Boredom. We all suffer from it at some point or another. Even though a great routine does the body good, sometimes it's nice to shake things up once and awhile. Sitting at a desk job performing the same tasks everyday can only stimulate the mind for so long, and when things start to get dull, it can actually make your work suffer. Thankfully, you don't have to quit just yet! If the job you love has become too routine, there are plenty of ways to reenergize your work life. Here's some great cures for cubicle boredom!
The Old Switcharoo
Sometimes the cure for boredom is as simple as switching around the order of your tasks. For those of you out there that love your job, but it's just gotten a little tedious after a while, this handy trick can be a real lifesaver. The next time you head to work, think about the tasks you usually do and see which ones can be switched up. If your job depends on ordered tasks, try switching things up in other areas of your life. Even something as simple as having breakfast for lunch (and lunch for breakfast) can add just the right touch of whimsy that's priceless by the end of the day.
Whether long calls are a part of the job or your long-winded mother is on the other end, doodling is an excellent way to pay attention! According to a study by the University of Plymouth, people who doodled while listening to a long recording remembered nearly 30% more information on average than those who didn't. The theory is that all the scribbling keeps us from daydreaming, so our minds focus more on what's being said. Thankfully, idle doodling doesn't require much thought, and usually adds just the right amount of creative spark to zest up a boring workday.
It may sound counter-productive, but never skip out on those two minute breaks! According to a study in Cognition scientific journal, participators who took two minute breaks during intensive tasks actually performed them better. Allowing your mind to take a breather will help it focus more during heavy work hours. Set a timer on your phone for 160 seconds, then sit back at your desk and watch the day go by.
While two minute breaks are mandatory for a successful work day, it's good to know that anything more than that pushes the limits of procrastination. Unfortunately, when a co-worker is running late or the boss is in a meeting, it's hard to avoid longer lapses of activity. However, the University of Chicago advises you not to sit idle! According to one of their studies, experiment participators who ran a pointless 15 minute errand reported feeling happier at the end of the day than those who sat for 15 minutes instead. The idea is that, because the happier individuals were actually doing something - even something unnecessary - they never lost their momentum, and felt more accomplished by the end of the day.
Like taking the winding scenic route rather than sitting in traffic on the expressway, silly tasks are always advised during lapses if nothing more than to keep you moving. If you don't have time to run an errand, simple breathing exercises, or "deskercises" in cozy ergonomic mesh chairs will keep you calm and help the day move more quickly!
Give Yourself A Creative Project
If errands and exercise aren't exactly your idea of a great way to cure workplace tedium, then perhaps it's time to get creative! There are a couple studies out there with evidence that points to fun, silly tasks as being better instigators for focus. The next time a printer is jammed, work is slow, or you haven't had your coffee yet, try working on a long-term project you can do in short bursts. Learning a new language, doing routine maintenance on ergonomic office furniture and chairs, or building up your paperclip army are excellent ways to break the boredom, and perform better in the long run.
Change the Scenery
Even for those that love their jobs, sometimes an ugly environment is hard to enjoy. Surroundings have a big impact on the way humans perceive their world, so it's no surprise to learn that a lack of visual stimulation can also result in a bored attitude. To change things up, we recommend changing the scenery! Decorating cool workplace cubicles has become a big trend in today's modern office. Look up some fun modern office designs before you get started, and don't forget utility. Adding modular desk sets is a fantastic way to ensure your newly decorated office is both useful and stylish. Until your new space is done, scenic screensavers on those computer monitor arms make great windows into the outside world!
While it may feel a little risky at first, experts maintain that solid friendships in the workplace are definitely a good way to improve overall satisfaction. Half the time, boredom stems from a lonely office life rather than an unfulfilled one. Many modern companies even allow workers to keep little bowl fish at their cubicles to liven things up. However, nothing beats the friendship of a good person. The next time the lunch bell rings, don't be afraid to ask that funny receptionist to grab some coffee with you!
That's right, binder clips. It may sound really childish, but when all else fails, binder clips and other classic office accessories are the bored employee's best friend. In the office, these nifty devices tend to be useful for way more than what they were originally designed to do. Binder clips alone work wonderfully as dividers, cable catchers, money clips, headphone cord organizers, emergency cuff links, pencil holders, picture holders, and even handy smartphone stands! Grab some from the dollar store and get creative!
Get Ultra Bored…
Sometimes it's best to just embrace the boredom. More often than not, your brain will do everything it can to work out of it. The bored mind is a terrible thing to waste as it almost always produces some innovative ideas to break the cycle. Anytime you're feeling the boredom bug, try sitting back and letting your mind wander. Who knows? It may take you to some exciting new places!
Take A Vacation!
Speaking of exciting places, sometimes, the best thing to do is just go! Sure, a vacation can be just the procrastinator's way of putting off a problem, but it is the perfect way to chase tedium out the door. Vacations are often advised by health professionals because they're very stimulating for the body and mind. Not surprisingly, they usually result in a more productive person in the workplace afterwards. So the next time you pick out a cool new screensaver, let it be one of your own scenic photos rather than a photographer's!
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