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glenjamin's avatar

How do you deal with boredom at work?

Asked by glenjamin (2497points) June 19th, 2012

My job has some crushing downtimes, but from what I hear I may not be alone. Apart from randomly surfing the web, and assuming another job is not an option at this time, what would you do? I’ve already asked my manager if there was extra work and that lead nowhere. It is both a blessing and a curse, I am paid well to do nothing, which in my youth would have been great, but I’m way past the point in my life where something more is needed. Eventually I will look for a new job, but not in the next year so I need something to do in the meantime….productive is good (assuming I can’t do much to improve my work situation), but even if it is something like sudoku that is fine.

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18 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Well I think about sex every 12 minutes or so when I get bored at work, but I’m assuming you are asking for something more productive :)

I don’t have this problem at my current job, but I have had this at temp jobs in the past where I finished a day’s work in a few hours and had nothing to do the rest of the day.

Is there some project you can work on in the meantime? That novel you have always wanted to write, for instance? Writing poems? Researching family genealogy online?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Could you take some online courses, if your security settings allow it? Improving your education is always positive.

gorillapaws's avatar

I second the idea of using the time to learn new skills. ITunes U has thousands of free college courses to watch from some of the best professors in the world (of course you won’t get credit, but you’ll learn new skills that can make you more marketable in future jobs).

An alternative would be to guess at what your bosses might find useful, maybe figuring out how to improve your companie’s search ranking on Google, or cool adverizing ideas. Make a plan and pitch it to your superiors. Taking a proactive approach to your job could land you a promotion!

gailcalled's avatar

Consider learning Spanish or French or Arabic or Mandarin.

mattbrowne's avatar

Generate ideas in your head. Routine is part of every job.

robmandu's avatar

I find that my boss (whoever it is at the time) is usually too caught up in doing his work that he can’t be bothered to figure out what else I could be doing.

And there’s only so many internal training courses provided by your company that you can take without going bonkers.

My type of work also has the challenge in that the departments of my company are “vertically” aligned… which means we’re all silo’d into groups with specific business focus not constrained by geographic boundaries. In other words, I don’t actually work directly with any of the folks near me in my office.

So, when I find myself with some extended downtime, I reach out to coworkers in other groups that I enjoy working with. I call them and shoot the breeze for a short time and get around to ask what they’re working on. If it’s something I’m interested in, I volunteer my assistance. In that way, I’m able to keep up a network of contacts and relevancy in other people’s minds. I also stay current on other projects, company goals, and often expand my own skillset.

Oh yeah, and the bottle of Crown Royal in my desk drawer helps, too.

zenvelo's avatar

Are you allowed to read? I had a job that had considerable downtime but required my presence (night shift hotel clerk). I was allowed to read if no customers were present and I had completed all my daily tasks.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Toast bananas with argon plasma. It’s fun and if my boss sees me I can pass it off as staff development.

erichw1504's avatar

Pull pranks around the office.

Ron_C's avatar

How do I deal with boredom at work? I leave. fortunately (unfortunately?) it is seldom boring at work.

wundayatta's avatar

Personally, I spend a lot of time on fluther and I do a lot of writing. I’ve also recently started catching up on certain TV series.

I imagine you could read. If you have privacy, you could watch porn and wank off. You could carry on an affair, if you had someone to come have an affair with you. You could go outside and do some people watching, if you have that freedom.

If you want a productive way to fill your time, then dream up projects that will benefit your employer, and start working on them. Be your own boss and fill up your time doing work-related things until someone tells you not to. Another thing to do is get yourself further education. Take online classes or real-world classes, if that is an option. Improve your skills.

I think that it is safest to try to stay ahead of the needs at work. That is, if there isn’t enough work to do, eventually someone will figure that out, and then your job is in danger. So you need to create more work to do. I’m in this situation, but I only work half-heartedly at creating more work for myself. Mostly I fluther and write. When my job ends, maybe I will be a full time writer.

robmandu's avatar

Per one of @wundayatta‘s suggestions, point in case.

mrrich724's avatar

Lately, Reddit on my iPhone has ensured that I’m not bored when I’m lacking the extra work.

bea2345's avatar

Either, I find something else to do of equal importance; or, if that is not possible, clench my teeth and finish as much of the work so that I won’t have to do it the next day. Fortunately for me, I rarely find cataloguing boring.

Berserker's avatar

My job is physically active, but once I got the hang of it, it also became boring, and dreary. Sounds lame, but I sing songs in my head, or recite parts of movies I happen to know by heart. Helps me anyway, not sure if it would help you, since you’re looking for productivity, rather than to forget on how slowly everything happens lol.

creative1's avatar

Why not take some online classes since you have internet access you can do the class while at work and not only will that eventually give you a degree but it will help you get a better job later.

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