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How I Kill Boredom at Work to Regain My Productivity

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How I Kill Boredom at Work to Regain My Productivity

If you’ve ever found yourself between assignments at work, you’ll know how unbearable it feels to be bored at work. On the one hand, surely completing your tasks should be rewarded with free time. On the other, you can’t be seen slacking off and need to stay productive. Finding assignments for yourself can be a challenge, but with some creativity you can prove that you’re a productive employee and prepare for future assignments at the same time.

Enroll in introductory online courses for new skills

With internet access you have thousands of free online courses at your fingertips.[1] Websites like Khan Academy, Codecademy and Udemy offer you access to a number of skills that make you a more valuable employee.

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Online classes can let you pick up crucial modern skills such as coding, improving your familiarity with programs like Excel, learn how to use all the features in Adobe programs and otherwise educate yourself. Your boss will appreciate seeing you increase your skill capacity, and this can definitely qualify as a productive use of time.

Sort through all your documents on your desk and laptop

If you’ve just finished all the projects you have assigned to you, take some time to sort through all the documents that have built up on your desk and in your inbox.[2] If you’re anything like the average office employee, you probably have a number of papers that have been stored in whatever folder was closest, piled in drawers or stacked on desks.

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By going through these documents and making sure they’re properly filed and stored, you can find any projects that haven’t been wrapped up, make connections between projects or come up with new ideas to work with the information you have. Take this time to clean up your inbox, including double checking which emails you may have forgotten to respond to or potential assignments you can follow up on.

Anticipate what assignments will land on your desk and get better prepared for them

If you’ve wiped out your to-do list for today, start drafting a to-do list for tomorrow. By anticipating projects and assignments that will land on your desk tomorrow, you can do a better job when you need to take care of the work. Contact people ahead of time if you know you’ll need to speak to them – arrange any interviews you’re going to have, ask people to send you documents when they’re ready and set reminders to make sure you don’t forget anything.

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Stand up and walk around the office

Most office workers are sedentary all day, which can lead to a sense of sluggishness and slow down your productivity. If you’re out of things to do, take a chance to go for a walk. It can help kickstart your imagination and work out some pent up energy when you’re pressed for stuff to do. And when you’re done with your walk, you can get back to work with a renewed vigor and increased productivity. Walking decreases tension and boosts your mood, making you less irritable and more satisfied.

Stretch your creative muscles and come up with new ideas

Free time gives you a chance to stress your creative muscles too. Use this free time to identify any common issues you have at work or ways to improve the day to day or large scale operations of your business. Do you receive regular customer complaints about a particular issue you haven’t been able to solve? Is there an outdated aspect of the business you think could be updated to increase efficiency or productivity as well as avoid injuries at work? You should make better use of this free time to come up with ideas to solve problems and draft proposals for your managers. You can show them that you’re engaged in the process, care about the success of the business and are capable of offering creative solutions when given time and resources.

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Browse job listings and search for appealing opportunities

How often do you find yourself bored out of your skull at work? If it’s often, you may want to consider using your free time to browse new job opportunities. Even if you’re not dedicating yourself to leaving your current job, checking out what’s available can remind you of what the job market looks like, show you what expectations other managers have and perhaps make you appreciate your current job more. If you really can’t find ways to keep yourself busy, you may be in the wrong position. Don’t trap yourself in a dead end job out of a sense of obligation – if you think your skills can be better used elsewhere, move on!

Finding ways to occupy time at work can be a challenge – you want to pass the time and you’re objectively productive, but your boss doesn’t want to see you slacking off. By sorting through assignments, picking up new skills and evaluating your position and responsibilities, you can keep yourself busy and help your career in the long run.

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Reference

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

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5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

The environment of a typical office or a quiet library may sometimes lessen your productivity as the unchanging views fail to stimulate your senses and keep your brain running. If you are the kind that dislikes absolute silence or minimal noise when working, these unexpected places to work may boost your productivity level!

1. Coffee shops

Research has shown that an adequate amount of ambient noise stimulates your senses and keeps you alert. Where else better to find some chatter and clatter to boost your creative juices? Working in the coffee shop also guarantees something else: unlimited supplies of caffeine!

Caffeine wakes you up by fooling adenosine receptors and speeds transmitting activities up in your nerve cells.If you do decide to try this place out, make sure that your work computer is facing the coffee shop customers so you will be less likely to procrastinate or go to inappropriate sites because people are secretly watching you.

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If your workplace requires you to be in the office, try this website and/or phone app that provides you with sounds from coffee shops around the world. Want to work at a cafe in Paris? No problem, it’s just a button away.

2. Cafeterias

Similar to coffee shops, company cafeteria or food courts provide consistent noise and the smell of food. The aroma of food makes you look forward to your next break and should motivate you to complete your work.

The act of eating likewise keeps your brain alert and produces dopamine. But make sure only to snack and stay around 60% full so that each bite is rewarding and invigorating. Snacking every 90 minutes should keep your brain balanced enough to focus on the work at hand.

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3. Empty University Classrooms  

Whether or not you’re an university student, we have all been a student at some point in our lives. And when you’re in a classroom, your brain is primed to stay focused because you have been conditioned to concentrate in class. In comparison to your bedroom, where your brain is primed to relax, sleep and have fun, the environment of the classroom triggers your memory to stay alert (unless you never listened in class) and work.

If you do decide to try working in an empty university classroom, be sure to bring a studious friend. Once you see that your friend or coworker is working hard, you would feel guilty for procrastinate and be more competitive.

Ever heard of environmental context-dependent memory? Research has shown that environmental context influences the way we encode information. If you study in the same place you first learned the material, your chances of recalling the information are significantly increased. Use environmental cues to your advantage so you spend less time doing more work!

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4. Outdoors

Fresh air, sunlight, cool breeze. Talk about getting your vitamin Ds the natural way. A healthy body is crucial to being productive. If you have a porch, use it to maximize your productivity!

On a cool day, the crisp air is good for waking your brain up. If your work station is indoors and poorly ventilated, the build up of carbon dioxide will cause your brain to be less active, hence, less productive. Try to bring some work to a park nearby or an unsheltered town square where you are exposed to the sun. Fresh air will vitalize your brain and the warm sunlight will bring a smile to your face.

5. The Shower 

Many people experience their “Aha!” moments when they’re in the shower. Why is that? The hot water helps with circulation and improves blood flow to your brain, giving it more oxygen and nourishment to break down your work block.

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If you aren’t motivated to work or feeling bored, a good shower will not only open up your pores, but also give your brain a boost of energy. Keep a waterproof white board and markers in the washroom so you will never lose those wonderful ideas again!

Featured photo credit: Thomas Franke via unsplash.com

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