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How to Avoid Boredom at Work

4/2/19 7:00 AM

You work Monday through Friday from 9 - 5, and established certain routines for your role. After several months, those routines may lead you to boredom (also known as "hedonic adaptation") because humans have a tendency to become used to things.

To avoid feeling bored or "stuck" there are different ways to interact with people, places, and things to make everyday experiences feel new again. 

Stock up on new snacks

Mix it up each week by stocking up on a variety of different snacks you haven't tried before. Going to speciality grocery stores and asking an employee for some recommendations may lead you to discover your next favorite snack.

Did you know? Our brains consumes 20% of the calories we burn for energy. It's always a benefit to keep a nice healthy variety of snacks in your drawer to help you stay energized.

Having a variety of tea leaves/bags and instant coffee can also make yourself feel that you have a little treasure trove of delights that you can share amongst you and your coworkers.

Bring in your pooch

Depending on your company policies, bringing in your best doggie friend into work can remind you to take your breaks and take a walk outside instead of trying to eat and write an email at the same time. Your pooch will relieve stress, bring smiles to people's day, and will be a constant reminder that you're doing a pawesome job.

Eat lunch via unusual means

A study in 2018 found that eating food in a new ways can boost enjoyment as the unconventional method invites a new "first-time" perspective. For example, you could be eating popcorn with chopsticks or sipping water with a spoon. 

Work in a fresh environment

If you work remotely, try to mix things up by working at a coffee shop, library, or the park (if your cell phone plan has a hotspot connection). If you work from an office, try to adjust your work area by adding new accessories like pictures, books, plants, new mouse pad or shifting the placement of your usual notebooks and supplies. For those that have too many things on your desk already, take a break to declutter your workspace and asking yourself, "Do I really need this?"

Aside from changing the venue or the items you surround yourself with, you can also start off weekly meetings with non work questions or some meditation in order to overcome routines. 

Take a funny break

Aside from refilling your coffee mug and making a pit stop at the restroom - make yourself laugh.

Watch a silly video or text a friend you haven't talked to in a long time with a random joke or funny photo. The anticipation of their reply will keep you alert and offer an opportunity to catch-up.

Pose a new question

If your team runs weekly schedule meetings, you yourself are probably worn out from asking the "How's it going?" or "How was your weekend?" questions. Try posing new interpersonal questions to your team like, "What are you looking forward to today?" or "Is there anything I can help you with this week?" 

Having curiosities about others will facilitate personal growth opportunities, and even development of positive interpersonal closeness according to a study.

Set a daily goal to conquer

Often we're overwhelmed by metrics or an endless task list. Re-focus on ONE small important work goal for yourself each day. Write it on a post-it note and challenge yourself to accomplish it before you leave for the day. This will help you feel more productive and also give you a new drive each day and break out of the routine of feeling like you got nothing done.

Switch up your commute

Going to and from work is a routine you have set in place, even if it takes a little more time, try to switch up your commute to avoid feeling bored. If you drive, try taking a different road that or listen to a new podcast/radio station. If you walk or take public transportation, put away your phone and say hello to a stranger or bring a book about a topic you don't know much about.

Whenever you feel boredom creeping up on you, remember to keep things interesting by switching up your routine behaviors that could add a little more happiness in your day. 

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