No matter where you work, and no matter how hard you work, at some point everybody hits a wall where work is the most boring thing in the world.
This condition has been widely diagnosed as ‘the blahs’, and it is a widespread and worldwide phenomenon. Luckily for you, we have a prescription for this ailment.
When your work life gets boring, here are five ways to break through ‘the blahs’.
1. Move Up
The best way to get out of ‘the blahs’ is to move up by getting yourself a promotion.
Not only will you have a new and exciting career to look forward to, but you will finally be able to afford those Italian shoes you’ve been eyeing. But, getting that promotion means that you have to find a way to self-motivate out of your current neutral position and into a higher and faster gear at work.
You also have to stand out at work, and not for your mistakes. You have to beat out all the other people at work who are looking for that same promotion. You do this by setting a goal and by making a plan to achieve that goal.
The good thing about having a goal is that things aren’t boring when you are busy working towards it, and you forget about ‘the blahs’.
2. Move Out
After a certain period of time we all get bored with doing the same-old, same-old every single day.
It’s natural to get ‘the blahs’ after two years, three years, or more. Don’t wait for that ‘seven year itch’ that people talk about. By that time you will be certifiably fried, and your self-esteem and drive will be beaten into a dull submission.
If you are not growing, then it’s time to move.
If you have no opportunities or potential for upward mobility in your current job, then it’s time to move.
If you feel that you’ve learned everything there is to know or that you want to know about a particular job and find it utterly boring, then it’s time to move.
What time is it? It’s time to move.
3. Move Sideways
If you can’t move up and if you are not ready to move out, all is not lost when it comes to beating ‘the blahs’ at work.
Sometimes a break is as good as a raise. That’s not really true, but sometimes a break is all you can get, so take it.
That break from your regular routine might be a temporary assignment in another department. If you are in engineering, then try sales. If you are in sales, then try design or production. Even if you have been trained as an accountant, maybe a couple of months in Human Resources might be both interesting and useful.
You can learn new skills that will always come in handy if and when you might be ready for a more permanent move, and it certainly won’t be boring.
4. Take a Time-Out
One of the fastest growing concepts in the modern workplace is actually a very old one, sabbaticals.
At one time sabbaticals were limited to teachers or university professors, but now it appears that everyone can at least consider it. The way it might work is that you approach your boss and ask for a certain period of time away from work. It might be three months, six months, or even a year or more.
Now, the big downside if they say yes is that you won’t get paid while you’re away. That means you will have to plan for the time off well in advance, since your dog has grown accustomed to eating. But if you can afford it or find a way to do it, and a boss who will go for it, and give you a job back at the end, then why not try it out?
You can use this time to backpack in Nepal, or go back to school, or find another job. At least it wouldn’t be a boring time.
5. Do Things Differently
A change is as good as a rest when it comes to dealing with ‘the blahs”. Everything and anything you can do to change up the boring monotony of your daily routines can help.
It could be as simple as taking different routes to work, even if they take a little longer.
Or, it could be re-organizing your work so that you do the stuff you hate on Mondays and Tuesdays, and then have the rest of the week to do the activities you love.
You could rearrange your office space or cubicle, or visit an art gallery or music store instead of wandering aimlessly around the mall. It actually doesn’doesn’t matter what you do differently, as long as you change it up.
And when you find some new things that you like, hang on to them. They will be part of your anti-blah arsenal at work.