How to Make the Best of Your Boring Job
Boredom—we’ve all felt it before at long, draggy meetings or from having a monotonous desk job—making us disengaged or frustrated. Although the former is easier to get out of, having a boring job that entails doing repetitive tasks without any mental stimulation, can make you feel like Groundhog Day. Gradually, you become less motivated to work and find yourself stuck in a rut—with every hour passing slowly, and every task a chore.
So, how does one fight boredom at work? For some, the solution may be to search for a more “interesting job.” However, if you do not plan on quitting, then perhaps a mindset shift is all it takes to turn things around. Here are five ways to get inspired again.
Look for the Positive
No matter how dreary work is, try identifying some positive aspects of the job. It could be the flexible work schedule, which allows you to spend time on your other hobbies, or the ridiculously well-stocked office pantry complete with delicious goodies for you to graze all day. Focus on what you like, rather than what you do not. Make a list of these positives and stick it somewhere visible as a constant reminder to be grateful for what you have. More often than not, we are so eager to leave a “boring” job that we forget to take advantage of the perks. If your job has a training budget for you to take additional enrichment courses, seize the opportunity to broaden your horizons. Start utilising the other employee benefits like having a company doctor or free health insurance. Once we recognise that a mundane job could actually improve other areas of our lives, we might actually start to appreciate it more. If all else fails, be thankful that despite the economic downturn, you are not unemployed.
Take on New Responsibilities
Your lack of motivation could be due to the fact that you are not mentally stimulated or challenged enough. Think about potential undertakings and initiatives that you could spearhead and work towards making them a reality. Approach your boss about the opportunity to be involved in other existing projects. Not only will this help you to grow your portfolio, you’re likely to become more engaged (and happier) in your current role. On a whole, taking on new responsibilities could transform a boring job into a more satisfying one.
In addition, a job can feel mundane if we lack mastery or interest in the field. Change this by expanding your knowledge through research, so that the work eventually becomes more meaningful and relevant. As you become more well-versed in your role, the chances of promotion are much greater.
Be Nice to Your Colleagues
Ultimately, a happy workforce is a productive one. So try to cultivate and nurture a positive and upbeat working environment. Commit to doing at least one random act of kindness a day for someone in the office. You could bake a cake to share with your colleagues, get them some healthy snacks, offer to give them a lift home after work (if you drive), or stick a post-it note with uplifting words of encouragement on their desks. Start a culture of kindness in the office and get creative with your ideas. That way, you will be able to bring more meaning to work and stave off boredom. Additionally, you could even start a volunteer group together with your colleagues, providing community outreach services to people in need. Doing significant things outside your job can help put things into perspective. When you generally have a sense of fulfilment, you will feel a greater joy at work.
Improve Your Workspace
Since most of our work time is spent at our desks, organise your space in a way that encourages you to work smarter, think outside the box and be more productive. You might also want to consider giving your entire cubicle a personal touch by decorating it. Make it an extension of your personality by having personal memorabilia, photographs of your loved ones and reminders of anything you like. For a boost of self-confidence, get motivation posters and put them up where you can see them easily. Keep your space neat too; decluttering your workspace can help you get in the zone and be a better employee.
Have a Long-Term Goal
You may reach a point where you are so bored with your job or you no longer find any meaning (no matter how hard you try) that you fail to see a future with the company. When that happens, start thinking about your long-term goals. Keep reminding yourself that this job could be a vital stepping stone for something greater ahead like getting promoted or better employment opportunities.
Think big picture by focusing on your next career milestone. Ask yourself what you can do now in your current job that will give you a leg up in your next role. This could involve shadowing people in other departments, learning how to use a new software or chatting with colleagues who could link you with the right people. And if you are working primarily because you are saving up for your dream house or to service a loan, remind yourself that this “boring job” is not your final destination.