What Happens When We Get
Bored at Work?

Bored-at-workBoredom is not something to be taken lightly or ignored, especially when we become bored at work. The quality of our efforts can be seriously impacted by feelings of boredom. In studies using a boredom-process scale, those who rated low were better performers in areas such as education, career and autonomy.

Let’s explore three types of boredom. The first type shows up when we are prevented from engaging in wanted activity. The second type occurs when we are forced to engage in unwanted activity; and the third type is when, for no apparent reason, we are unable to feel engaged for any length of time in any particular activity. From what I observe in some organizations, some people are in jobs that set the stage for boredom. There’s a wrong fit between tasks and talent.

Studies have indicated that an impression of boredom may be influenced by an individual’s degree of attention. A high acoustic level of distraction from the environment correlates with higher reports of boredom. This makes sense. If you aren’t paying attention because of distractions or other reasons, it’s not likely you are going to get engaged with tasks.

One study suggests that boredom has an evolutionary basis that encourages humans to seek out new challenges, which may, ultimately, influence human learning and ingenuity. Perhaps it was boredom that propelled Christopher Columbus to explore new continents. Many of today’s innovations may stem from people who seek out new challenges.

 Are Some People Prone to Boredom?

Is there such a thing as boredom proneness? Apparently so, and it is defined as a tendency to experience boredom of all types – typically assessed by the Boredom Proneness Scale.

Boredom proneness is clearly associated with attention problems. It has been shown to be  linked to symptoms of depression.

Although boredom is often viewed as a trivial and mild irritant, proneness to boredom is linked to a diverse range of psychological, physical, educational, and social problems. In my opinion, it’s a key reason to work with a coach to find a solution.

What about you? How prone to boredom are you? How do you combat it? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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