To be honest, working from home is great. You get to do what you want when you want it. You don’t have to worry about rushing to meet the morning train and then getting stuck at an office desk throughout the day. Well, that was the joyful story of the first couple of weeks after you started working remotely.
Then it all changed! Your work-from-home routine became boring. Being cooped up inside the house for months began to feel like a nightmare. After several weeks of living a mundane and repetitive life, you crave excitement and change. You’re not alone. A OnePoll study commissioned by Groupon showed nine out of ten individuals felt bored working remotely during the quarantine.
Why Are You So Bored Working From Home?
Obviously, you’re currently wondering why you find yourself bored with working remotely while this was supposed to be a dream-come-true moment for you and your job. However, you don’t have to feel bad about it. You’re not an unmotivated or unorganized individual; what you’re facing has more to do with our biological makeup.
Dopamine, which is part of your brain’s reward system, plays a crucial role in making you feel happy or excited while doing what you love. Whenever you do a good job, eat delicious food, or complete that long-overdue task, dopamine molecules are released in your brain. As this feeling wears off, you crave new ways to bring back that lovely sensation of contentment. Getting stuck in a repetitive routine deprives you of this joy because with time, the brain gets accustomed to the motions of life and seeks new things. This leads to low amounts of dopamine, which makes you feel bored.
However, being bored working from home is not really a bad thing in itself; it all depends on how you look at it. When approached correctly, this feeling can even boost your productivity and inspire creativity. A study conducted by Dr. Sandi Mann, a psychology professor at UCLan, confirms this. In the research, she asked participants to copy phone numbers from a phone book for 20 minutes. After that, they were asked to come up with creative ways to use paper cups. These individuals came up with more creative ideas than their counterparts who didn’t perform the boring and repetitive task. Some of them even suggested using the cups as plant pots.
To confirm the role of boredom in increasing creativity, she carried out a second test where she introduced the participants to an even more boring task. This time, the participants were instructed to read out the numbers in the phone book aloud. We can all agree that this is much more boring than copying them out. At the end of the session, lots of them came up with fascinating ideas, with some of them suggesting turning the cups into bras!
As you can see, even if you find yourself feeling lonely working from home, hope is not lost. It does not mean you are wasting your potential. On the contrary, it is time to tap into your creative mind and unleash your potential.
Here are great ways to kill work-from-home boredom.
How to Kill Work-From-Home Boredom
Whether you want to know how to be productive during quarantine or learn how to eliminate boredom while working remotely, these tips are gold.
Figure Out When You’re Most Productive
We all have that time of the day when we are most productive. The trick is figuring out when that is. The first thing you need to do is work out if you are a morning person or a night owl. While this sounds quite basic, having this knowledge about yourself is crucial in boosting your productivity and eliminating boredom. This is because you can effectively plan activities for the day when you understand this aspect of yourself.
Perhaps your most productive time of the day is late at night when everyone is asleep and the world is quiet. Maybe the early hours of the morning are when your brain is most active and you find yourself working with more focus. It could even be that you work better in the afternoons when the sun is pouring in through the window, giving your room that beautiful golden hue.
Simply put, your most productive time of the day is those hours when you have the motivation and power to accomplish tasks with great concentration.
Right about now, you are probably asking, “How do I discover my productive time?”
It can be tricky figuring out your productive hours, especially if you have lots of things to accomplish. To make this easier, you can monitor your time using a time tracking tool like Traqq. This app will observe how you spend every second of your workday and even keep track of your activity levels. You can then look at the results to see when you are most efficient.
At the end of the week, you can analyze the results again to see what parts of the day you were more productive on average. Now that you have your answer, you can plan important and fun activities around the house to fall into those hours. Take a break in your unproductive moments, enjoy a nap, or engage in other exciting things to while away the time. This brings us to the next point.
Master a New Skill
So, what do you do at those hours of the day when you don’t have much productive energy? You can use those moments to leisurely master a new skill. If you are bored with your remote work routine, you can spice things up by stepping out of your comfort zone.
Find a niche that you have always fancied – something outside your current field – and work towards becoming proficient in it. This will not only add excitement to your life but will also make you feel really good about yourself. In addition, learning new things strengthens existing neural pathways in your brain and even creates new ones.
If that isn’t enough motivation to pick up a new skill, getting your brain to work on something different slows down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. By using this time to learn another skill that you’re passionate about, you can even keep dementia at bay and improve your brain’s plasticity.
Take a Break and Relax
The importance of getting enough rest cannot be overemphasized. You might be surprised to learn that lack of adequate sleep can make you extremely bored, preventing you from coming up with something interesting to do. This makes sense when you consider that we get bored mostly because we want our minds to stay busy all the time. When you are tired – and you might be unaware of this – your thoughts race from one track to another. Sometimes, you have to sit back, relax, and just enjoy your own company. Dedicate 30 minutes for naps each day, and you’ll be amazed at how much this will change your life.
You don’t have to be productive at all hours of the day. Let yourself go, forget about work, and engage in a few counterproductive activities. There are lots of websites to kill time and let your imagination run free. For example, you can watch tutorials and creative videos on YouTube or enjoy fun clips on TikTok. You might find some creative inspiration while in this relaxed state. Who knows, you might discover some new recipes and other interesting challenges to get you flowing.
However, be careful not to get carried away. You can set your timer to remind yourself when to end your break time. In the end, you should be realistic with your expectations and give yourself enough time. Don’t be tempted to allocate a short time period to your rest, only to end up snoozing your alarm repeatedly.
Give yourself enough time, and when the time is up, move on to other things that you have planned for your day.
Create Your Vision Board
Designing your own vision board is a great way to get rid of boredom while working remotely. Not only does it improve your confidence, but it also gives you a more positive outlook on life. A survey conducted by TD Bank, which involved 500 business owners and 1,127 individuals, confirms this.
The study participants admitted that visualization made them more confident and increased the likelihood of achieving their goals. The survey revealed that those who used pictures on their vision boards were twice as confident about realizing their goals as those who didn’t.
TD Bank’s survey found that you can change your future by picturing your objectives. Creating a vision board for the goals you want to achieve will give you the motivation to get to work and improve your life. It is a great way to inspire yourself to take on new challenges. After all, remote work gives you an excellent opportunity to build your dreams.
Create Several Playlists
It’s no longer a secret that music affects our mood. Listening to the right genre can boost your creativity, improve your memory, help you exercise better, and even relieve anxiety and stress. So, if you find yourself bored while working from home, you can create playlists for different activities. They will come in handy in the long term.
To make things easier, you can log into your Spotify or iTunes account and create something that is all YOU – for different moments, moods, and activities.
Finish Your Reading List
If you’re like most busy people, chances are, you have books that you’re yet to read. You keep buying new titles and piling them up, hoping to start someday, but you never really find the time. Well, this is your chance to finish your reading list.
When you’re bored, why not pick up those books and feed your brain with some new knowledge? Research shows that reading works of fiction improves brain function. Neuroscientists at Emory University confirmed this in a study. As you can see, you now have an extra reason to crack open those books. In addition, reading, which is a form of mind training, lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Improve Your Mental and Physical Health
Getting stuck indoors can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Leaving the house for the office has the advantage of getting you to move your body as you rush to meet the train or hop on a bus.
When you work from home, this essential physical activity is taken off the table. Inactivity negatively affects your energy and causes you to lose motivation. In the long term, you will find yourself getting increasingly bored and unproductive.
We recommend stopping the rot by engaging in some physical exercise. This will give you a mental boost. In addition, working out improves energy. From breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to performing some push-ups and indoor cardio, there are a variety of things that you can try. This keeps it exciting, and you will be proud of yourself as you improve day by day.
While enjoying your remote work, there are many things you can do to keep away from boredom; but first, you need to get yourself out of bed.
Don’t put it off until tomorrow; today is the day to make those changes. Look around the house, and you’ll certainly find something that craves your attention. Your future self will thank you for taking that first step today.