Dear Life Matters ,
I have been working for my current company for six years now. While I enjoy the work, I am starting to get bored with the day to day. I have explored other opportunities but feel a strong connection to my co-workers, company and environment. Other than looking for a new job, do you have any advice for re-energizing my day and getting back the excitement I used to feel driving to work in the morning?
Dear Bored Worker,
Focusing on the same tasks at work each day can certainly begin to feel unexciting, especially if you have been spending your time on these activities for a number of years. Finding little ways to break up the routine may provide the relief you are looking for while allowing you to continue in your current role at your current company.
You mention that you used to feel very excited about going to work in the morning. Other than the length of time in the position, is there anything else in your work or personal life that has changed? Try to think back to the moment or time you last felt excited about going to work. Spend time reflecting on things that have been going on for you since this first started. If you identify something in particular that is missing, brainstorm a strategy about how to bring those elements back to work or minimize the negative elements that are keeping you from bringing your excitement into the workplace. Have you lost pleasure in other things you previously found enjoyable? This may be an indication that something beyond your daily tasks is getting in the way of your happiness and a visit to your doctor or other medical professional may be in order.
Knowing that you enjoy your work environment and colleagues, perhaps you can find new ways to partner with others around the office. Joining a new task group or team can provide you with new ideas and insights into your current projects. Consider asking colleagues if there is anything you can do to assist on their projects or schedule a meeting to ask for their advice on something you are currently working on. Gaining a new perspective on your work may provide a new way of looking at things. If it is appropriate, consider having a conversation with your supervisor to see if there are new projects moving forward that you might be able to be involved with. Sharing your interest in taking on new responsibilities may lead to a new opportunity to develop your skills and share your expertise and provide you with something new to get excited about.
You might also consider spending time brainstorming strategies to an existing problem. For instance, if you feel there is a way to make a certain system or daily task more efficient, spend time working out solutions that would enhance the process. You may feel energized by having a new task and the prospect of improving something in the workplace might bring back the excitement you’ve been missing. Similarly, consider ways to make the repetitive tasks more exciting. For instance, you might try to make a personal best in your work or break up the more detailed tasks with brainstorming activities or planning tasks.
Finally, consider ways to break up your daily routine. Little things like driving to work a different way, taking a walk during lunch or eating lunch in a new location, or listening to music during the day may provide a little break in the monotony. If your role leaves you sitting in front of your computer most of the day, make sure to get up and move. Regardless of the work you are doing, sitting in one location all day long can certainly lead to exhaustion.
KATRINA DAVY, M.A., Ed.M, is a professional career counselor who has worked in university and private settings. She holds degrees from Cornell and Columbia universities. Visit her online at www.kdcareer.com. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All questions are kept anonymous; let us help you with your life matters!