As the summer months approach, chances are that life seems to be slowing down just a bit, especially if your kids are already starting in on their long break from school and the routines that summer vacation brings!
But even among all of the summer fun potential, the slower pace of the warm months ahead brings about something else that seems to counteract the excitement that we routinely attribute to summer… and that, my friends, is the feeling of boredom!
Whether you experience boredom yourself or you find yourself routinely talking your kids off of the “boredom ledge” by urging them to get outside and find something fun to do to distract themselves… it probably comes as no surprise that boredom in any shape or form can be a huge hindrance to our productivity – when we let it!
Combatting episodes boredom by learning how to fill our days up with substance in order to avoid it is a big point of our discussion this week on Episode 126 of Productivity Paradox… And even though the idea of boredom seems – well – boring to talk about at any length, I wanted to carry our conversation from the podcast this week over here today to talk about some of the ways that we can actually USE boredom to our advantage!
Ready to get started?
Often when we experience boredom, we convince ourselves that we’re bored because we have nothing to do – all of our chores at home are finished, are work tasks for the week are complete, and there’s nothing “fun” going on in the world that we can busy ourselves with for the duration of the weekend ahead.
Here’s the thing though… Almost every time I feel myself slipping into an episode of boredom, it’s not usually because I think that I have “nothing to do” – Rather, it’s because I am unsure of exactly what I want to do!
Instead of wallowing on the couch, convincing yourself that you’re absolutely dying from boredom, try to use the lull as a reason to snap yourself into action by asking: What is something that I’ve always wanted to do that I have always told myself that I never had time to get started on before?
Use any period of boredom as an excuse to come up with a new activity or hobby that you could engage in… Something as simple as drawing or painting a picture, writing a short story, getting outside to hike to a waterfall you’ve been dying to see, or even taking a small roadtrip to a nearby town you’ve been meaning to visit are all great ways to say goodbye to boredom and hello to something new!
Who knows? You might discover a hidden talent you never knew you had or cultivate a new skill you didn’t think you were capable of before!
As you’re probably already aware, I am all about setting some serious, achievable goals when the mood strikes!
If you find yourself experiencing the pangs of boredom, don’t let it drag you down… Instead, use it as inspiration to challenge yourself to come up with a game plan that will bring you out of the listless rut!
What are some of the things that you’re truly passionate about? Refocus some of your energy on the big dreams you have in mind and use any episodes of boredom to hash out an action plan that will bring you closer to achieving them.
Not only will this help ease you out of the boredom box, but it will also provide you with a feeling of purpose and intentionality that will work to your advantage in terms of your productivity.
When I find myself experiencing a particularly boring day, I find that any boredom I wrestle with has a habit of melting away by the evening… and it all has to do with the way that I reframe that feeling of boredom when it crops up!
Rather than allowing yourself to imagine that your boredom will never end, try reframing the way you look at it. After all, sometimes our brain (and our body) needs a little bit of a lazy day, right? (Remember: Breaks are important, especially between tasks, and sometimes what we call “boredom” is a part of that!)
When boredom creeps in, don’t look at it as a waste of your time. Instead, try looking at it as a necessary period of rest for your brain that can give your mind the period of refresh and rejuvenation that it needs in order to come back and approach any tasks or projects you have on your agenda from a creative place!
When we’re totally focused on a task or project at hand, it’s incredibly difficult to give ourselves the time, energy and space to reflect…
If you find yourself struggling with your down time (and are feeling a little bored to boot), take the period of calm and quiet as a chance to do some serious reflection on exactly how you’ve been spending your time overall in the first place!
Self-reflection provides us with a wonderful opportunity to increase our self-knowledge, and it’s a great way to determine just how we can maximize our potential when it comes to knocking out future projects and tasks at home and at work.
So, the next time you find yourself grappling with boredom, use it as an opportunity to look inward to figure out some of the ways that you might be able to better yourself, your work and your productivity, in the future!
One of my absolute favorite ways to deal with an episode of boredom is to use it to my advantage by practicing mindfulness… which essentially requires that we stay in the moment as much as possible.
A great way to be more mindful is to engage in a meditation practice! And what better time to meditate than when you seem to have absolutely nothing else going on?
Instead of scrambling to find ways to entertain yourself when boredom creeps in, use the period of calm to practice mindfulness. This could mean that you pull out your yoga mat, find a comfortable spot on your floor (or outside!), close your eyes and meditate, or it could simply mean that you’re allowing yourself the grace to simply sit back and let the present moment wash over you… no meditation, mantra, or yoga mat required!
Tapping into the situation when you’re in a lull and allowing yourself to think about how great it is to be you, present in that moment – without having to worry about getting a task done or submitting something by any particular deadline at work, for example, is a great way to give your mind some reprieve while allowing yourself the opportunity to truly settle in and be grateful for the life you’ve been given.
When in doubt, just sit back and relax… And remember: Life is a rollercoaster! It’s important to give yourself the space to enjoy the ride whether you’re in the front row seat, climbing the track to the top of the peak, or you’re coasting comfortably at the bottom.
What are some of the ways that you use periods of boredom to your advantage? Share any tips you have in the comments below… And be sure to check out Episode 126 of the podcast this week to learn all about how you can bend time by filling your days up with substance!