Plan a Daily Desk Vacation & Boost Your Productivity

I learned a lot when I worked on Wall Street; sometimes, my lessons took me by surprise. The phones on the trading desks often stop ringing right before the Fed releases an economic number. During one such lull in activity, I was chit-chatting with other team members about life in general. "What do you do for fun?" my colleague asked us. I listened to the others talk about what they do for fun. However, I couldn’t remember the last thing I’d done that was "pure fun". I instantly realized that I wasn’t doing enough to reenergize myself.

I enjoyed everything I was doing — even the long hours. But my colleagues were talking about fun that had nothing to do with work. That was the day I also recognized myself as the type of person who has to "plan" for fun. Strange but true! Since that epiphany, I’ve scheduled time for fun into every day, week, and year.

Girl Daydreaming At Her ComputerThere’s a practical reason to make room for fun during your daily agenda. You need new stimuli in order to think new thoughts and be more productive. You can’t coax creativity from your brain if you’re constantly working in the same environment, or allow new ideas to drift in if you’re busy 24/7. Some of my most innovative outbursts have created a running joke with my team. "Have you been on the ferry or taken a drive to a new place?" they’ll ask. They tell me that I send them out-of-the-box articles, concepts, or new programs soon after one of my excursions.

When you’re running a business, you can never have too many creative solutions and ideas. But you don’t always have the leeway to venture out of the office every time you need to think of one! A few minutes of mental redirection as you take a "vacation" at your desk is a great way to get a little rest and jump-start your creative mind.

Below are 7 websites to visit when you take a Desk Vacation. You can explore them to lighten up, take some "time off" to regroup during the day, or find inspiration when you need it.

1) I Like You: I first found this on ICQ (one of the original instant message companies) but it has disappeared from there. At first, it seemed a little corny, but it’s really quite good. Find it on YouTube at or on a website in its original format at

2) 2 Minutes: What can you do in two minutes? If you love the sound of the ocean, this website will show you how you can "do nothing for 2 minutes". See if you can pass the test!

3) Where Cool Things Happen: This site has great photos of cool things, ranging from amazing places to clever gadgets to mind-blowing architecture.

4) Positivity in Action: Journalists and photographers employ their craft to share stories and images of people and organizations making a positive difference in the world.

5) Values: This foundation was created to remind us of the inherent goodness of people, and inspire us with values we all share as human beings. Their popular video is worth watching.

6) Oscar-nominated "Happy": Pharrell Williams’ cute and catchy music video will stir your serotonin and have you bopping along in your seat. Warning: this song proves that happiness can be highly contagious. "Happy" is from the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack

Serenity Cards7) Serenity Cards: While in training as a Life Coach, my coach requested that I start a list of things to do when I felt stuck, anxious, or overwhelmed. I turned the list into an article that I shared with my clients. At my clients’ urging, I turned the list into "Serenity Cards for Business Owners". Here is the original article about the 50 Ways Business Owners Find Serenity.


Last, but not least, take a few minutes to read or watch something spiritual. Whether it be the Bible, Torah, or Koran – you’ll find many online resources to visit. OR maybe subscribe to a quote list, like, watch YouTube videos by folks like Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, or Wayne Dyer, one of Joel Osteen’s videos, or TED videos, like this talk by Rick Warren:” target=”_blank”>

©2014 – Maria Marsala guides high-achieving independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a financial advisor coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base.

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Comment below. How do you take brief time off and rejuvenate while at your desk?

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