Happy Woman WorkingWhich one describes you best:

You stare at the clock 50 million times all day, dismayed to see only a few minutes have passed. 

You get to work in the morning, blink three times and all of a sudden, it’s quitting time! 

Hopefully, you are neither extreme.  The passage of time is relative, as suggested in Einstein's famous theory, but you don’t have to understand E=MC2 to understand the concept of relativity and how time passes.  

If you’re bored, time drags like a wounded snail.  If you’re feeling on top of the world, literally or metaphorically, the same amount of time flies by like it barely happened. 

So it seems the cliché is accurate, time flies when you’re having fun, but only when you’re having fun.  

 

Yeah, But This Is Work We’re Talking About!

Does this mean the only way you can experience the time warp is to be doing something amazing and be somewhere spectacular? 

The office doesn’t qualify!

No one in their right mind would argue that being at the beach, or a party, or shopping, or whatever floats your boat, doesn’t increase the odds of fun and losing track of time, but it’s NOT mandatory. Not at all! 

Here are 7 things beyond a rip-roaring good time shown to invoke the time warp.

 

  1. Stay busy!  Being extremely busy is guaranteed to make time fly by.  When you’re super busy, you literally don’t have time to think about being bored.  You’re at work, so get busy! 
     
  2. Stay focused!  Concentrating intently and literally getting lost in your work is another way to make time fly.  A focused mind ignores the passage of time. 
     
  3. Structure your time to break the more tedious tasks apart, and punctuate the day with fun, invigorating short breaks. 
     
  4. Learn not to think about time and definitely don’t be obsessed with it.  Watching the clock like an eagle hunting for prey keeps you dwelling on the subject, constantly reminding you that you’re stuck somewhere not as fun as the beach! 
     
  5. Immerse yourself in a mind-engaging task. Hopefully, that’s your actual work, but with rote tasks you could do in your sleep, it might be listening to music or podcasts while you work. This is a real sanity-saver in my experience. 
     
  6. Decorate your space with things that generate a positive energy flow and give you something fun to think about.  Positive distractions can keep your spirits up. 
     
  7. Mindset is everything! Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, boredom can be in the eye of the beholder too. 

 

Look for fun wherever you can find it. People who have learned to find joy in the everyday, mundane chores of life are given many more opportunities to smile.

 

It’s Science!  

Perspective is influenced by habits and general mindset.  A positive, happy outlook is actually something you can form as a habit.  The more a positive mindset becomes habitual, the easier it is to alleviate boredom.

This is actually backed up by neuroscience.  Brain activity – thought, is essentially electrical and chemical activity whirring throughout our grey matter.  Science has shown that physiological patterns form and tend to become ingrained. 

In practical terms, it’s called getting stuck in a rut. 

Bottom line is that negative thinking is a bit addictive.  On the flip side, so is positive thinking.  Force yourself to be positive often enough, and it evolves to be your norm.   

Some jobs are inherently more “fun” than others, obviously.  No one would argue that but speaking as a person who spent decades in a “fun” job, work is work at the end of the day. (I worked in TV news.) Demands are high, time is short, stress is overwhelming, and the actual day-to-day grind is repetitive, tedious and often boring. 

 

An Active Mind is Never Bored

If boredom is a persistent problem for you, come up with a plan to find better ways to cope.  Engage your mind in learning new things and expanding your horizons. 

Stay busy, stay positive, focused and engaged.  The older you get; the more time seems to speed up too. For a small child, an hour is interminable because it’s proportionally a larger chunk of their total life experience compared to an adult. 

Keeping your mind active with engaging tasks can include everything from doing the crossword puzzle to taking advanced professional coursework.  Continuing education and professional training can give you lots of new things to think about. 

For example, SAP training would keep your mind active and help give you a leg up for advancement at work too. 

Learning new tasks can be a fun and great exercise for the brain.  So, find something practical like SAP training and go for it! 

You could increase your stature at work with SAP certification and your job could see a little more action which definitely can make time fly! 


Author Photo

Lorraine Grula is a curious and compassionate Okie native who grew up on politics and science. She loves to read, write and study the world and shares her insights in our blog.
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