Boredom: The Productivity Killer
Growing up comes with a number of questions to answer every day. It’s a part of being an adult and learning to live with a routine. Have you ever found yourself working then just spacing out in the middle of it? Or have you started a day fully planned from breakfast to dinner, yet you’re unable to get out of your bed? If it’s a resounding ‘Yes’, then chances of you being prone to boredom may be more common than you’re used to.
What is Boredom?
Everyone has experienced a slow day at work or a grueling lecture at school. Boredom was a common habit that people experienced early in the 90s. People attributed the Western development of ‘slacker’ mentality as an antithesis to the Baby boomers’ industrialist attitude.
Whether you’re a student, a teacher, an employee, a boss, or even a retired war veteran, everyone experiences boredom at varying levels. Boredom itself isn’t dangerous, but it can lead to some very disconcerting attitudes and behaviors. Being bored often leads to sadness, worry, or even rage depending on the person. These emotions can lead to destructive habits such as drug use, alcoholism, and many more vices – an idle mind is considered as the devils’ workshop after all.
What Causes Boredom?
Though it’s easy to point out when you’re already at the point of being bored, finding the root cause of it might be a little bit tricky. Here are some of the few catalysts of boredom that you should watch out for:
Boredom is born from the opposite of mental pressure which is mental stagnation. When your brain isn’t active enough, either due to too little or no stimulation, presence or routine. You end up feeling bored and unable to be motivated for your tasks.
This can be the fault of both the person or their superior. In a classroom setup, a group leader is often given the responsibility of assigning the different tasks to their groupmates. If the task list isn’t organized with deadlines, the members are prone to being bored and lost at the task at hand. The same goes for an office setup where employees find little to no motivation when led by a disorganized project leader.
Lack of New Stimuli
Being bored hits people differently. People who are prone to be bored are more likely those who need constant stimulation from external factors. They would either require the need to experience new things in a short amount of time or get used to what’s in front of them quickly.
One of the medically confirmed differentiation between people with regards to boredom is diverging attention spans. People who are diagnosed to have chronic attention span issues, such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) will find it difficult to stay focused. Since these people find it difficult to focus on one thing, they tend to take in everything all at once and once they’re done assessing their environment, they’re hard to keep on the same page as everyone else.
Boredom is commonly tied to a relationship with freedom. If a person isn’t permitted to do certain wants, then they’re prone to dozing off in what they’re told to do instead. Adolescents and teenagers often face this issue with parents who are strict with controlling their freedom for their own ‘safety’. Therefore minors are the most common victims of boredom through the limitation of freedom.
How to Avoid It?
Though it might be silly to prepare for boredom, there are ways to prevent yourself from staying inactive or lacking in motivation. To counteract the causes, here are some habits that can keep you away from the dreaded feeling of being bored.
Keep a Tight Schedule
Boredom mostly stems from being too relaxed and loose with your schedule. However, be careful now as you might amp up your schedule to be too strict which will get you bored with routine.
Have a Healthy and Engaging Hobby
Healthy hobbies are excellent ways to keep the mind off work and other mundane activities. You could opt for something as simple as keeping a journal or a doodle notebook to get your creativity out. You could put your attention on more physically engaging activities such as running or going to the gym.
Go on an adventure
To counteract the issue of being burned out with the same routines that you face every day, make sure that you’re open to going on adventures every now and then. Treat yourself to different restaurants, go to
Though it can be helpful to keep a schedule and to-do list to limit your idle time, you can surprise yourself by branching off to different interests to keep your spirits high.
Getting Bored is Getting Boring
With the technological age speeding up things, there’s too much to see and to experience in this fast-paced age to be bored at anything. The luxury of being bored is often reserved for those who have nothing to do, those who have a comfortable and worry-free lifestyle. And though it’s tempting to be bored, it leads to the development of vices in the long term.
On the other hand, boredom can tell you a lot about how your life is currently going. Being bored might imply that you’re doing something unfulfilling in life. Boredom allows people to have the time to pause and reflect on where they currently are in life and where they want to go next. However, too much of it might prove to be a cause for being stagnant and unproductive. Balancing boredom and motivation is the key to be self-aware of your growth as a person.
“You’ll find boredom where there is the absence of a good idea.” – Earl Nightingale