“I’m bored!”im bored

Do you find yourself saying these words – especially while at work?

Don’t feel too bad. National studies consistently reveal that employees feel under-appreciated, unloved, and, ultimately, bored during the workday.

If this sounds like you, I hope that this article serves as a breath of fresh air. After all, you’re far too unique and creative to be stuck in a job that doesn’t help you live up to your fullest potential. In this post, I’ll  guide you through the following topics:

  • Why your job seems so incredibly boring
  • Tips for feeling less bored at work
  • How an entrepreneurial endeavor might fix your boredom

So, without further delay, let’s take the first step away from “I’m bored” and toward “I’m ready to take on anything!”.

Note: If you’re reading this article while working, I’d encourage you to bookmark it and read it outside of working hours. Even though your job is boring, you owe it to your employer to provide an honest day’s work!

Why Your Job Seems So Boring

Harken back to when you landed your current job. How did you feel? Even if your job isn’t the most glamorous position in the world, I’m guessing you felt a certain level of excitement and accomplishment. After all, the company chose you above all other applicants. That’s definitely a good feeling!

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the excitement to wear off. Sure, you like the paycheck, insurance, and benefits package. And, you might even enjoy being around certain coworkers. Despite the pros, there are still some things you have a hard time dealing with. Do any of these sound familiar?

You don’t feel motivated by the company’s products or services.

Your boss always acts like your bothering him or her.

Your responsibilities are below your skill level.

You want to add more value, but you don’t know how.

You’re not a member of the ol’ boy (or gal) club.

Some co-workers just don’t care.

You don’t own what you create.

Things just move too slow for your liking.

Add all of these factors up, and you’re looking at a pretty boring work life.

Tips for Feeling Less Bored at Work

If an immediate change in career path isn’t a viable option, you may have no other choice but to make the best of your current situation. Although you can’t wave a magic wand, you can (and should) take proactive steps to improve how you feel. Try these five steps.

1. Understand your primary sources of boredom. Are you so efficient that you complete work faster than your boss can delegate? Do meetings make you sleepy? Over the next two weeks, make a point to study the possible causes of your boredom. Each time you feel bored, open up a notebook or journal and briefly jot down how you feel, what you’re doing, and the time of day. This will be useful for the next step.

2. Identify what you can (& can’t) influence. As you collect data about your boredom levels, you’ll likely notice certain patterns beginning to emerge. For example, perhaps the majority of your boredom sets in around 3 pm each day. Is it possible that you’re confusing boredom with physical tiredness? Study the peaks and valleys of your boredom data and look for trends. Then, try to understand the factors that are within (or outside of) your control.

3. Get a plan. In the previous example, let’s say that you decide to introduce an extra cup of coffee into your afternoon routine. After a few days, you realize that the coffee is helping, but you still feel pretty bored. Go back to your data and look for other trends. Could it be that you’re running out of tasks by 3 pm? What additional projects could you volunteer for? How could you delight your boss (without being told what to do)? Are there certain committees (social, improvement, etc.) that could benefit from your help?

4. Stick to the plan. Volunteering for additional work is a great way to reduce boredom while on the job. However, it’s important to stick to your strategy. Don’t just volunteer for a special project, complete the project, and then go back to being bored each afternoon. You must continuously look for new opportunities to help the company.

5. Monitor your results. Give yourself a few months of following and refining your plan. How do you feel? Any better? If not, maybe you need to continue reading…

Maybe You’re Actually an Entrepreneur?

Even after trying to make the best of your current job, you may still feel the same level of boredom. You’re not trying to be ungrateful, but you can’t deny how you feel. What should you do now?

Have you ever considered that you might be an entrepreneur who is trapped in a “normal” job? Allow me to explain.

When I graduated college, I was blessed with a very nice corporate job. If I’m being honest, there were certainly moments when I felt bored (although I did like my job very much). To avoid becoming bored, I tried volunteering for every task imaginable and sought new ways to add value. Ultimately, I decided to leave the corporate world and start my own business. Why? Well, for starters, I didn’t just want to “like” what I did. I didn’t just want to feel “not bored.” I wanted to love what I do each day. I wanted to fulfill an internal desire to chart my own course, own what I create, and bypass the hierarchy of traditional corporate structures.

In short, I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Now, as I point out in my book, my path to freelance marketing consultant has been a somewhat rocky journey. I’ve learned many lessons the hard way, but, by the good Lord’s grace, I’ve had the opportunity of being self-employed for close to a decade now.

So, do you feel an entrepreneurial drive that could never be satisfied by your current job?

Does the prospect of quitting your current job and starting a business from scratch make you nervous (it should!).

If you answered “yes,” I would recommend the following resources to get you started. Thankfully, in today’s online world, you can start small and take baby steps away from the boredom that’s plaguing you!

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Questions? Comment Below

I’m here to help you feel less bored and more fulfilled professionally. If there are any questions that I can answer, please comment below. I’m happy to help!

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Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.

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