you? Be a kid again, don’t touch the ground because it’s lava. Get around that corner quickly and hide for a second because the bad guys are onto you. Don’t forget to use your voice-print identification when you get on that elevator that takes you to the secret floor.
Have fun with your every day tasks. You’ll thank yourself for it later.