You meet your friend over the weekend at a bar because you have not caught up in a long time. He asks you how your job is going? What will your reply be?
“Same old. Boring”
If you say anything on those lines, it looks like you do not find your job exciting anymore. But you are not alone. A big chunk of employees across the world are living with a boring job that pays well.
Some people work for the sole reason of money and put up with a boring job for the same reason. For some others, the job seems interesting at first but turns monotonous over time.
Either way, you feel you need a change from your boring work life. At the same time, you do not know what to do about it. You can fix the problem if you try.
Here are 9 ways to deal with a boring job
If you have a good job but you are not happy, here are a few tips that might help.
1. Identify the problem
So you do not like your job. Have you asked yourself why? Sometimes the reason you dislike your job can be more than what meets the eye. You might dislike the current project, the new director, the new team, the change in culture or anything under the sun.
One aspect of your job that you dislike can lead you to believe that you dislike the job as a whole. Knowing the exact problem can help you think in different directions for a possible answer.
Think of the 3 key things you hate about your job. Ask yourself, what can you do to change them? Sometimes you assume you have no control over the problem, but you might have a way out if you think of an indirect solution.
Narrowing down on the exact problem is the first step before you jump into any conclusions.
2. Consider looking for another job
If you have felt your job sucks for a long time now, you must consider changing your job. If you feel the Monday blues often, feel like you are not learning anything new or hate heading to work every day, you are noticing symptoms already.
Most people don’t quit a job they hate. The reasons can be many as outlined in the article. But at some point, quitting and moving on yields the best results and happiness for you.
Some jobs turn into a routine after a year or two. Some organizations run on a model that does not need constant innovation or change. Such organizations could lead to some employees finding monotonous tasks boring.
On the other hand, some other companies need constant innovation. Such companies announce quick and frequent changes. Some people might find such a culture of change difficult to adapt to.
Based on your personality, you might fit in one place better than the other. You must find what floats your boat not what the people around you suggest. The dream job of your best friend can turn a nightmare for you.
Before you quit, a word of caution though. Are you sure your new job will not turn boring too? Chances are you no longer like the domain you work on. The last thing you want is to move to another job and find the new job boring too.
Ask yourself, if a new job can motivate you and make you happy to arrive at work. If yes, you should move on.
3. Talk to your boss
You might fear to tell your boss that you find the job boring. You worry he might assume you have lost interest or that you have started hunting for another job.
Yes, depending on how your boss thinks, those things could happen. But, what could also happen is, your boss might find something you love working on. Sometimes, telling your boss that you would like new challenges makes all the difference.
Not only will you find new things to do interesting, but your boss also sees the difference in your motivated work. Your boss could know other projects that match your area of interest which you are unaware of.
Do not assume that your boss will have a negative response. In most cases, he won’t. You have to put across your message such that your boss knows that you are not lazy but looking for an opportunity to add value.
4. Find things that you like to work on
In your job, you will find certain aspects you like working on. If you hate every single thing you do at your job, you should type your resignation letter right now.
But I am sure most people like some tasks their role entails. Try to identify more such tasks. Come up with an innovative plan to improve the tasks you like. You could find a way to optimize, innovate, build a new process or do something new.
If you spend an hour thinking about areas that you like, you will find ideas to keep yourself engaged.
Identify 3 things you do at your job that you feel good about. Analyze them further and think about what could you do around these areas for better results and value.
5. Use the power of deadlines
When your job seems boring, you tend to complete a task at a slow pace. You complete one task, take a break and move at a snail pace on to the next. Your whole day goes by completing one task after another slowly.
As human beings, we like a task which is neither too easy nor too difficult. The sweet spot is when a task challenges you to do better or think harder but does not seem difficult to a point that you give up.
Try challenging yourself to complete a task within a deadline. For example, if your daily routine involves creating a report which you take 2 hours for, challenge yourself to complete it in 1 and half hour or lesser. A challenge can make a boring task interesting.
If you’re worried about what will you day with the time saved when you already hate being at work, do not worry about it. You have multiple options below for which you need the extra time.
6. Start a side hustle
Whether you like your job or not, you have a passion or love for something. You might love trekking in the mountains. Maybe you love strumming a tune on the guitar. You might be an avid biker.
Each one of us has one or more such passions for sure. Try to think of spending some time daily towards your passion. Today, you have a multitude of channels to find a way to make money from your passion.
If you play the guitar, you could make your videos and post them on Youtube. If you like trekking, you could start a vlog. If you are an avid biker, you can write a blog about tips on biking.
You have a dozen options to start a side hustle. If not for money, you can still blog or create videos on it for your passion.
When you start building an online presence using your passion, people will start following you. You feel motivated and happy because you spend time doing what you love. You have a win-win for everyone.
7. Learn more of what you are passionate about
If you work as a sales executive, but your heart lies in digital marketing, learn the subject on your own. You can read books, take online courses, attend events and hone your skills.
Your job does not have to be the only place you build your skills. Most successful people find opportunities to learn at every step. Your hunger for learning can lead you to gain mastery over the skill.
I know many experts who are self-taught and did not work on the role in a job they had. They read and learned, found a way to practice themselves and grew amazing at it.
Such skills can even bag you a role in the area of your passion. Better still, you might find an opportunity to start up a venture in the same area.
Having a boring job is not an excuse to ignore your passion. You have plenty of time to grow better at what you love even with a full-time job.
8. Take a vacation
Our mind often plays games with us. Sometimes you and I can be deceived by ourselves. The heat of the moment, stress, change, old routines can push you into an incorrect mindset.
Our fear, worry, and apprehensions are triggered by the emotions and circumstances we are going through. Such thoughts can lead us to attach bad emotions to every aspect of our lives.
When you are bored with your job, taking a break from the world of work does wonders. Sometimes, a break is exactly what you need to find your motivation again. A clear mind can help you think straight thereby finding the answers to your questions.
When you take a vacation, make sure you completely disconnect from work. No emails, no partial working, no calls. Find a way to inform and delegate such that people at work leave you alone.
Take at least a week off. Use the vacation as your time of serenity and self-exploration.
9. Make a plan
Most people who hate their job do nothing about it. Nothing changes if you change nothing. If you hate your job or find your job boring, come up with a plan to get out of it.
You do not need a plan as a complex as a heist to steal diamonds. Make simple plans of how can you change your situation and be in your happy place.
For example, if you think you can run a business of your own with 25,000$, you must start saving every month. Even if you save only 1000$ a month, you can accumulate funds in 2 years. While 2 years might seem like a long time, isn’t it better than working at the same job for 20-30 years?
You can also plan for switching your company by increasing your expertise in a particular skill. You can plan to switch your job role by learning a new skill. You can start making money by side hustles.
If you make a plan and stick to it, the options are plenty. But most people won’t.
Do you know what is worse than a job that sucks? Staying in one.
Maybe the reason why you hate your job lies beyond your control, however, the choice of sticking to it is yours. You could blame the circumstances, your company, your boss or industry, but none of them decide if your job should suck forever. If you are repeatedly saying, “I hate my job but it pays well”, you only have yourself to blame.
The decision to make your job exciting and your Monday mornings thrilling is yours. Only yours!
Maxim Dsouza has spent over a decade experimenting and finding various time management techniques to improve his productivity. He strongly understands the fact that time is a limited commodity and tries to make every second count. He has extensive experience in leadership in startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
He has helped people of different professions and age groups gain clarity on their goals, improve focus, revise their time management skills and develop an awareness of their psychological cognitive biases.