7 Ways To Kill Boredom At The Office
Even if you 100 percent love your job, there will be moments where you'll find yourself stifling a yawn. That's exactly why a lot of us have found ourselves scrambling with how not to be bored at work every now and then. When you're in the same place from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, doing the same routine, tasks, and projects over and over again, it can be easy to become a little unmotivated. How can you not lose some inspiration with a routine like that, or not find yourself lacking the will to go into the next hour. Anyone would become drop-dead bored if they were asked to do the same thing over and over again. But how long that boredom lasts is completely up to you.
You can let it take over your whole day and make you feel unproductive and lethargic, or you can kick that feeling in the butt and channel it into something way more interesting. Because even if you don't feel like going back to your spreadsheets and reports, it's a better idea to occupy your mind with something else but not let yourself get derailed into the black hole that is cat videos. So I'm here with a different alternative: Below are seven ways to kill boredom at the office.
1. Create Something With Your Hands
And no, I don't mean grab the nearest glue stick and start DIY-ing at your desk. But depending on what your job is, use those skills to create something new in that moment. Whether it's tinkering with a new idea for a project, researching a pitch that might be a little outlandish (but oh so interesting), or reading up on an industry angle that catches your imagination, take that boring lull and let yourself explore. Entrepreneur writer Jayson Demers from entrepreneur site Inc., suggested, "If you're skilled at communicating, write a blog post. If you're a developer, tinker with a side project. If you're a manager, experiment by sketching out a new possible workflow."
Go ahead, explore something new. It's better than looking up cat videos, isn't it?
2. Play Some Jams
Music is a powerful tool when it comes to altering mood (just think of how fast you can turn melancholy when listening to something sad while riding the bus back home), so to counter your boredom, play some fun pump-up music to get your energy levels up.
Lifestyle writer Jimmy Winskowski from Lifehack offered, "Need a way to add some energy during the day? You might try infusing the office with some music!" Whether you blast some Diplo or Rihanna remixes is up to you, but choose something that'll get you to want to start moving.
3. Think Up Of Some Goals
I know when you think of kicking boredom at work you don't necessarily think of finding more work, but feeling that lull come through could be a direct result of not being challenged or motivated enough. So when you feel the yawns begin to come on, try to think of some interesting short-term goals you want to achieve that week and write down a game plan. That could be just the kick you need to become interested in what you're doing again.
Winskowski explained, "Making specific goals with short timelines — and then celebrating their completion each week — helps keep everyone motivated and really livens up the office." So grab a pen and start thinking.
4. Shake Things Up
Maybe it's the routine that's got you blinking back tears, so shake things up! Whether that means changing the knick-knacks on your desk around, grabbing a treat somewhere you've never been to, or doing today's schedule backwards, shake yourself out of your upcoming rut by doing things out of order and bringing a freshness to the day. Entrepreneur writer Jihoon Kim at employee engagement blog Office Vibe recommended, "But by making little adjustments to your usual habit and setting like changing the way you commute or redecorating your cubicle/office can have a huge impact on how you see your day." Swap things around in your planner and see if that helps things.
5. Think Of Bigger, Badder Responsibilities
Chances are you're not a work-level employee anymore, and if you are, you might just be ready for bigger, badder things. So think of what you'd love to tackle next or what would keep you on your toes, and request it. If you're a writer, pitch to research a topic that would make you burn the midnight oil. If you're in the office, ask if you could pitch a project idea, or spearhead finishing a task that feels more substantial or has more weight. Kim explained, "Taking on new, unfamiliar challenges is exciting in and of itself, and assuming more roles in the office can only keep things more interesting, not less." Step outside of your comfort zone and see how quickly those yawns disappear.
6. Start A Fun New List
A lot of us have ideas for side projects we'd love to do but just never have the time for. Here's a perfect solution to give those ideas the chance of day: Start keeping one of those lists and every time you feel yourself getting bored at work, pop it out! Career contributor Chrissy Scivicque at Forbes explained, "One trick I use (and have used for years) is to keep a list of little pet projects that aren’t urgent but would be 'nice to do' at some point." It's better to do a passion project in those 10 minutes of "OK, so is it 5 yet?" rather than just cruising through YouTube videos, and by having a tangent list, you'll have some pretty cool projects waiting for your attention.
7. Lean In To The Need To Chill
When you're feeling bored, it means that you're not engaged what you're working with and you need a break. So take the hint and do just that: Let your mind rest. Pauses are absolutely necessary to keep you working at your highest level, so if that lull sneaks up on you, take advantage of it. It'll do more good than harm, I pinky promise.
Demers explained, "You may find new creative thoughts popping into your head out of nowhere. You might find new solutions to old problems. You might just daydream for a minute and snap back to reality — and even that can increase your productivity by allowing you to start fresh."
In these ways, you can beat boredom at work and still make it out on top by being productive and newly motivated!