Curiosity is human nature and it’s only natural that humans will lose interest in a topic after a while. This has been a topic that has been extensively explored among children, teenagers and adults by a psychologist with similar results being reported from each of the categories. Human’s minds are therefore prone to boredom, making it important for each professional to spend some time to understand the factors that drive boredom and strategies the individuals needs to use to overcome boredom and focus on their profession and development.
What is boredom and who is prone to it?
Boredom refers to a situation where an individual has continually done the same or similar task leading them to lose interest in the task. Boredom is bound to occur amongst each person but there are various factors which influence boredom making it important to research and understand them.
Every person is prone to boredom while performing tasks, making it critical to review your routine and develop alternative tasks that counter it. This is important as you may have to do a task continuously or repeatedly due to it being your responsibility, routine or profession.
In this situation, you cannot simply abandon the task but need to identify activities that will divert your attention and refresh your mind. This helps refresh your thoughts allowing you to refocus attention to the task and complete it. Failing to develop alternative interest will surely result in you losing your focus which will lead to serious errors that you would be answerable and accountable for.
How can overcome boredom?
Boredom leads to anxiety and stress, due to the individual simply losing interest with the task of the job role. There are various strategies to overcome boredom that have been discussed below. Each one targets a different stakeholder thus helping create awareness on the overall topic.
“Focus on the possibilities for success, not on the potential for failure.” – Napoleon Hill
1. Be curious and inquisitive
Curiosity killed the cat is a proverb we learn at school to help prevent mind diversion and focus on a single topic but in real life, it pays to be curious and inquisitive as you gain more knowledge relating to various topics, thus helping broaden your subject understanding. Curiosity allows an individual to explore various subjects which is important towards diverting the mind and helping them retain interest with a task.
This is especially important while performing long and laborious tasks which can be mentally exhausting over long periods. If you have a curiosity towards a different task, you can keep checking for updates or techniques that will help you divert the bored mind and then return to the task after a few minutes.
2. Keep learning new tasks
Learning never ends and you must never stop learning if you hope to overcome boredom. Being able to take up challenges is an important learning curb that will help you eliminate boredom as you work. If you are a regular writer but also have a keen interest in HTML coding, you can set up a small HTML code project that you work on while writing.
This allows you to perform your regular task but also allows you to continue learning or testing your skills when boredom spasms affect you. It is important to make sure you do not overindulge in your learning or hobby as it could affect your performance targets. Also, make sure you inform your employer or team lead regarding your work strategy to avoid conflict at a later stage.
3. Take a break and clear your mind
Boredom is bound to occur while participating on a regular task every day. You can also adopt a strategy of taking short breaks and moving away from your workstation to help clear and divert your mind. Walks help you change your mindset and attention which eradicates boredom.
Breaks are effective towards diverting the mind but is time consuming thus making this boredom eradication strategy less effective for working professionals who are expected to fulfil their work targets.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee
4. Change roles and responsibilities
Boredom is a reality. In fact every regular employee understands its effect on performance and can choose to develop mitigation strategies. One effective strategy that helps overcome boredom in the workplace is changing staff roles and responsibilities altogether. Doing the same task daily is bound to lead to boredom so the management must have effective mitigation strategies in place to address it.
An effective strategy to retain interest and focus in the workplace is swapping job roles. This helps divert individual attention from routine to new task which will help improve performance.
5. Consider a power nap
Power naps are discouraged by most organisations but studies performed on humans reveal that allowing staff to take a power nap will relax the mind and help improve concentration thus automatically reducing boredom. Power naps refer to taking a short nap/ sleep, especially after lunch.
This is important as people tend to fall very sleepy and tire between 2 and 4 PM due to them having consumed their lunch and most of their blood concentrated in their stomach. It is natural for people to feel sleepy and lose concentration after lunch which automatically affects their performance. Power naps allow the individual’s body to rest after lunch, thus allowing them to focus more on their work once awake.
Focus remains as being vital to performance but one which is often overlooked in the pursuit to meet targets. Over the long term perspective, the lack of concentration and focus will result in reduced productivity, which will negatively impact the individuals or organisations performance. It is therefore important for all stakeholders to recognize this concern as it impacts the performance irrespective of strict measures being put in place to address the issue.