Here’s the thing, not everyone lights up when they talk about their jobs.
Some people take great pleasure in what they do, while others don’t.
Being bored at work every once in a while is normal; in fact, a little boredom may actually be good for you.
However, if you’ve been feeling this way since the day you were hired, now that could be a problem.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to break this dreaded cycle of boredom.
In this article, I’ll explain why and how boredom manifests itself in the workplace and how to overcome it, so stick around!
- Why Are You Bored at Work?
- How Do You Know if You Are Bored at Work?
- What Should You Do if You’re Bored at Work?
- How Do You Find Joy in a Boring Job?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Why Are You Bored at Work?
To begin, we generally define boredom as a state of dissatisfaction or disinterest in an activity or situation.
We can also feel bored when we have a lot of energy but nowhere to channel it.
In the workplace, you’d be surprised at how quickly boredom settles in.
In fact, 43%-53% of employees are bored at the moment.
To better understand why you, and half of the workforce, are feeling this way, check out these three major causes of this boredom epidemic:
Your Job Is Too Repetitive
Some jobs rely on repetitive actions with minimal variation over time.
Put differently, you need to perform the same tasks, in the same manner, every day.
For example, during my college years, I worked at a restaurant where my sole responsibility was to chop vegetables.
Although I enjoyed the experience, I was bored out of my mind!
What happens is that the repetitive nature of your work doesn’t challenge your mind.
Low levels of mental stimulation are one of the primary causes of boredom.
Thus, feeling stuck in a rut at work and not maximizing your potential can easily lead to boredom.
You Don’t Feel Like You Contribute
Is it possible for someone to believe that his job makes no difference? Well, there’s this intriguing story from 2004 that still baffles me.
That year, the Spanish city council decided to honor a worker in charge of overseeing wastewater treatment construction.
When they went to see him, they discovered that he hadn’t been to work in almost 6 years!
Nobody had noticed, and the work cycle continued unaffected.
So, yes, there are jobs that make little difference in the grand scheme of things.
The effect of these jobs causes the meaningfulness of your work to fade, as well as your interest.
That’s when boredom sets in.
You Don’t Feel Respected
Feeling respected and heard in the workplace increases your motivation to keep going.
However, the less respect you receive from your peers and superiors, the more disengaged you’ll feel.
It comes as no surprise that highly engaged workers are three times more likely to report that they feel heard at work than disengaged workers.
Disengagement manifests in a lot of behaviors that’ll inevitably make you feel bored.
For instance, you’ll steer clear of events, meetings, and any active conversations at work.
How Do You Know if You Are Bored at Work?
If you’re feeling like you hate your job but aren’t sure if it’s because of boredom, there are a few indicators that can help.
Below are some of the most common signs that you’re bored at work:
You Watch the Clock
If watching the clock is your full-time job during the workday, then you could be struggling with workplace boredom.
When an employee is fully engaged in his work, time tends to fly by.
Contrarily, a bored employee constantly counts down the hours until his shift is over, and time tends to move at a painfully slow pace.
You Aren’t Excited by Your Work
The way you describe your current role to someone can reveal whether or not the work you do truly excites you.
It doesn’t have to be something fascinating; we don’t all get to be astronauts, but at least you should feel some inner contentment when talking about it.
That said, if you find yourself having little to no excitement doing or going to your job, that’s another sign you’re bored.
You Finish Your Work Before the Day Is Done
Finishing the assigned work before the end of the workday, almost every day, hints at something.
That is, the amount of work you receive is inadequate for your working hours, leaving you with plenty of free time.
You may be wondering, what’s there to complain about here?
Now, imagine that every day you finish early and stay at the office counting down the hours until you can leave.
In the long run, that can be quite draining, or more specifically, downright boring.
What Should You Do if You’re Bored at Work?
You may not always be able to control boredom caused by your job, but you can certainly control how you deal with it.
The following are four helpful tips for feeling more present at work:
Ask Your Boss for More Work
Don’t overlook the possibility that your boss is unaware of how insufficient your workload is.
I understand why many people are hesitant to ask for more work.
They’re afraid that feelings of being bored will be replaced by feelings of being overwhelmed.
To avoid this, look for tasks that you can fulfill without becoming overburdened.
Then, present them to the manager and let him choose a task that’ll be more beneficial to work on.
By helping out, you can make the most of your downtime and deepen your bonds with your team.
Not only will helping your coworkers pass the time, but it’ll also bring you joy!
You see, lending a hand to others triggers the release of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, a.k.a our happy hormones.
Learn Something New
The more you learn and sharpen your skill set, the more opportunities will become available to you.
Utilize your free time to learn more about the most recent news in your industry.
Moreover, you can learn a new skill that’s currently in demand in jobs in your field.
There are endless ways to convert your spare time into something more valuable to your professional development.
Apply for New Jobs
If you find that your chances for advancement are limited in what is considered a dead-end job, it may be time to look for a new job.
Update your resume and start looking for work online or through networking and referrals.
Only this time, be extra careful to select a job that’s a good fit for you.
How Do You Find Joy in a Boring Job?
You don’t have to be unhappy because your job or line of work is monotonous.
Here are three tried-and-tested strategies that’ll help you find joy in your work:
Never underestimate the power of practicing gratitude.
Being grateful has been scientifically proven to boost feelings of joy, pleasure, and optimism.
Think about how your current job is supporting you and your family.
Besides, your spare time can serve as a springboard for your personal and professional development.
Your first step to finding happiness in your job is to channel your thoughts to the positives whenever you can.
Make Friends at Work
As humans, we’re social beings, so socializing benefits us greatly on both a mental and physical level.
To improve your sense of belonging and, consequently, your desire to go to work, try making friends at your workplace.
You can then plan fun activities together or set up group sessions where you can share knowledge and pick up new skills.
Create Challenges for Yourself
The good news is, if your job isn’t challenging enough, you might be able to turn things around.
Start by planning your day and setting objectives for it.
These goals could take the form of challenges to your current performance, such as trying to complete certain tasks faster or more effectively.
Alternatively, they could be personal goals like reading a self-development blog in your spare time or listening to a podcast about how to advance in your career path.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I get tired of jobs so fast?
There are several factors that can cause you to become fed up with jobs quickly.
The two major ones are working routine jobs that aren’t challenging enough or being overqualified for the positions you apply for.
Is boredom a form of depression?
Research has shown that chronic boredom can be a sign of depression.
Not only that but being bored constantly can lead to depression.
That’s why, if your boredom extends beyond having too much free time at work, you should consult a mental health professional.
I hope that the next time you’re bored at work, you’ll understand why and when you get this feeling.
Better yet, you’re now aware of the most effective tools for combating workplace boredom.
Put the advice in this article into action, and things will only get better from here.
That said, you’ll be the judge of whether the level of boredom you’re experiencing is manageable or is impeding your growth.
If it is, don’t wait too long to begin looking for a different job opportunity.
A former bored employee.