As a leader, how do you conquer boredom at work? Do you adjust your work when boredom strikes? Do you attempt to escape the feeling when you have a task that doesn’t excite or engage you?
I’ve been posting about boredom at work, and the resulting stress. Even high performing leaders and professionals can suffer from boredom, but it should not be taken lightly.
When talking about this subject with leaders and executives that I coach, I recommend that they learn to recognize the signs, understand the causes, and ways to address it.
In a Fast Company article, 6 Ways the Most Successful People Conquer Boredom at Work, Sam Harrison suggests six tips.
- Force yourself to be curious, because boredom is oftentimes a loss of curiosity.
- You can try putting yourself in the shoes of whoever will benefit from the project you’re working on. How will the choices you make affect them?
- Look outside your own world and see how another subject or emotion was approached.
- Aim to do something deliberately amusing and make yourself laugh. Interestingly enough, laughter and boredom can’t exist simultaneously.
- Take a hike or stroll in new surroundings for fresh perspectives. Even moving to another room or a nearby coffee shop can help. Sometimes a simple change in scenery can reignite those brain cells.
- Try looking at your project in a new way; anything that gives you a change in perspective.
When all else fails, persevere: commit to trudging through when that seems like that’s all you can do. At times, we just have to keep going—even while resisting it—until something interesting comes into view again.
It’s easy to dismiss critical “stuck points” in your career as temporary boredom. In actuality, boredom is a sign that you need to do something else. Don’t let it become habitual. The longer it lasts, the harder it is to get “unstuck.”
In the end, boredom can seriously undermine others’ perceptions of your potential, as well as your chances for more interesting work opportunities. Speak up and discuss its causes and solutions. Your brain craves interesting things to do.