As we get deeper and deeper into the fall, the problem of seasonal blues is becoming only more acute. And that’s hardly a surprise – after enjoyable spring and summer sceneries, which we could feast our eyes on, moody gray fog typical of fall does not help us stay positive at all. What to do? The one thing you should not do is give in to it.
Do you happen to know a doctor’s main rule?
The main rule is to treat the underlying cause rather than the symptoms. Only then the therapy will prove effective. It’s just the same with boredom. It’s not the boredom that requires treatment (or to be more exact, not the only thing that does), rather than the underlying causes. So let’s do some digging and see what those might be.
Why do you get bored at work?
The truth is, there may be plenty of reasons for that. Let’s try and examine the most common ones.
You fell into the state of “learned helplessness”
In our everyday life we are surrounded by irritants interfering with our work and ability to fully enjoy life. An obnoxious neighbor, a boss not used to mincing his words, an unpleasant travel companion when commuting to work, or an overly curious colleague… There are plenty of those “red rags” around. As a result, day after day we are forced to react in a certain way, either make attempts to change the situation or … change our attitude towards it. Often, when we run out of energy and emotional strength, we end up waving the white flag and accepting things the way they are. This is referred to as “learned helplessness”.
Once we stop fighting back, we go beyond just driving ourselves in a state of apathy. It’s a lot more serious, because our personal development comes to a standstill. It does seem more peaceful to exist in an algae-like state. But how much sense is there in this kind of life?
What to do to avoid giving in to “learned helplessness”?
– regularly reflect on the meaning of your work;
– set new goals and move towards them;
– learn new skills and grow as a professional;
– maximize the diversity of your daily workflow;
– instead of being a silent guest at staff meetings, take most active part in them.
Your goals are as foggy as London
Regardless of the field we might work in and our lifestyle, each of us must have goals in life. Otherwise, the meaning of life itself is lost. Boredom occurs when instead of clear goals there is nothing but clouds of thick fog. If reading this got you thinking “What IS my goal?” it means you might not have one, or the one you have is insignificant, or there are too many goals, or they are impossible to achieve. Go ahead and try to understand where exactly you are headed. Define really meaningful goals that will serve as your beacons during routine work days. Just don’t overdo it. There should never be too many goals and they must be achievable.
What to do when goals are too vague?
– understand what you want to achieve on this job;
– determine how realistic it is to achieve your goals in this company at this time;
– take an actionable suggestion to your manager.
Anticipating skepticism regarding the last recommendation, we should note that any movement up the career ladder and professional growth are 90% our doing. An employee’s personal initiative and desire to continuously grow will impress the employer more than any number of shining recommendations.
Your job is too easy for you
That’s another possibility. You get things done quickly and easily, sometimes even way too quickly and easily. Therefore, you might be interested in what you do for the first few months, while it’s still new and exciting, but boredom is quick set in. Lack of difficulties to overcome slows down your growth, making the work process boring.
What to do when your tasks on the job are completed too quickly?
– try discovering new job goals, perhaps, maybe even suggest some interesting ideas to help the company grow and develop;
– as you keep doing your job well, make sure you get bonuses of it – let those be your motivation;
– offer your help to colleagues (but again, without overdoing it);
– talk to the management, asking for new tasks and new responsibilities.
The last one might seem absurd to you, but there is common sense to it. We were just discussing how showing initiative at work is a great way to move up the ladder.
Your work might be too monotonous
The vast majority of jobs are associated with rote work day to day. Accountants and economists have no choice but to spend their days between looking over reports and accounts, technicians perform the same cycle of tasks over and over… Perhaps, only those working in creative fields can be envied, because every day they must brainstorm for interesting ideas and inspirations. And even those people can burn out and quite often get bored.
What to do with everyday monotony?
– automate some of your tasks;
– find motivation in your work;
– learn a new skill;
– never forget about taking breaks; switch to something totally different during those;
– revise your daily routine to make sure you remain upbeat and bushy-tailed throughout the day.
What if there is no obvious reason for boredom?
Maybe your blue mood or mild depression are to blame? Then there are a few recommendations that will help you overcome the blues and make your workflow more enjoyable.
Work boredom begins on your way to the office
Boredom is contagious. If you find yourself starting to slip into apathy on your way to work, then rest assured it will only get worse once you’ve arrived. Pep yourself up and fill your mind with positivity before you cross the threshold of your office. Find ways to make your commute time enjoyable. Upload your favorite music to the phone or player, read or listen to a good book, start learning a new language or improve the one you already know.
Change your work space
The very appearance of your desk might be causing boredom and despair. If this the case, go ahead and make your work space more positive. Add light – getting too little of it affects our mood and cognitive activity. Add colors – monotonous gamut negatively affects cognitive function and causes melancholy. Make it cozier – little trinkets will make your workplace psychologically comfortable.
Use boredom to your advantage
Sounds weird? Not at all. If you learn to see boredom as a way to let your mind wander off, then you can find in quite useful. Especially if yours is a creative type of career. Boredom helps to switch, reboot and start everything anew. In this case, boredom can be safely regarded as a much needed break.
Have a good rest
Sometimes boredom is directly related to accumulated fatigue and stress. If you find yourself locked in the state of constant fatigue, then it’s time to have a proper rest. Find time and place for a good rest, turn off the phone and just relax.
Boredom and apathy are unmistakable signs of emotional overload, even if you firmly believe your life is far too relaxed to cause an overload of this scale. In order to recover and regain interest in life, you just need to reboot your brain. The best way to do this is through meditation. It’s even better if your meditations are regular rather than occasional.
Maybe time has come to consider changing your job. To many the option of leaving the job is a frightening one, so they stay bored, getting sucked more and more into stress. The truth is, in most cases there is nothing terrifying about changing your job or even career. Try starting small: share your thoughts with your friends. When this word-of-mouth advertising starts working and you find yourself looking at new job opportunities, the idea of leaving your current job will no longer be that terrifying.
Boredom is the worst kind of state to be in, because while we are wallowing in it, life goes by unnoticed. Chase boredom out of your life! Change your surroundings to change yourself! Leave boredom no chance, regardless of the weather outside.