The 2 P.M. Test: Make Your Work Day Shorter

ByABC News
August 25, 2006, 5:16 PM

Aug. 28, 2006 — -- It's never good when you look up at the clock and think, "Ugh! It's only 2 p.m. How am I going to get through the rest of the day?"

The best employees -- and the happiest people -- are the ones who look up at the clock and say, "Phew! It's only 2 p.m. I'm glad I still have time to get through the rest of my tasks.

Looking forward to your day at the office is good for you, and good for the company. So if you are one of those people who count down the minutes until that proverbial bell rings, it's time to transform yourself from an "ugh" to a "phew."

Here's how:

  • Have a candid conversation with your boss about taking on more challenging assignments that inspire you to work harder.
  • Spend time with colleagues who love their jobs rather than the ones who complain constantly. Enthusiasm is contagious, but so is negativity.
  • Take your lunch break. Lots of times we feel like we are too busy to step away from the desk, but taking time for lunch will both break up the day and recharge you when you get back to work.
  • Create to-do lists with firm timetables for getting work done. Once you start checking tasks off the list, it will inspire you to accomplish more.
  • Get a snack that offers an energy boost when your blood sugar is low -- think nuts and power bars. Maybe you're actually just tired, not bored.
  • Come up with clear goals. It's hard to work toward a goal if you don't have one, or if the end goal is a fuzzy intangible that constantly changes.
  • Grab a cup of coffee with a colleague you've always wanted to learn more about. The more peers you get along with, the more fun going to work will be.
  • Be proactive. Challenging, fulfilling assignments don't just fall from the sky. Think of projects that you are passionate about and suggest them to your supervisor.
  • If all else fails, look for a new job. If your job is totally wrong for you, you'll never be happy.

Tory Johnson is the workplace contributor on "Good Morning America" and the CEO of Women for Hire. To connect directly with Johnson, visit