Bored At Work? 2 Ways To Bring The Excitement Back
But you can be very busy and still be bored too. It's not that you don't have enough work. It's that you don't feel like doing any of the work you have. Even working for myself, I've occasionally found myself in this sort of rut. I've taken on a lot of projects, but none have me jabbering to everyone I meet about what I'm working on. Meetings and conference calls can be boring in general, but they're even more tedious if you don't care about the content.
So what can one do to fight boredom? While I believe that you can turn the job you have into the job you want, sometimes it's not worth the effort. If your current job is very, very far away from the job you want, then chances are good that there's another job that's much closer. Start spending some of the time you're bored at your current job brainstorming how to land a new one. You don't necessarily need to be sending your resume around during work hours (though if you get caught that could certainly spark a much needed discussion!). But think through your contacts, research what jobs are out there, figure out what conferences or professional events you should be attending, etc.
But what if the job is, overall, a good one? What if you're just in a bit of a rut? What if you have a lot of work, but it's just not work you like?
1. Sit tight for a bit. The idea that we should be perfectly fulfilled by our jobs would certainly strike our ancestors -- who spent their "careers" in coal mines or quarries or eking out a living via subsistence farming -- as rather funny. Do what you can to make the rest of your life more exciting. Stake out a big personal goal: run a marathon, join the board of a non-profit you admire, build an elaborate Lego structure with your kids. In time, you'll likely wind up on a different project.
2. Or, figure out what you'd find more interesting, and start investing hours in turning your career in that direction. A few years ago, I decided that I'd love to write a book about the changing ways people were spending their time. Having written a previous book that didn't do too well, though, I was kind of starting from scratch. But I carved out time in the middle of other assignments to crank out different versions of book proposals, write articles on how people spent their time for anyone who'd run them, and so forth. Eventually, I was able to write my book on time management (168 Hours). The doors that have opened up have led down much more interesting hallways than the ones I was on before. That means less boredom.
Have you ever changed up a job to conquer boredom? Or decided to jump ship instead?
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Laura Vanderkam is the author of All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending (Portfolio, 2012), and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Portfolio, 2010). She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children, and blogs daily at www.lauravanderkam.com.
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