Bored at Work: 6 Things to Do During a Boreout

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Bored at Work: 6 Things to Do During a Boreout

The common experience of boredom is wanting to engage in a satisfying activity but being unable to do so. It is often seen as a waste of time and a missed opportunity for something more productive or exciting. As we age, boredom can trigger an intense desire to escape the situation or job that evokes it, leading to job dissatisfaction, depression, stress, and anxiety, which are signs of being bored at work.

While it’s good to appreciate your current position, being bored at work can have severe consequences for mental health and well-being. Hence, it’s important to identify why you’re bored, what you need to feel engaged and motivated, and how to make your work meaningful. By understanding why you’re bored at work, you can find ways to make your work more meaningful and engaging. Let’s dig into the signs that you are bored at work and the six things you can do when you feel so.

Being Bored at Work

Being bored at work can be a sign of various issues, such as exhaustion, monotony, or loss of motivation. It can lead to a boreout, which refers to being chronically bored at work.

A demoralizing work environment can compound boredom and isolation, while under-challenging work can lead to a lack of focus and emotional control. Meaningless work, where tasks are assigned before a person’s role is defined, can also contribute to boredom. Lack of autonomy can make jobs repetitive and strict, making individuals feel like robots rather than human beings.

Boreout can occur in any industry and lead to an existential crisis, causing individuals to question their full potential. It’s crucial to find a new purpose in one’s work life to overcome boredom and find a fulfilling work environment.

Signs You Are Bored at Work

Signs you are bored at work includes the following:

  • You often daydream during important meetings, which could be a sign that you’re not engaged or interested in what’s being discussed
  • Tasks done on autopilot: If your to-do lists consist of mundane tasks that don’t require much brain power, it might be a sign that you’re not being challenged or energised by your work
  • You find yourself envious of the excitement in your co-workers’ voices when they talk about their work because you do not see your work as fulfilling or exciting.
  • You don’t feel inspired by your company’s mission or goals. This could be because it doesn’t align with your work.
  • You often feel overwhelmed, exhausted, or emotionally drained
  • You feel rudderless, like you’re treading water without purpose or direction.
  • If your workload is repetitive and easy and there’s little opportunity for social interaction, leaving you feeling disconnected from your work and colleagues, you can feel underwhelmed.
  • You feel a lack of intellectual challenge; that is, you need to be more mentally challenged at work or have the chance to use your knowledge and skills.
  • If you feel a sense of stagnation at work, as though there are no opportunities for professional development or work projection
  • You feel like you’re not making much of an impact or that your work lacks purpose or meaning.
  • If you’re constantly counting the hours at work, it’s a clear sign that you’re not truly engaged and fulfilled at your current company.
  • You are not excited about the career growth opportunities at your company
  • If you’re starting to notice that you are not as motivated as you used to be, and it’s impacting the way you show up at work and your ability to get things done, it’s a clear sign that you’re bored at work.
  • If you feel underutilised and unfulfilled despite liking your coworkers and boss, it’s a sign that you’re not engaged and might be bored at work.
  • When work starts to feel too much like “work”, and you feel like you’re a machine, the job might not be for you, and you feel bored.

Things to Do When Bored at Work

If you are feeling bored at work, consider these 6 steps to find joy in your chosen career path again:

#1. Learn new skills

Learning is a lifelong pursuit, and even experienced professionals can benefit from downtime to improve their skills. By enrolling in relevant online learning courses, you can enhance your skill set and gain an advantage over other professionals in your field. This not only improves your skills but also provides a competitive edge.

#2. Help your co-workers

Collaboration is crucial to cooperation and decision-making. It involves helping team members overcome obstacles and complete tasks efficiently. While it may seem unconventional, it demonstrates your exceptional performance and commitment to the team. By assisting others in their work, you can show your ability to work effectively and efficiently, fostering a positive work environment.

#3. Listen to podcasts

Listening to productivity podcasts can boost morale and enhance performance. These podcasts can be enjoyed while doing other tasks like walking, driving, or drinking coffee. They provide advice from successful businesspeople and thought leaders who motivate others to make positive changes in their lives and increase their career income. Refine your search for these podcasts to improve your productivity and overall performance.

#4. Try journaling

A private diary or notebook is a valuable tool for recording ideas, ambitions, achievements, desires, and thoughts. It helps clear the mind and concentrate on important matters, making it an effective stress reliever. Journaling not only helps scribble down issues but also encourages brainstorming potential solutions, making it an effective tool for problem-solving. Therefore, keeping a diary or notebook can help you tackle workplace boredom.

#5. Go for a trip

Another thing you can do to handle workplace boredom is to plan a getaway. Doing this helps you to create lasting memories. If you find yourself bored at work, consider using your time to travel to a new location instead of buying new items. Research shows that purchases related to experiences, such as bungee jumping or scuba diving, provide more gratifying experiences. Consider activities like trekking, camping, or biking to create unforgettable memories. This will help you enjoy your time and create lasting memories.

#6. Clean and organise your workspace

Maintaining a clean and organised workspace can enhance productivity and the overall mood. A messy and untidy workspace can negatively impact productivity. Therefore, it’s essential to declutter and organise your workspace to create a neat, professional environment where you can work for hours. This not only helps you stay busy but also improves the efficiency of your work process. By focusing on maintaining a clean and organised workspace, you can work more efficiently and effectively.

The Positive Side of Being Bored at Work

Being bored at work shows you want to be occupied in a satisfying activity but cannot do so. It can lead to long-term decreases in mental health and quality of life, as well as negative consequences such as risky decision-making, costly mistakes, accidents, fatigue, cyberloafing, childish emotional responses, hallucinations, burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and increased desire to quit.

However, boredom can have positive aspects when handled constructively. It allows the brain and body to rest in a world designed to distract, overwhelm, and overstimulate, creating space for daydreaming, creativity, new ideas, and innovation. Having a prolonged time when you feel bored at work can help prompt you to reflect and question whether you are on the right path or doing the right thing.

To harness the benefits of boredom, it is important to notice and name it when you feel discomfort. This allows you to develop resilience and the potential to use boredom for positive ends. Also, decoding boredom early on helps you make a game plan to deal with it and prevent it from escalating or clouding your decision-making.


Being bored at work is often seen as a negative experience, but it can also have positive aspects when handled constructively. It can pause the brain and body to rest, stimulate creativity and innovation, and prompt reflection on one’s path and actions. However, prolonged boredom can lead to negative consequences such as decreased mental health, burnout, and job satisfaction. It is important to recognize and address boredom early on, take steps to manage it and lead a more fulfilling life.


Is it normal to get bored at work?

Being bored at work can be normal and beneficial, but chronic boredom, or “bore out,” can have profound emotional effects on health and well-being. It is caused by a lack of purpose, intellectual challenge, and the prospect of progression.

What do I do when I am bored at work?

Things you can do when bored at work include identifying the cause, setting professional goals, asking for more work, engaging in online activities, discussing concerns with your supervisor, and considering a career change. Maintain a balance between work and personal life, as a lack of challenge, passion, or advancement opportunities can cause boredom.

How do you tell if you’re bored with your job?

Feeling bored with your job can be identified by several signs, including counting down hours, lack of excitement about career growth opportunities, decreasing performance level, feeling underutilised and unfulfilled, cringing at the idea of landing a new job in the same industry, and feeling like a machine.

Can boredom at work cause burnout?

Being bored at work can lead to burnout, causing job dissatisfaction, poor mental health, increased turnover, and early retirement intentions. To combat boredom, organisations should identify employee interests, create a positive work culture, implement good leadership, and connect daily tasks to a larger impact.


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