So, you’re working from home! Fun, right? Freedom of hours, you can stay in your sweats if you want to…until you realize: you’re a little bored. Missing an office’s bustle is not an uncommon problem, and this post is all about how to remedy that feeling. So how can you fight boredom when working in your home office?
Productivity is all about not being bored with what you’re doing; however, that can sometimes be challenging, mostly when sequestered at home. You might find yourself sluggish and slow, having a hard time with the alone aspect and the monotony.
It can be harder to focus, easy to be uninspired, and more if you’re struggling with the boredom lag on any of your projects or just work in general.
More tips you also find in our article 50 HOME OFFICE TIPS FOR BETTER WORKING AT HOME.
Here are 10 tips on how to fight boredom in home office
If you’re feeling uninspired with your work or the repetition, try decorating your workspace! It can be so fun to have personal items of yours out. Sometimes it can be that you look at the items while you’re working, and other trinkets can be fun brain breaks.
Keep fun photos of great people and memories, think about having something around for you to play with while you think or when you need a quick second to yourself.
Things like mini cognitive puzzles and any small individual game will work well.
There are even some electronic devices where the only thing it does is generate and allow you to play games like Sudoku. This fights boredom and fatigue without causing distraction. There is a fine line between the two, but these kinds of solutions solve it nicely.
If you’re bored, you might not be being challenged enough. I know, at first, this might sound like a good thing!
However, as functioning humans, one of our sole desires in life is to fix problems. We are propelled forward by strife and the ability to solve for it.
The Problem-Solving Mental Process is a critical thinking task that creates purpose on a psychological level. If we are not challenged enough or don’t vary at a great enough rate, it is challenging for us to be satisfied, and more importantly, occupied with the assignment at hand.
Communication is absolutely necessary to move forward with your job in a healthier way. Explain to your management or your boss that you don’t feel challenged enough in a respectful and thoughtful way.
They will likely appreciate and value your discernment on your productivity and respect your work capacity, moving you into a potentially much better work position in general.
3.SIDE HUSTLE IT OUT
Create a fun side hustle for yourself. This may sound counterintuitive and almost as though you’re going to like your side hustle more than your regular job, but that’s kind of the whole point.
When you create a side hustle, it is often something you are passionate about. Having something you’re incredibly passionate about will inform the way you look at everything else.
You will strive to complete your work efficiently and with a job well done so that you can get into your side business already.
On the flip side, your side hustle might make you crave your stable job structure since the nature of entrepreneurship is turbulent. The point here is that both sides make you understand the purpose of the other, and sometimes the simple truth is that time filled is boredom prevention in and of itself.
4. KEEP IT FUN
An important thing to remember is that you are not supposed to be serious 100% of the time. In fact, an entire lack of fun will make you hate your job, even if you like what you do.
Creating joy for yourself in even the most mundane daily operations is crucial to loving what you do and avoiding it getting stale and boring. Think about the little things you can do, like changing (temporarily) the font of a document or even write in colorful pens. These seem like small details, but that’s where the most significant change happens.
Playing with your dog on a break, doodling in between things, and listening to loud and fun music (while not on calls!) are all fun ways to break up your day and add some liveliness.
People often get repetitive and bored when they outlaw fun, and it happens more often than you think. If you even subconsciously decide you must be serious for work all the time, the pressure alone will be too much for you to handle.
5. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Similar to the last point, listen to some music! Music occupies and utilizes a different part of the brain than typical work does. This fact helps boredom because it takes up space in the part that pulls the rest of your brain to drift mode.
This is especially helpful if you have ADD or ADHD, considering that boredom usually stems from distraction or of knowing that losing focus is not productive, but it is difficult to remember not to be distracted. Complicated, right?
Put on some good music and put your mind entirely on auto-pilot – on the side that needs it most, only. A fair warning with this tip is that lyrics can be distracting, especially if you’re new to listening to music while working.
Start with something classical or instrumental, and then work your way up. Sometimes, listening to lyrics can be inspiring and motivational; it really just depends on what you need to get done at that time.
6. MAYBE ITS TIME FOR SOMETHING ELSE
It’s worth gently pointing out…maybe it’s time to take up another opportunity if this one is not fulfilling enough for you? I know that you don’t really want to hear this option, but it is essential to mention it, at least.
Maybe you’re just not as passionate about it anymore, maybe you dislike your colleagues, maybe it’s no one’s fault, you just don’t like your job anymore, so you spend your days bored and more than likely poorly utilized.
It is important to remember that not only are you doing others a disservice by not loving what you do, but you’re also doing yourself a massive disservice. It’s okay to want change.
Boredom in the office can be a million other things manifesting in this way, but it’s important to at the very least consider that might be the main issue. Work isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but the concept of your overall job should be.
7. TAKE A BREAK
Pushing through is so important, and getting things done when you don’t want to do them is something vital to your success, but getting things done when you’re completely sick of the purpose, tired of the end result, and over the others who work there.
You begin to sacrifice quality if you make too many concessions for how you feel about an employer. It can be pretty tempting just to bury yourself in work, putting your head down, and assuring that what needs to get done gets done.
True, this is incredibly important for work environments everywhere and max productivity, but there is a time and a place. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a walk, run to get a coffee, or anything else that gets you away from your computer, even briefly.
“From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”
(Psychology professor Alejandro Lleras)
Psychology Today reports that “According to author and consumer psychologist Nir Eyal, “When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on….we propose that deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused,” psychology professor Alejandro Lleras says. “From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”
Good quality work happens to be the opposite of work done all in a row, completely stressed out. Give yourself a moment to breathe.
8. SET MILESTONES
Everything is better with a little motivation! Milestones serve as the small positive action leading you to the next, inspiring you to hopefully not get bored along the way and continue to deliver in the results.
Little rewards can be anything from getting up to take a walk to being able to check your phone for a timed 5-minute increment. Because your brain is looking forward to the small good, it will naturally hyper-focus, eliminating boredom because it is too fixated in on the micro of the situation.
Upon each completion, you are rewarded, pushing you to the very next goal. As a singular action, this will make you incredibly productive. As a habit-forming system, it will make you efficient and goal-oriented. You’ll subconsciously work harder when you know you’re working towards something that feels good along the way to the broader goals.
9. MAKE A LIST
We all likely already understand that lists hold so much power. You are more likely to accomplish something when you write it down. The same goes for office goals. Inc.com states in their recent article that “Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University in California, led a study on goal-setting with nearly 270 participants. The results? You are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success.
The process of putting your goals on paper will force you to strategize, ask questions about your current progress, and brainstorm your plan of attack.
The reason this is beneficial to boredom prevention is that when you are moving towards a bigger goal (similarly to the last bullet) you are less likely to get bored based on purpose.
10. RECLAIM YOUR POWER
Last but not least, you might be bored because someone is informing you of exactly what you should be doing. The freedom of decision is incredibly motivating and freeing, and not having this liberty, within reason, is frustrating.
This is such a killer of creativity and will suck the positive movement out of your daily work life.
Additionally, this translates into bigger issues like lack of self-planning and loss of you setting your own goals. Not only short-term but also long-term.
Salary goals, benchmarks, and promotion schedule ideals are all off the table once you stop strategizing your own time. This, inevitably, will lead to boredom. It goes back to the same lack of a broader goal for yourself.
The good pressure of needing to come up with these things yourself and producing a result being on your shoulders is actually a really great thing. You’ll find yourself pushing (in a good way) and striving for more before you know it.
Reclaiming your power can come in the form of a conversation with your boss or simply just being a self-starter and bringing the thing you’d like to work on to the table. It only makes sense that often, when you bring something to the forefront that you’re saying, “this is an issue and I’d like to fix it” people will listen and let you run wild.
Never Get Bored Again In Your Home Office
Boredom ultimately is avoidable. It has less to do with the work you’re being given and more to do with how you personally choose to handle it. Speak up, take a moment, and move forward with a different outlook, and you’ll never be bored again.
The solutions are attainable: Everything from finding a small desktop trinket you like to understanding that it’s not you, it’s your job: these are all vital pieces of growth towards never letting boredom in the office get the best of you.
See also our article WHAT DOES WORKING FROM HOME LOOK LIKE?