How to NOT hate your work; Burnout, Boredom and Boundaries Part 1.
Boredom, burnout and boundaries, what do these 3 things have in common? Well, in my opinion, if you’re struggling at work it’s most likely because of one of these 3 things.
So, how do you not hate your job?
In this 3 part BLOG series, we’re exploring Boredom, Burnout and Boundaries and this week we’re looking at boredom.
So if you’re feeling less than excited by your work then read on, this one could be for you! You may also want to check out my previous blog “How to be happy in work”.
Maybe you’ve been in the same role, or same organisation for some time and you find yourself daydreaming of rediscovering your passion. You drift off thinking that perhaps you should have been an artic explorer or you should dedicate more time to solving world peace. Fantastic if you do this, but most of us just need to wake up and take a giant leap out of our comfort zone.
Getting bored is part of the normal cycle of change. When we start something new we’re often excited, we’re learning lots, we may feel anxious or uncomfortable but we push through that. We can be full of ideas, opinions, goals and energy. Over time this settles down and we find our stride. We enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Over time contentment can turn to boredom, and it can happen without you noticing.
But, what’s the difference between being content and being bored at work?
For me contentment is peaceful, happy, relaxed yet interested.
What does boredom look like? See if you notice any of these in yourself:
- Dragging your feet to work on a Monday
- Sunday night dread
- Distraction and procrastination
- Getting too absorbed in office politics
- Feeling like you’re twiddling your thumbs too often at work
- Lacking energy to make new connections or step into projects you know you’d have once found interesting
- Becoming more lethargic at home
- Being more short tempered or snappy than you are when you’re fulfilled at work
You might think its easy to spot boredom at work but many people make excuses for their boredom…. “it’s just a bit quiet at the moment’, “it will pass”, “It’s not so bad, I can take it easy for a while”
Find a high achiever that likes to take it easy and I’ll eat my hat.
Boredom is the killer of potential.
When you’re bored at work your comfort zone will get smaller and smaller until eventually you’re working and living in such a reduced space that your dreams and ambitions seem like they’re on another planet.
So how do you avoid boredom, or snap out of it if you find yourself in that space?
Fall in love with learning. Perhaps it’s a new area of the business, maybe it’s a course to develop new skills, it could be meeting a new network of people. When you are learning you’re in your stretch zone. It may feel uncomfortable or a little uneasy, but you can’t be bored when you’re investing in your personal growth and development.
2. Help others
When you invest time in helping others, you’re doing so for your shared happiness. When you help others they will be grateful, they’ll provide recognition and praise, which is a basic human need for us all. It feels good to be recognised and gives us a rush of endorphins. It’s also nice to be a good human. You get to go home knowing that you made a difference to someone’s life and regardless of what your job is like, that’s meaningful work.
If you’re really passionate about helping others you can train with me to be a coach. Check my ILM Coaching and Mentoring Course out here (Just excuse the dodgy website, we’re mid rebrand!)
3. Look at how you got here
You haven’t always been bored so how did you end up here? What have you neglected or ignored? What needs are not being met?
Do some soul searching and try to identify what’s missing in your work. When you pay attention to gap rather than the boredom itself you’ll have more to learn and you’ll feel back in control.
4. Do something
Take action, do anything. It doesn’t really matter what to start with but commit to changing the situation you’re in. No-one wants a life where they are endlessly bored for 8 -10 hours a day. That’s not a life, it’s a sentence.
5. Ignore your excuses
Related to the above, ignore you’re excuses. You could come up with 101 reasons why it’s OK to stay as you are, or why it’s not the right time but if my coaching experience tells me anything this is just fear talking. Perhaps its fear of failure, perhaps it’s fearing uncertainty, who knows but when you stay in your comfort zone for too long just changing your commute home from work can feel frightening. That’s not belittling fear, the fear is real. Just think – what’s more terrifying – staying as you are for an indefinite period of time or taking your first next step to discovering your passion?
I’m launching my signature ‘discover your passion’ course in the autumn. This is a self guided coaching programme to help you work out what you want and need from work to feel fulfilled. To get invited to my live masterclass and be one of the first to hear about the doors opening to this course please join my community of people just like you below by signing up to my mailing list. You’ll get this weekly blog direct to your inbox, plus other stories, resources and special offers. I hope to see you there!
The Leaders Guide to Finding Passion and Purpose in your work