I find work boring. What can I do?

Being bored at work at some point is likely to happen. It doesn’t matter if you are trying your absolute best or not trying at all; even those that are performing at the highest level in their dream job can experience bouts of apathy and a lack of enthusiasm. The skill is figuring out what to do when you feel the boredom start to set in. Let’s work on the basis that being bored is a natural thing to experience.

If you are bored at work the best thing to do is reflect. Reflect on your situation, your skills, your hopes and dreams, and question as much as you can. Is this what I want to do? Am I do everything I can do to make this exciting? When I do find work exciting what is happening?

You need to exercise your ability to be self-aware. Then you can critically analyse things. You do this by asking yourself questions like these. Once you’ve done this, the answers to these questions can be used to shape your decisions about what you need to do next and the actions you need to take. Quite often the things you need to do to stop finding work boring are very simple and achievable things.

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Make sure you’ve done all your work

Not being on top of your workload can definitely make work feel boring. If there’s work to be done then do it and that will take away your boredom. If you don’t enjoy your work then that’s a slightly different issue.

Take pride in getting organised

Striving to be an efficient and proficient individual in a well run team is also something that you can do to eradicate the boredom. One way to do this and do it easily is to get organised. Answer these questions: Do you know your role? Do you know what your team members roles are? Do you know where equipment is? Do you understand how processes work? If you don’t then maybe you aren’t as organised as you could be.

Try and think of other questions you can ask yourself about how you can be more organised. Then come up with some quality answers and act on them.

Do training, learn new skills, and develop existing ones

Boredom can sometimes come from the fact that we aren’t very good at what we are doing. So a good thing to do is train. Practise what you need to do and have fun with it. This is going to give you more confidence and comfort by developing your existing skills. In addition to this, learn some new skills. Boredom can come from not growing and developing ourselves.

Set targets and challenge yourself (grow) at work

Whatever way you want to look at this you need a target. Especially if you are a person that claims not to be driven by targets. Because for starters, if you don’t want to feel bored at work anymore then your target needs to be ‘Figure out how to not be bored at work anymore’.

Achieving targets, success, and making progress are all habitual things. So, recognise the value and importance of targets and embrace them. Once you get into the habit of setting and achieving targets it’s only a matter of time before you solve the problems you have; like not being bored at work. It’s essentially a snowball effect. Establishing good habits, breeds more good habits which in turn breeds success.

Making sure you set appropriate targets is important. Just make sure that whatever targets you set impact positively towards the success of yourself, your team, and your organisation.

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Ask others if they need help

If you’ve got the majority of your work done, you are organised, you have a training plan, and you are working towards targets then ask your teammates if they need any help. Regardless of the organisation you are working in someone somewhere probably needs help at some point.

By offering to help someone else you will automatically start filling your time with something productive. You might even learn something new. One thing is certain, for some people this is definitely a good way to combat boredom.

Test and challenge yourself (grow) outside of work

Maybe what you do at work isn’t the issue? Maybe you need to work on your work life balance? Are you testing and challenging yourself outside of work?

As humans we are designed to survive, grow, and evolve. If we don’t do that we can start to experience a whole range of things that make us feel low. Essentially, we are an organism like a pet, or a plant, and we need to be cared for and nurtured. The thing is as humans we are often expected to do this for ourselves. So, if you don’t have anyone giving you some ideas then you can get stuck in a rut.

So, just like you would do to test yourself at work. What things can you do to test and challenge yourself outside of work. It doesn’t have to be something ‘competitive’. Although, when you think about it, challenging yourself is like bettering a former version of yourself. So, in some ways it is exactly like a competition. A competition to be better than I was before.

But, find something you haven’t done for a while or something you have always wanted to do and go and engage in it. Sometimes just figuring out what that thing is can be a challenge in itself. But it is vital in order to continue to grow and develop and most importantly relieve you from boredom.

Get others to test you

If you are really struggling to come up with some ideas. Then ask others to help you. Good managers and leaders should be exploring this with you and encouraging you to pursue the things you identify. But if you are the manager or the leader looking for ideas then ask your team. Ask anyone you can in your organisation. If you can, ask other organisations that you work with if they have any ideas.

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Arrange a team training session or social event

It could be that the issue you are having is based around team chemistry. You might simply be sensing that things aren’t as good as they could be, that the flow of the team isn’t quite right. Ask yourself, how well do you know people in your team? How well does your team know each other?

If the energy of the team could be better then a team training session or social event can help to address the chemistry of the group. If people don’t know each other very well they can often keep to themselves. Encourage people to get to know each other and do your best to cultivate and culture that ultimately helps to remove the boredom.

Change your job

Lastly, maybe you just need to move on. If work isn’t stimulating anymore and you are doing all the things above then it might simply be that you need a change of role or environment.

Now a key thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to chase a promotion. Maybe you actually take a ‘step-down’ in role and responsibility. Maybe you look to work in a different sector or type of business. Maybe even explore working in a different city or even country.

One thing is for sure, if you are feeling bored and have been feeling this way for a while something has to change. Your challenge is to figure out what that thing is.

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Born in Wolverhampton. Raised in Wolverhampton and Exmouth. Educated in Wolverhampton, Exmouth, and Kingston. Living in Exeter.

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