How To Stop Feeling Bored at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Finding fulfillment and purpose in your work is an important part of staying motivated throughout the course of your career. However, during different seasons of your professional and personal life, your interest in work may start to wane. It's necessary to find ways to remain engaged in your work to be productive and experience growth. In this article, we discuss signs you're bored at work, the benefits of improving your mood at work, how to handle being bored at work and tips for making work more entertaining.

Signs you're bored at work

Boredom at work may take several forms, and you may not recognize that certain behavior or mood changes are resulting from boredom in the workplace.

Here are some signs that you might be feeling bored at your job:

  • You feel apathetic about your work.

  • Your productivity levels are declining.

  • You feel like you are wasting your time at work.

  • You no longer reference previous goals or set new goals.

  • You regularly feel tired or burnt out at work.

  • You find it hard to concentrate on your tasks.

  • You're spending an increasing amount of time doing non-work-related activities, like checking social media, taking breaks and cleaning your workspace.

Benefits of improving your mood at work

It's important to find positive ways to adjust your mood at work. When you feel connected to and excited about your tasks, you can experience the following benefits:

  • Sense of pride in your work

  • Increased productivity

  • Career growth

  • Enhanced relationships with peers and managers

  • Personal development

  • Professional recognition

  • Discover or rediscover interests

  • Eliminating negative habits that resulted from boredom

  • Finding a more fulfilling job or career

How to handle being bored at work

The following steps will provide you with a path to overcoming your boredom at work and help you become more engaged and productive:

1. Set new goals for yourself

Think about where you want out of your career in one year, five years and ten years. Define these goals in measurable ways and create actionable steps that can help you reach them. Setting goals provides a clear idea of what you're working toward and why each task matters from a wider perspective. Review your goals often to help you stay motivated.

For example, consider the following career goals:

  • *Short-term goal (six months): Increase productivity by 10%.*

  • *Mid-range goal (one to two years): Achieve mid-level sales management position.*

  • *Long-term goal (five years): Make $150,000, achieve regional or department director position.*

Related: Setting Goals To Improve Your Career

2. Reconnect to your passions

Think about the aspects of your job you enjoy the most, which are often those things that drew you to your profession. Remember why you do this work, and identify ways that contributed to your company or community and ways that you can continue to make a positive impact in your sphere of influence.

For instance, a graphic designer may remember that they initially loved to draw, and that's why they pursued a creative career. Connecting to this passion can help them recognize those parts of each project that connect to that passion, such as sketching out initial design concepts or hand drawing components of a design presentation.

3. Learn a new skill

Consider cultivating a new skill that will improve your job performance, or look for other opportunities for professional growth. Take part in training courses or workshops that your company offers. There are also a variety of courses online for professionals, such as software training, industry certifications and personal development classes, that can help you move closer to your career goals while increasing your interest in and enthusiasm for your work.

4. Take breaks when you need to

While it may sound counterintuitive, short breaks can help prevent burnout. If you begin to lose focus or experience a dip in productivity, set aside a few minutes to reset. Go on a quick walk around the office or get up and stretch. Moving your body and stepping away from your work can make you feel better and more engaged when you come back to it.

5. Talk to your supervisor about how you feel

A conversation with your supervisor may be appropriate if your work no longer challenges you or leaves you with a lot of free time. If you have been completing the same tasks repeatedly, your supervisor may be able to provide you with some new responsibilities or a different direction for your work that better aligns with your interests.

6. Try exceeding your normal workload

Your boredom may come from having a lot of idle time at work. This can lead to feeling like you're underperforming. Increasing the amount of work you're doing can challenge you to be more productive. Try to do more work over a shorter period of time. If the additional tasks kept you from feeling bored, consider increasing your daily workload.

7. Practice emotional intelligence and personal growth

Emotional intelligence is the skill of being able to identify and understand emotions. Reflect on your own feelings and motivations can help you in the workplace in the following ways:

  • Improve relationships with coworkers

  • Enhance workplace communication

  • Help identify areas for personal improvement

  • Remind you to evaluate your feelings more regularly

  • Help prevent negative behaviors

Related: Emotional Intelligence: Definition and Examples

8. Clean out your digital space

Cleaning out your computer or email can help you feel more motivated and prepared for work. Your boredom may stem from a lack of organization or avoidance of overcrowded files and inboxes. A clean digital workspace will allow you to access the materials you need easier and get rid of what you don't use, reducing wasted time. This cleanup will provide you with a break from your work but still allow you to engage in a productive activity. Working within a more organized environment may help you feel more motivated.

9. Talk to clients

Spending time around clients who benefit from your work can help reinvigorate you and offer an important perspective. It can reconnect you to the reasons your work is important and how it affects other people.

Related: How To Communicate Better with Coworkers

10. Engage in networking in your field

Connecting with other professionals can enable you to build important relationships and expose you to new perspectives. Try joining online groups or subscribe to industry newsletters to become more engaged with the work you're doing. Networking also allows you to cultivate your communication skills and renew your interest in your industry. Connections with other professionals can also potentially lead to greater opportunities in the future.

11. Consider finding a new position

If you continue to feel bored and dissatisfied with your current position, consider looking for a new role at your company, a job with a different company or even a new career path. Evaluate your personal and professional goals, values and priorities to help you decide if your job is a good match. If you want to progress in your career, see if your company has opportunities for advancement. If you want more work life balance, consider requesting to work from home or looking for telecommuting positions. Having a job that fits your personality, interests and professional objectives can help you stay engaged and productive.

Five tips for making work more entertaining

Here are some tips for making more entertaining to help you manage boredom:

  • Get enough sleep. Proper rest can improve concentrate, enhance your level of engagement with your work, improve your decision-making and reduce the time it takes to complete tasks.

  • Build relationships with coworkers. Talking with coworkers is also important and can help you to build a supportive community where you can grow as professionals. Workplace friendships can provide stress relief by allowing you to engage with people who understand the challenges and triumphs of your job.

  • Change your environment. Ask to change offices, work outside or redecorate your workspace. These physical changes can help create different scenery for your brain, adding newness and variety to your workday.

  • Reach out to a colleague. Send an email to a colleague in a related field and request an informal meeting. This change in routine can help keep you interested and you can learn from another professional.

  • Create regular activities. Consider adding standing events at work, like weekly lunch meet-ups with a group of coworkers or a monthly trivia competition. These fun events can give you something to look forward to.

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