Fight Boredom at Work—Don’t Let Your Life Become “Groundhog Day”
February 11, 2019
By: Kelly Spors
February kicks off with Groundhog Day (February 2nd)! Most people have seen the 1993 movie that shares the same name in which the main character experiences the same irritating day on a loop. While the movie is a fictitious comedy, it may feel like a true-to-life horror film for many workers.
After all, many jobs require that you do repetitive work tasks day in and day out. After a while, you may begin to feel bored with work, and this can in some cases ultimately lead to professional burnout.
The good news: There are ways to try to break through the monotony and feel more passionate and enthusiastic about your work. Here are some smart strategies you can try.
Shake up your routine
Just because you have to repeat tasks doesn’t mean you can’t inject some excitement into your work. Every day, you can think about how you can mix up your routine—whether that’s changing the order in which you go about your tasks, taking lunch outside of the office, or even experimenting with a new method of doing one particular aspect of your job better or faster.
Regardless of what you do for a living, if you're not challenging yourself to improve in your job, you're bound to get bored. So, try to keep pushing yourself to reach new heights at work. The goals you set will depend on what you do, but every month or every week, you can aim to achieve a goal that keeps you motivated and on track.
Take regular breaks
Even if you feel “on a roll,” there are benefits to taking breaks. In fact, studies on workplace productivity have found that taking breaks every 50 to 90 minutes ultimately leads to more energy, concentration, creativity and productivity.
Create efficiencies through automation
You may be able to reduce repetition by using technology to automate tasks, freeing up some of your time. One recent study, for example, found that 53% of employees said they could free up two hours of their day through automation, while business leaders thought automation would save their workforce three hours per day. Many jobs that require repetitive tasks, such as data entry, are ripe for automation.
Listen to music
Interestingly, researchers say that listening to music while doing repetitive, non-mentally strenuous tasks can keep you stay motivated. However, it can also hinder your productivity if you’re trying to do something that requires mental concentration, such as reading or writing. In those cases, however, it can help to listen to music 10 to 15 minutes beforehand to try to stimulate creativity.
Just because your job may be monotonous doesn’t mean you have to let it make your life dull or tiresome. Challenging yourself to try to break through the monotony and make your workdays more exciting and “new” can make a huge difference.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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