9 Fun Activities to Help You Tighten Up Your Work Skills

By POPSUGAR Smart Living on 4 October 2012 (Updated 12 November 2012) 4 comments
Photo: Small_Realm

After a few months of Summer Fridays or hitting the blacktop for weekend road trips, it can be tough to reel your brain back from the beach into office mode, so now's a great time to invest some energy in tightening up your work skills. Trust falls and "two truths and a lie" might be common workplace team building games, but these nine activities will improve your office aptitude while adding a fun and fulfilling twist to your daily routine.

RELATED: The Best Times to Do Work Tasks

Do a Puzzle

Even your train commute can be a setting for work skills improvement. Whip out the daily crossword puzzle, carry a Sudoku book in your bag, or tap the word puzzle app of your choice and flex that powerful muscle in your head. Puzzles can broaden your vocabulary as well as your ability to problem solve by forcing you to think differently about the task at hand.

Enroll in a Public Speaking Class

For some people (including myself), standing before a room full of people — or even three — can be more petrifying than skydiving or swimming with sharks. Begin to overcome those fears by joining a public speaking class or club where you'll learn to orate like a politician, improve your overall communication skills, and network with other like-minded folks.

Play a Team Sport

Get involved in your local rec league or simply gather some friends together for a regular soccer afternoon at the park. Not only will you feel the physical and emotional benefits of exercise, playing a team sport will help you hone your teamwork and leadership skills while thinking on your feet.

Hang Out With the Kids

When your sister asks you to babysit her brood, don't turn her down! Playtime not only gives your inner child the green light to imagine, but it also allows you to observe how kids work through disagreements in order to cooperate...without the burden of office politics.

Clubs and Organizations

Plan to attend the next alumni association-sponsored tailgate, Junior League event, or PTA meeting. Joining clubs and organizations that align with your hobbies or stage of life can be a great way to meet new people and network over common interests. You can volunteer to head up a committee to gain valuable leadership and project planning experience.

Take an Improv Acting Class

Enrolling in an improv acting class could lead to other thespian career paths, but it can also teach you to think on your feet and anticipate your co-worker's next move through unscripted role play.

Volunteer

Whether you donate your time to an organization or another person in need, volunteering has to be one of the most personally rewarding activities in which one can participate. It's also another great venue for learning teamwork and leadership skills, improving communication, and even picking up new abilities that could be beneficial in your office environment.

Attend a Networking Social

Many professional organizations host socials, giving people from different companies a chance to rub elbows over cocktails and ice breaking activities. Sign up for a few and master the art of small talk!

Yoga and Meditation

Great for the body and soul, yoga and meditation can improve your posture, poise, and confidence. They also allow you some private time to mull over prickly office encounters or think through tricky work dilemmas.

This is a guest contribution from our friends at SavvySugar. Check out more useful articles from this partner:

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Michael

I need to attend some professional group meetings to keep my certification live in my field. Good reminder to check it out and sign up.

Guest's picture

I'm a big sudoku fan! Love these kinds of games compared to crossword puzzles. I'd like to try yoga sometimes and meditation. I tend to have these angry management issues lately. Probably because of too much stress.

I've heard that volunteering is a great way to improve yourself. The benefits that you reap from seeing somebody happy and the benefits that your benefactor receives is a win win situation for me.

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I love the idea of taking up public speaking. The ability to present your ideas in a persuasive way is critical for navigating business and the office landscape successfully. Really, the sooner you can take a public speaking course, the better.

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Great list! I actually read somewhere that public speaking is the number one fear among Americans, so taking a public speaking class would be really beneficial to those who can't stand talking in front of others. I like your idea to volunteer as well. It teaches you about your community, working with others, helping the less fortunate, and may give you new perspective.