Career

Five Ways To Bring More Fun Into Your Life

We’re all busy. Whether you’re completing study or working a full-time job, we’re all guilty of putting work first. With news cycles regularly reporting on the shrinking job market, employees feel the pressure to clock in long hours in the pursuit of job security. Digital devices further blur the lines between work hours and personal time. The result is pressure to work hard now, and save fun for later.

Earlier this year, a friend posted a blog titled Goals For 2017. I opened the blog expecting to see a list of writerly goals, like “Finish first draft of novel” or “Present paper at a conference”.

That’s not what the blog post was about. Instead, my friend had compiled a list of activities and experiences that were surprisingly inspiring, and refreshingly non-career related:

  • Learn to cook pasta from scratch
  • Join an amateur theatre production
  • Go for a full day hike
  • Spend a week in Bali

Rather than compiling yet another to-do list, my friend had instead created a list of activities that would bring value to her life. Because while it’s important to have work related goals, it’s also important to inject some fun into your life.

Below are five inexpensive ways to inject more play into your weekly routine.

#1 Sign up for a class

You can find free tutorials on the internet for just about anything. But if you spend all day sitting in front of a computer at work, the last thing you want to do is sit in front of the computer at home. Instead, consider signing up for a class with an actual teacher and other students. If you don’t want to do it alone, convince a friend to come with you.

At one of my former office jobs, all the admin assistants decided to sign up for a four-week long pottery course. The course was inexpensive, met one night a week (minimal time commitment) and because we made the commitment to do the classes together, we held each other accountable. Of course, you could take classes in anything – from learning another language, to dance classes, cooking, singing, art etc.

#2 Get back to nature

Whether you go for a day hike, camp or just duck down to a nearby beach for an hour or two, unplugging from your devices and connecting with nature is a great way to remind yourself that there’s more to life than work. It’s almost impossible to feel stressed or uninspired after getting pummelled by waves. Stepping out into nature may give you the head space to come up with new ideas or re-evaluate some important decision, but the key here is to have fun, so why not drag some buddies or a significant other along with you?

#3 Have an old fashioned movie night

When was the last time you invited a mate over to watch a movie? With technology changing the way we consume our entertainment, many of us are now watching our favourite television shows and movies on our laptops.

Instead of sitting in that blue glow, solo, consider inviting some friends over a movie night. You can throw on some popcorn or serve up a cheese platter and wine, and then kick back and enjoy the nostalgic hang out.

#4 Go to a show

Sure, you could go see a movie, but nothing is quite as invigorating as seeing a live show, especially if you go with a significant other or a group of friends. Most cities and even rural towns have amateur theatre groups who put on multiple shows a year. Tickets are usually inexpensive and sometimes even include dinner.

#5 Build your own custom list

Obviously we all have different ideas about what constitutes fun. For some people it could be playing in a band, while for others it could be going for a motorbike ride. However, when faced with the question “what do you do for fun?” some of us may draw a blank. Rather than falling into standard activities like going to the movies or out for a meal, sit down and make a list of activities or challenges you would like to explore.

Grab a piece of paper and pen and start brainstorming. No-one is going to hold you to this list, so be as wild as you dare. And you never know, some of your ideas may surprise you. Not only is this activity inspiring – and fun – within itself, it will also provides you with a list of items for those times when you’re feeling burnt out.

After all, your career is important, but having fun is what will make you feel alive.


Tara East has a Bachelor of Journalism (JCU), a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing (USQ) and a Masters in Professional Practice Creative Writing (USC). Her work has appeared in ABC Local and TEXT journal.