How to Make Work Go Faster When You’re Bored

Posted on - in Work Productivity

Boredom is a universal experience, and all too often it strikes where we’re supposed to be our most productive: at work. Whether you’re hit by a slow day behind a counter or a mind-numbing report you’d rather not finish, you’re likely familiar with workplace boredom.

Even if you love your job, you’re likely to experience boredom sometimes. In fact, the average employee is bored about 10.5 hours out of the week — that’s more than an entire work day. So, strategies to deal with boredom can pay off in productivity, as well as happiness.

When you’re bored, time might seem to move frustratingly slow, sapping your energy and motivation. Luckily, you don’t have to surrender your day when boredom strikes. Here are five ways you can overcome boredom to make your workday go faster.

1. Accomplish Something Productive

One of the most common causes of boredom is not having enough to do at work. If you’ve run out of assigned tasks, you can fight boredom by searching for something productive to work on. By accomplishing tasks you wouldn’t usually think about, you can engage your mind while also impressing your employer with your willingness to take initiative.

Consider organizing your email inbox, offering to help a coworker or asking your manager for another assignment. If all else fails, you can spend your downtime updating your resume or making your grocery list for the week.

2. Brighten Up Your Space

If you’re feeling disenchanted with your job, you might spend some of your time brightening up your office or workspace. Organizing your surroundings can reduce stress and make it easier to focus. Plus, adding some pleasing decor could boost your mood.

Next time you’re feeling bored, clear off your desk, organize your pencils or do the dishes in the break room. You’ll feel accomplished and make the environment a little nicer for yourself and others.

3. Learn Something New

Nothing beats boredom faster than learning about something interesting. Even better, improving your skills — work-related or otherwise — can make it easier for you to enter the flow state, the state of focus you achieve when your skill level is perfectly matched to a challenge.

Achieving flow while you’re working can make time pass quickly, since you’re fully absorbed in what you’re doing. Follow your interests, and you might just find something you can get lost in.

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4. Do Something Fun

To overcome boredom and get through the day with your sanity intact, find ways to make the workday more entertaining. You could turn on some upbeat music, step out to bring everyone donuts or throw a five-minute dance party in your cubicle. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

Embracing a fun activity can improve your mood and relieve boredom, but resist the urge to grab your phone as a first step. While scrolling through social media can definitely distract you, it can also make you feel sluggish and unproductive. Try practicing your hobbies or getting creative for a better use of your time.

5. Plan for the Future

A slow day at work provides the perfect opportunity to plan for the future. Even if you’re not in your ideal position at the moment, you can use this time to make progress toward your goals and develop useful process improvements.

While bored at your desk, chart out some short-term and long-term goals on a calendar or piece of paper. When you see how your day-to-day work propels you into the future, it’s easier to find the motivation you need to finish the day strong.

Banish Workplace Boredom

It’s okay to be bored every once in a while — after all, occasional boredom allows your mind to wander and encourages you to come up with creative, new ideas. But frequent boredom in the workplace can drain your productivity and put you in a foul mood.

If you’re feeling bored at work, remember that you can get through it. Try these strategies for overcoming boredom next time you want to make time go faster at work.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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