Maybe you’re one of the lucky few. Your job provides so much joy and excitement that you leap out of bed each morning, thrilled to have the opportunity to spend the day having more fun than a kid at the carnival.
Don’t laugh, it might happen! More likely though, you have a job where the excitement level matches watching paint dry.
No matter what kind of job you have, it can get boring if you do the same thing over and over and over again! All jobs, even the fun ones, can be stressful. Expectations are sky-high. Workloads are enormous. Deadlines are crushing.
All of this can lead to both burnout and boredom.
This article will provide some tips and tricks to avoid both. Let’s start with burnout.
Burnout can be defined as exhaustion—physical and/or mental, that overwhelms you to the point where you just can’t do it anymore, and non-function sets in. True burnout takes a while to set in and just as long to get over.
Do yourself, and your boss, a favor by avoiding burnout at all costs. Once you're burnt, it can seem impossible to get back your drive and motivation. Usually, something drastic has to give if you let it go all the way to burnout.
Avoiding burnout means not letting yourself get overly tired, angry or stressed over any significant length of time. If you feel yourself edging up into the danger zone, slow down. You are only human after all. You and your boss both have to accept that fact.
It might feel like you are slacking off, but research shows long term productivity is more stable when people are not pushed beyond their limits into burnout. Not all workplaces understand this as well as they should.
A healthy lifestyle with plenty of sleep, regular, adequate nutrition along with a positive attitude will go a long way toward avoiding burnout.
Let’s talk a bit more about the power of a positive attitude. Now before you roll your eyes and say: “Drop dead you foolish Pollyanna. My attitude is fine. It’s the rest of the world that sucks,” let me say yes, I understand.
Most everyone feels that way, at least some of the time.
The ability to maintain a positive attitude even in negative circumstances is the mark of a mature adult and consummate professional. It’s also a proven strategy for helping people feel better. Dig into any trendy self-help philosophy, or even go way back to the origin of ancient Buddhism, and you’ll find directions for developing a positive attitude at the center.
So try it!
Boredom, it can be argued, happens more often to folks who have not yet discovered the inherent joys in developing a positive attitude.
At the same time, no one with any honest interpretation of the realities of work-life could argue that boredom, frustration, and stress are not built into a lot of job descriptions.
They won’t advertise it that way but let’s get real, some job postings should read: “You’ll feel like a hamster stuck on a wheel in this job that really is best-suited for a brain-dead robot who enjoys repetitive, monotonous, conversations with angry people who all want their money back, but you have to say no or get in trouble.”
So how do the mature adult and consummate professionals handle this day-to-day yawn-inducing adventure through Stressville?
In part, by reminding yourself of the wisdom in the phrase you might have been taunted with as a kid: Suck it up buttercup. Didn’t your mamma ever tell you life can be boring? I know that might sound a bit harsh but seriously, life is not a nonstop party and a few boring moments are inevitable.
Realize it could always be worse and there are indeed some simple things you can do to break the monotony.
Exercise is one of the best ways to energize yourself. So a bit of quickie exercise done every hour or so throughout the day will not only help you get in better shape, it can help you stay awake!
Get up and take a brief, but brisk walk. The more you swing your arms the faster and higher you’ll get your heart rate up.
Energize your body by spending a few minutes contracting your muscles and then letting them go limp. Sitting right there in your chair, you can easily do this with your arms, leg and butt muscles. You can even do this discreetly while talking on the phone to customers! (No grunting though, or you’ll give yourself away.)
Still in your chair, you can twist your upper body from side to side to do abdominal twists. This will even help prevent backaches. How’s that for a twofer?
There are lots of simple chair exercises like this you can do without even disrupting workflow.
Take ten deep, slow breaths. Mindful, deep breathing is guaranteed to help soothe whatever ails you. Anger, frustration, or boredom, deep breathing is a stress-relieving winner that’s easy to do at work and won’t be noisy and bother your coworkers.
Not to be nosey, but let’s examine your life outside of work. Maybe that is overly boring.
Most people look for excitement in their lives to come from sources outside of work. Family, friends, and fun adventures outside of work hours can go a long way toward helping you to endure any mind-numbing aspects of your job.
Try adding a bit of spice to your activities and life outside the office to see if that doesn’t help you feel better about the long hours spent hunched over your workstation.
Sometimes boredom creeps in at work because there are downtimes with not much to do. If this is the case, use the time wisely by reviewing your job skills and filling in the gaps with some training.
For example, virtually all companies (90%) use SAP software. Find some SAP courses online and sign up! Take the initiative. It could improve your status at work which would definitely chase away the blues.
Or, it could help you get a better, less boring job. You can learn SAP online in your spare time!