Get up. Eat. Work. Eat. Netflix. Sleep. Isn’t this how most of us are drifting through time and space?
According to a study published by Udemy for Business, 43% of office workers are bored. The same study reveals that bored workers are two times more likely to leave their job. Now, this number is too big to ignore. Every employer and employee must consider ‘boredom’ as a serious problem and work towards keeping the company’s morale afloat.
Not only at work, but most of us are also bored with our routine lives. It might seem like all of the days are merged into one and we are just managing to get through the day.
According to a major research paper, The Unengaged Mind, boredom has been associated with increased drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of making mistakes.
Boredom can also lead to undesirable feelings like hopelessness, numbness, loneliness, etc.
On the other hand, Esther Priyadharshini, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia and author of a research paper named Boredom and Schooling, suggests that boredom can be seen in a positive light. She says, “We can’t avoid boredom – it’s an inevitable human emotion. We have to accept it as legitimate and find ways it can be harnessed. We all need downtime, away from the constant bombardment of stimulation. There’s no need to be in a frenzy of activity at all times.”
In fact, according to a study, boredom can ignite productivity and creativity.
We must think about both aspects of boredom. One, how is it problematic, and second, how can we utilize that time to improve our life. After all, it is in our hands to fetch the positives out of problematic situations.
Here are some techniques which can help you break the cycle of boredom and help you to do more with your time.
Identify the mundane part of your day: Before you start making changes in the day, identify which part of the day it is that you find the most boring. Is it your drive to and from the office? Or is it your work?
Tweak your routine: Now that you know what is making your life mundane, you can work on changing it. If you find the ride to work boring, make a playlist of the most uplifting songs and dance your way to work. If it is work, take breaks in between and go for short walks. Talk to a new person in the office. Reward yourself for not procrastinating and completing work on time. Take some time out for yourself daily and do something that you like. It will instantly lift your mood and make you feel happy.
Try one new thing every week: Do not limit yourself to things you are comfortable with, it leads to a mundane routine. Step up your game and pick up one new thing every week. It can be a new recipe, a new dance routine or simply learning how to make paper swans.
Make time for your hobbies: When work gets piled on, we forget what is to have fun. Even in your busy schedule take some time out for your hobbies, things that you like doing or wish to pursue. . No, watching Netflix is not a hobby! Pick something up that you always wanted to do. It could be learning a new language or a sport. You can even continue doing things that help you feel good like cooking or playing an instrument. Explore your creative side by painting, sketching, or journaling. It will help you to break the monotony and get a sense of achievement.
Socialize: Man is a social animal. It is important for us to socialize and talk to people around us. Pick up that phone and message a friend. Or just spend some time on social media to look at what is going on.
Travel Therapy: Did you know that Germans get 24 days of paid vacation days in a year? Travelling is important! Being in the same city can get boring and monotonous. Travelling allows you to explore a new place, interact with new people and try new things. If it’s possible then you must take some time out from the hustle-bustle of the city and plan a weekend getaway. It will help you to reset your system and give you time for some self-care.
It is easy to kick boredom out of our lives if we can assess it at an early stage and before it snowballs into a full-fledged emotional issue. Early intervention and assessment can help us identify the pain points and work on improving our emotional and psychological health. We can avoid the undesirable side-effects of boredom when we know where we stand and what steps we need to take to improve it.
As mentioned above, boredom is a natural feeling and it is inevitable to not feel bored but we must know how to manage it. We must not let monotony take over us and break the cycle before it takes the wrong turn.