Having a case of the days that end in “y?” Sometimes it’s a long day, and other times it’s been a long few weeks. When the boredom starts to sink in at work, you only have two options: stay bored, or get over it. We want to help you get over it.
Boredom is a symptom, not a diagnosis, so if you want to stop being bored, you just need to start moving. If you’ve got a computer next to you, you’ve probably exhausted most of your options online, and now you’re here reading this post. Congratulations: You’re already headed in the right direction.
Boredom is the gateway to productivity, so don’t just look at this as an opportunity to be entertained, look at it as an opportunity to make something of those pesky, wasted hours. Whether it’s something silly, or something fundamentally important to your career, check out this list of genuinely fun things you can do when the boredom monster strikes.
Learn To Juggle
You should probably start with someone that’s both inconspicuous, and also won’t totally distract you from customers and the tasks at hand. Most people are completely overwhelmed by the thought of juggling, but it’s just a matter of muscle memory.
While there are surely thousands of videos online to show you just how it’s done, start by taking two objects in one hand. Throw one in the air, and shift the second object to the front of your palm. As the first one lands, throw the second one up like you did the first. They should always be landing and tossing at the same time.
Redecorate Your Work Space
Sometimes the room just needs a facelift. Whether you’ve got a register or a cubicle, a little redecoration can go a long way for morale, and it’s an opportunity to show off a little bit more of your personality to your coworkers.
From pictures of your family, to a zen garden, to little DIY additions that make it totally “you,” a little glimpse of human touch can go a long way in brightening up your work space, and giving you that extra motivation when the work does pile on.
Create a Pet Project
A pet project is something that you can slowly grow on the side, and doesn’t need your full undivided attention in the day to day. Whether it’s a big reorganization job that your manager has been meaning to tackle—or creating a new addition to the business that you’ve always envisioned.
If you’ve got a lot of extra time, and are savvy with company resources, this could be a great way to stand out to your bosses while doing something you actually enjoy.
Similarly, you can just try to build something. There are plenty of DIY tutorials online about how to reclaim old wood palates for new desks, benches or tables, and those are something that any workplace can use. It’s a cool way to get your head around a challenge, and uses that bored energy positively, bringing an entirely new creative attitude to your coworkers.
Learn a New Language
A photo posted by Sofie Bedford (@sofotjka) on
Now, this may sound a little ambitious, but the truth is that it couldn’t be simpler. IF you feel like you’ve got a lot of down time in between customer interactions, but you still need to be front and center, learning a language is the perfect activity.
Start by using flash cards. You don’t need some amazing software to get it done, just start going through the basics. Who knows—a customer could be fluent, and you could end up making a whole new friend and study partner along the way.
Invent a Customer Game
When there’s a continuous, monotonous stream of customers in your day, but you just can’t stimulate the excitement you need to make it through, come up with a game you and your coworkers can play and the line keeps moving.
Whether it’s trying to sneak a secret phrase into conversation, counting a certain recurring item of clothing, or trying to get them to say a certain phrase—customer games can bring creative energy to an otherwise menial task.
Worker beware: most of the time, this is NOT a responsible, manager-friendly game. Play at your own risk!
Tell a Tale
Ever play the story game? This one requires a team. If you and your coworkers are all desperate for a little creative stimulation, you can start to pass around a story while you get other menial work done. One person starts off, and you work around in a circle sentence by sentence, building on a story based on what the last person said.
Not only is this a creative game, but it tends to teach you a lot about your coworkers simply by seeing the way they think.
Play “Never Have I Ever”
Another way to learn about you coworkers even more directly is to the play the game called “Never Have I Ever.” Go around in a circle, holding up all 10 fingers, and name something you’ve never done. If someone else has done it, they put a finger down. Last person with fingers left in the game wins.
We all have to work and pay the bills, and so you may not have the luxury of this option just yet, but if day in and day out you’re constantly feeling undervalued and never challenged at work, then it might be time to move on.
Don’t let boredom get the best of you.
Take control and make something of your time at work every day. Good luck!