How To Cope With A Boring Job – Being at home in a time of social distancing can create a feeling of boredom. PeopleImages E + via Getty Images
Erin C. Westgate does not work, consult, own stock or receive funding from any company or organization that could benefit from this article and has not disclosed any relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
How To Cope With A Boring Job
More and more people are staying at home in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But being stuck in the house can lead to boredom.
What To Do If You’re Bored At Work
Boredom is a sign that we are not significantly involved with the world. It tells us to stop what we are doing and to do it better – or to do something else.
But, as a social psychologist who studies boredom, I know that people don’t always make the best choices when they’re bored. So, if you are stuck at home, diligently practicing your social distancing, how do you keep boredom at bay?
We can also get bored with jobs and activities that seem meaningful. For example, the researchers found that anesthesiologists and air traffic controllers find themselves bored with work.
What this research reveals is that just because something is objectively meaningful doesn’t mean it’s always the case for us. And even meaningful work can be boring if the person doing it finds it too difficult or too easy. Once this happens, individuals may find it difficult to stay focused.
Productive Hacks And Things To Curb Your Boredom
Reducing boredom requires individuals to solve the problems that produced it, not having enough activities that are both meaningful and optimally stimulating.
However, sometimes people turn to activities that make them feel better in the moment, but that don’t provide a long-term meaning or challenge. For example, studies have shown that people are willing to give themselves electric shocks when they are bored.
Other behaviors linked to increased susceptibility to boredom include increased alcohol intake and marijuana use. Boredom is also linked to unhealthy snacking and online pornography.
While these may feel good right now, they only provide temporary relief from boredom. To prevent boredom and keep it away, we need to find solutions at home that provide lasting meaning and challenge.
How To Deal With A Boring Job (with Pictures)
People generally prefer to do something than do nothing. Since staying at home is the most effective way to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus, it is meaningful to socially isolate. However, it may not always seem that way.
Like all emotions, boredom is about whatever you are thinking right now. This means that staying at home will only seem meaningful when we actively think about the greater good it does. For example, in studies, when students were prompted to think about why their schoolwork was important to them personally, the researchers found that their interest in learning increased.
Creating simple reminders, like a note on the fridge or a morning meditation, can help us keep an eye on the big picture: staying home is a sacrifice we are actively making for the sake of others.
Routines structure our days and provide a sense of coherence that reinforces our meaning in life. People’s lives seem more meaningful when they are engaged in the daily grind.
Why We Get Bored And What To Do About It
We lose those routines when we stop going to the office or when we get fired. Retirees or stay-at-home parents are also upset by the closure of cities, restaurants and schools. This loss of routine can fuel feelings of boredom.
Figuring out what to do in the face of long unstructured days from work or school can be difficult. A recent study of people in quarantine in Italy found that boredom was the second most common problem, after the loss of freedom.
One thing that makes such situations difficult is that it can be difficult to find activities that are challenging enough to keep busy, without being too demanding. This situation can leave people bored and frustrated.
It helps to keep in mind that what counts as too challenging, or not challenging enough, will change over the course of the day. Don’t force yourself to continue if you need a break.
How To Deal With A Boring Job That Pays You Well
Boredom drives many of us towards the novel. Embrace that impulse, judiciously. If you have the energy, try a new recipe, experiment with home repairs, learn a new dance on TikTok.
Doing new things not only relieves boredom, but helps you gain new skills and knowledge that can relieve boredom in the long run. For example, we feel a surge of interest when we read an interesting novel or go through complex experiences, but only if we have the ability to understand them.
Evidence shows that embracing new experiences can help us lead not only a happy or meaningful life, but also psychologically richer.
Sometimes we paint ourselves in a box where our most significant hobbies are also mentally strenuous or exhausting. For example, digging into a classic Russian novel can be meaningful, but it’s not necessarily easy.
Dread Going To Work? How To Deal With The Feeling
Likewise, well-meaning tips on coping at home, like hosting a virtual evening of wine and design, may just be too exhausting to be enjoyable at a time when many of us are already struggling.
Give yourself permission to enjoy your guilty pleasures. If necessary, rephrase those moments as a much-needed mental refreshment, nurturing and recharging for a later date.
Finding easy and meaningful alternatives – small options that don’t require much effort, but which we find deeply rewarding – can be a challenge.
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High Salary In Boring Job Vs Low Salary In Fun Job?
Fortunately, one good option is open to all of us: connecting with others, both virtually and for those lucky enough not to be quarantined alone, in person.
Looking at old photos or remembering with a friend are simple meaningful actions that most of us can take even when we’re not feeling our best. There is no need for a reason to call a friend – our best socialization is one that happens randomly, in the unstructured time between scheduled activities.
Create space for this virtually too: next time you’re pouring a glass of wine or watering the plants, call a friend while you do. Prepare dinner together. We don’t have to get bored when we are all together.
Boredom itself is neither bad nor good, only our choices on how to counter it make it so.
Tips From High Performers On Banging Out Those Boring Work Tasks
Write an article and join a growing community of over 153,900 academics and researchers from 4,499 institutions. Boredom occurs at work and everywhere. Here are over 80 ways to reverse your boredom. We’ve included everything from updating your LinkedIn profile to creating a living room pillow, so there’s something for everyone.
But then there are the days when you look at the clock and 2:42 pm stares at you. 2:42 pm, and you’ve already finished your to-do list and are staring at your chipped nail polish, considering whether to spend the next 12 minutes taking it off.
Spend the afternoon doing it. Or you could use that boredom to do something actually productive, such as an activity that will greatly improve your professional standing and career.
When used correctly, boredom at work doesn’t have to be a bad thing at all. Forbes explains that up to 90 percent of all American adults face boredom. It is a common phenomenon and one that creates a natural ebb in the flow of your working day. This flow of boredom creates an open space for you that can inspire creativity, motivate you to incite change, and give yourself the time to create that change.
Bored At Work? Science Says That’s A Good Thing
Authors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom argue that boredom most often comes from monotony. So, if you find yourself facing it, take it as a sign to break things! Create a challenge or change for yourself, whether it’s your normal work routine or your career as a whole.
It’s time to use your boredom to do something challenging. Something perhaps (dare we say it?) A little funny. You with us? Great. Here are over 80 options that will fill your time and enhance your career.
There are many ideas on this list. Do you want to take a leap forward? These links will take you to the specific section you are looking for.
Your inbox needs a little … help? Yes, ours too. From organizing your folders to updating your signature, use an afternoon when you normally get bored to add a touch of light to your inbox.
The Best Ways To Handle Boredom At Work
These activities offer the added benefit of making you more productive, you no longer have to waste time searching for specific emails or deleting ones you never read.
You know when you clean your closet to sell your clothes and you can treat yourself to a new item with the money you make? Do the same here. Choose a newsletter that you will actually open, specific to your industry or focused on women. Psst, we actually have a really great newsletter.
Do you really need to keep an eye on your inbox? Consider grouping your emails and taking about an hour dedicated to replying to each one.
Maybe it’s your old boss or one of your current colleagues that you would like to get to know better. Regardless, send them an email and ask if they want to connect in the coming weeks.
What To Do If You’re Over 35 And Hate Your Job
No, really … when was the last time you looked at it? Is it even accurate? Can
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