Memorizing every crevice of your cubicle wall and reciting the office directory backwards and forward are sure signs of boredom at work. The only problem is, engaging in those and other mindless and meaningless activities don’t fight boredom at all. They make it worse! Not only do you become bored with your job, but you can become crazy at the mere sight of your cubicle wall and start seething with hatred at every name in the directory. Stop it now with six ways to fight boredom at work that are actually, well, non-boring.
Learn what you can. Boredom can stem from stagnation. If you already know your job like the back of your hand, reach that hand higher to learn new skills. Perhaps you never really learned to type without looking at the keyboard and this high-typing job gives you the chance. Maybe there’s a particular boss or CEO who can fill you in industry secrets and ropes. Ask if your company offers higher education options so you can stretch your knowledge even further while it foots the tuition bill.
Teach others. Teaching can be as interesting as learning, so look for an underling or two to whom you can be a mentor. Summer interns are great for this option. And sometimes they’re even cute, to boot! If you have knowledge that would prove valuable to others, be a pal and share it. And who knows? You might even learn a little something yourself.
Have an overall goal. Knowing you will not be stuck at the same desk in the same starchy suit with the same job forever can help fight boredom. Look at the gig as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. These things could be a higher position in your current company, a new job that profits from the current skills you should be mastering or, at the very least, nabbing a date with the gorgeous chick who works reception.
Have a life. Knowing you will not be stuck at the same desk only to go to the same house for the same un-thrilling evening can also help fight work boredom. Again, the job is just a temporary gig to pay the bills while your real life awaits once the clock strikes five. Do things that excite you so the anticipation of groovy evening can propel you through the day. Take skydiving lessons. Learn karate.
Turn tasks into games. Even when your work task involves something as mundane as putting this month’s batch of paper into a filing cabinet, you can add a bit of pizzazz if you turn it into a game. Time yourself to see if you can do it faster than last month’s batch. Mix it up and work from Z to A instead of A to Z. Translate the files into French in your head as you put new items into it. Don’t know French? Alright, you can stick with pig Latin.
Do your best. Half-heartedly going into any task is going to give it the feeling that it’s boring, dumb and not worth your while. Take a tip from Buddhist thought and make everything you do meaningful by giving it your full attention, care—and your best. Yes, this can even apply to filing papers. Make them neat, crisp, organized—and know once the clock hits five, you’re outta there to your skydiving lesson.