Every hour of work feels like a never-ending blur of the same blahness of the previous hour. What once was an interesting job is now a routine of “can I just make it through another day”. This work morass hampers our work productivity and affects how well we do on work revues. This can even hasten a layoff in these financially tough times where companies are looking for people to be rid of. The burnout and blahs are often a result of boredom taking over our work life. Our career life can be debilitated by boredom and the feeling of being in a stuck zone.
In the work world one major cause of this is we become so familiar with our work that the initial excitement of learning to do well fades away. The routine activities reach such familiarity we find ourselves floating through on autopilot with no excitement or enjoyment of what we are doing. We settle not to aim for excellence but the OKness of just getting by with the minimum effort just to keep the paycheck coming. This can make us feel like we are in the Stuck zone; stuck with doing the same work activity day after day. Being in the Stuck zone carries with it a depressive lack of feeling; a numbness of just going through the motions. When we are in the boring stuck zone we have a nagging feeling that this is not the way to spend our work life. What are some ways to move beyond this boredom in our work and career area of our life?
Look for a renewed sense of calling in your work is a starting point. You may respond "but I am not in a calling I am just doing a job for a paycheck". You can turn a job into a calling. Take a relook at what you are doing as calling can relate to the sense of purpose in our work and career. Whose lives are you touching through your work? What is the bigger picture of life going on in your work place? Is it just about you or something bigger than you? Try to find the bigger perspective in your work. Purpose can rebuild some fulfillment in your work.
Our mindset attitude also can help with moving beyond boredom as boredom is often rooted in our attitude. Having a mindset for excellence instead of just getting by can improve your feeling levels to conquer boredom. Education and learning gets a bad rap but it is through learning we can increase our work skills and turn a job more into a career feeling and maybe even a calling feeling. Are you working where the HR department offers trainings? Check out their training opportunities. On the internet there are also training websites that help you improve in your work skills. Local community colleges and universities may offer continuing Education courses that relate to improving your work skills and continuing education credits are usually lower cost that normal college credit courses..
One thing that has always helped me in my attitude towards work has been the spiritual aspect of my work. Whether it was shipping and receiving for a company in Ohio, Janitorial work through college days, customer service, or my most recent work with students at a University I keep a spiritual component in my work mindset. Part of the spiritual is the big picture purpose of my work. Another part is I think of who am I working for? The company, the customer, the paycheck? Ultimately even though in a secular environment I believe I am working for God. That mindset guides me to work for as much excellence as I can in all I do. All my activities at work I am doing in God’s presence. It guides me to work in an ethical way so at the end of the day I can say with no regrets I gave it my best.
Another area of moving beyond boredom is to keep improving the work experience. This allows you to tap into your creative thinking to improve your work life. Write a list of 5 areas of your work you really enjoy. These are the flow activities where time at work flies by. They are probably areas where your natural strengths shine through. Brainstorm how you can keep improving in these areas. Then look at 5 weak areas to your work. These are the areas that make you dread Monday’s blues. They hamper flow and make the day drag on and on and on and on. You get the point! Brainstorm how you can attack these areas and either get help with them or come up with more enjoyable ways to do them. The writings of Michael Michalko are wonderful to help in developing your creative thinking in the workplace.
These are just a few ideas to help in overcoming boredom in your career life. You can research on the internet and find others or in your personal brainstorming come up with other ideas. The important thing is if you are in a stuck zone in your work you don’t necessarily in these financially tough times have to throw in the towel you have the power in your mind and attitudes to Move beyond the boredom.
Take time to do the exercise noted above:
Write a list of 5 areas of your work you really enjoy. These are the flow activities where time at work flies by. They are probably areas where your natural strengths shine through. Brainstorm how you can keep improving in these areas. Since these make use of your strengths see how you can enlarge these 5 areas in your work. Then list 5 weak areas to your work. These are the areas that make you dread Mondays blues. They hamper flow and make the day drag on and on and on and on. You get the point! Brainstorm how you can attack these areas and either get help with them or come up with more enjoyable ways to do them.