7 Ways to Banish Boredom at Work

June 4, 2019 1:16 pm

Whether you enjoy your job or are just hanging in for payday, boredom can sap productivity and joy from your work. Here are a few ideas to get you motivated when you feel your interest slipping.

Boredom Diagnosis

Getting to grips with the particular kind of boredom that’s afflicting you is the first step towards alleviating it. If you’re experiencing bouts of boredom on a regular basis, you’ll need a different solution than you would need if you’re experiencing constant low-level boredom below the surface.  To effectively tackle the problem of boredom at work, it’s also worth noticing whether your boredom is task dependent, or more likely at certain times of the day. For example, there may be one aspect of your job that is not challenging enough, or you could be suffering from the three o’clock slump, regardless of what task you’re doing at that time. A useful evaluation of what’s boring you at work should also bring to your attention the elements of your job that you find stimulating. Once you’ve identified these areas of your job, see if you can find ways to shift your focus and time towards achieving in those areas.

Upskill

Nothing cures boredom like mastering a new skill. Whether it’s photo editing, coding or blogging, there is a skill out there that will make you more valuable in your current role and beyond.  You might decide to hone a skill that you already have, or take up something new to open doors for yourself career-wise. You might find that your new skill results in more responsibility (and higher pay) in your current job, or it might make you more qualified for a job that is more in line with your future goals. And who knows: your new-found skill could make it possible for you to take the leap and become self-employed, which means you’ll enjoy freedom from boredom forever.

A Little Flair

The golden rule for banishing boredom at work is: never take the boring route when you have a chance to show your personality. Promise yourself that you’ll never make dull presentations again. Refresh your workspace by getting rid of yesterday’s Post-it notes and sticking up some inspiring quotes. Add a touch of green for a reliable mood enhancer. Staving off boredom can be as simple as injecting a little personality into your work habits and environment to spark creativity.

Image Souce: Pexels

Beat the Blood-sugar Slump

Make sure to keep your desk drawers loaded with healthy, energy-packed snacks that can save you from the energy slump mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Often what we think of as boredom is just tiredness, which can be avoided by staying on top of those blood sugar levels. Remember, the vending machine is not your friend when it comes to regulating blood sugar, as the resulting sugar spike can lead to even worse energy slumps later in the day. Grab something slow-release to ensure against further energy dips.

Create New Challenges

When you’re bored and unmotivated, taking on a difficult task might be the last thing you feel like doing. However, tackling a new challenge is a reliable way to alleviate boredom. While it might be tempting to sit back and say, ‘I don’t decide what my job is, I just do it,’ your boss is likely to be impressed if you show initiative and ask for a new project, or propose a new challenge for yourself. You’re not only showing that you are independent, but demonstrating that you’re able to self-manage and set your own goals. Put your job description aside for a moment and think about what you can contribute. You could propose an expansion of your role, or you could identify an area of need within your team and suggest how you can address that in an independent project. Come up with a creative solution that will enable you to leave a lasting impact on your workplace. Not only will this approach banish boredom now, but you will reap the rewards down the line. Having independent, self-led projects under your belt is like sprinkling your CV with gold dust: you’ll be amazed how well it goes down in a job interview when you say that you came up with your own way to make your old job more exciting and help the company at the same time. Prepare to be a highly sought-after candidate.

Image Souce: Unsplash

Feed Your Mind

Once you’ve completed your training for a new role, it can be too easy to become complacent about broadening your knowledge. Companies have only themselves to blame for failing to provide incentives for learning, but this is one area where you can be your own boss. Take it upon yourself to improve your knowledge of your industry, your product, the company that you work for, or even of your competitors. Not only will you be kept entertained as you educate yourself, becoming a specialist in any work-related area will set you apart within your team.

Look Up and Move On

If you’re just downright bored with your entire job, consider the possibility of a finding another job which promises the challenges you need to stay motivated. Accepting that your job is chronically boring might be a little depressing, but there is a silver lining: nothing relieves boredom at work like looking ahead to your next job. Rather than quitting your job immediately, start investigating options by reaching out to potentially helpful contacts, trawling job listings and sending out your CV. If you’re looking for a new job in an unhurried, unpressured way, you’re less likely to take the first job that comes along, which means you’re improving your chances of finding a role that you’re passionate about. And remember: do not make the same mistake twice. Apply what you learned doing your boredom diagnosis to make sure your next job is optimally stimulating and promises progression and challenges to keep things interesting long-term.

Having to devote most of your life to work can be a depressing or positive experience, depending on how stimulating your job is. Whether you’re earning minimum wage or you’re in a high-powered role, these tips will help you stave off boredom and feel like your time is well spent.

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