You finish the chore tasks of the day in an hour and you dedicate yourself to kill the time you have left to complete your workday. You might ask your boss something more to do, but you would rather go out. If they need you, they will call you.

It sounds like an enviable plan, but as soon as you have posted something on social media, searched for the best book deals to buy, and eaten a sandwich, you wish the call would come. It does not come, and you realize that you have already become chronically bored, and you feel undervalued. It is not normal.

This type of boredom is called by specialists bore-out syndrome. According to psychologists, this boredom can be as damaging as overwork exhaustion, the best-known burnout syndrome. We tend to think that a bored employee will take the opportunity to pay more attention to performing a certain task, but this is not often the case. According to a study by the University of Lancashire (England), bored people actually perform poorly at work and make more mistakes.

Of course, to avoid getting involved in the source of their boredom, people with this syndrome tend to be distracted by social media and may even develop an addiction. Food, alcohol, and tobacco are great candidates to fill in your time.

Does it sound familiar to you?

It is important to distinguish normal, even healthy, boredom from constant and chronic boredom that ends up making you feel useless. Chronic boredom can generate profound anxiety and can negatively affect all aspects of life, from private and family life to social life.

We already know that, usually, the things that bore us are the same things that we do not like. This lowers the levels of motivation and involvement, the levels of responsibility and makes you adopt a passive attitude. You are procrastinating. However, there is more.

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To begin with, know that getting bored during the working day does not depend on the type of work you do, but on the type of interests you have. You can have the best job, even be the boss, but feel deeply bored and undervalued. In other words, working on something that does not match your education or experience, and that does not allow you to develop professionally, is a time bomb. Other causes of demotivation are also lack of communication with others, carrying out monotonous tasks that do not represent any kind of challenge and having a definite contract.

All of these factors increase when you have no other choice than taking a whatever job, or you cannot afford to change your current job. The situation is getting worse in these times due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. People in that situation, run a much higher risk of boredom and exhaustion because they do something they know from the start that they do not like. Their only motivation is financial and over the years this becomes hard to bear. It is extremely serious because people spend about 33% of their day at work, and sometimes even more.

To limit the damages you could try finding small motivations that could be incorporated into your work. The idea would be about making each day meaningful and interesting. Communicating interest and commitment to superiors by developing new tasks could also help. Finding an exciting activity to bond downtime at work would be interesting but sometimes impossible to do. In those cases, you could, for example, move it to immediately after working hours.

If despite this, your motivation does not increase, it might be better to look for another job that best suites you, something you could do while keeping your current job. Indeed, it would not be wise to replace the anxiety generated by the lack of motivation at work with the one arising from being unemployed. You could consider a part-time job or volunteering activities if you have enough resources to live on.

What about you? Do you like your job?

Photo by Anne Nygard on Unsplash