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What to Do When You’re Super Bored at Your Job

What to Do When You’re Super Bored at Your Job

We’re all bored at work at some point. Some of us are even bored most of the time; some jobs are just plain boring. But just because the work you do isn’t as exciting as House of Cards doesn’t mean you have to actually let it make YOU boring, too.

If changing jobs and seeking out more challenging, meaningful work is not an option for you, there are ways of being less bored, no matter what you’re doing. Here are three things you can try instead of job hopping. But if you are looking for a new job, try to sign up for services that don’t require you to actively search.

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Telecommute

Unless you’re an ER nurse, chances are there’s a bit of wiggle room in your schedule. And more and more employers are realizing how beneficial it can be to let employees work remotely for a few days out of the month. You’ll be surprised what a difference spending one day a week in your pajamas can make. The occasional mixing up of your routine—and avoiding your commute—can be a real treat. That day of work will almost feel like a vacation and will become something to look forward to.

Make Plans

If your day job is boring and your evening plan is to go home and watch reruns of The Good Wife with a microwave dinner from Trader Joe’s, there isn’t much going on in your life. No wonder you are bored! Try designating three nights every workweek to make plans with pals, take in a movie or a concert, or try that hip new restaurant. Having something to look forward to after the clock strikes 6 p.m. will have a surprisingly mood-boosting effect.

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Do More

This seems counter-intuitive. But if you’re bored by what you’re doing, that might be because you aren’t being sufficiently challenged. Try asking your boss if there are any bigger projects you could start to transition into or find something new to do. Any long-term goals you could start chipping away at? Having a greater goal can light your fire and keep you getting to the desk each morning.

Learn Something New

Find something you are interested in, and invest some time to working on it. You never know, you might become really good at it and it could turn into a full-time job. There are a lot of online tutorials that you can watch to acquire a new hobby or skill. There are some meetup groups in your area that you can join to make your day more interesting and fun. Your life is much more than just your work. Take charge of your own life experience.

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Go on Lunch Dates

There is a networking site online called “Let’s Lunch?” that can match you up with someone in your area for lunch during the workweek. You can connect your social profile, provide your availability and set a meeting place. The site will match you up with someone just like you. It’s a great way to grow your network without spending much time and effort.

Build Your Online Presence

Build a blog, read industry articles or blogs, write articles to you share your knowledge or your opinion on the topics of your interest. Commit to pushing something out at least once a week to keep your followers engaged. Don’t like blogging much? Start a podcast! Invite industry leaders to be interviewed on your podcast. You are not only boosting your own reputation online, you could also be building your second career.

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You don’t have to be bored if you don’t want to be. There are always options worth exploring—even if you stay right where you are.

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Jessie Liu

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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