If you’re saying “I’m feeling bored,” it’s important to realize that boredom and feeling too busy are the same problem. Some people claim I’m being too ambitious trying to strike down chronic boredom and busyness at the same time. I’d argue that the only way to take them out is simultaneously.
I’m Feeling Bored: It’s in Your Mind
Feelings of boredom and busyness are subjective. You can’t look out in the world and claim it is busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is obvious, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.
You can probably remember times when you were completely engaged. This could have been working on a project you were passionate about, spending time with your family, sky diving or vacationing under the sun. Why were you engaged in these moments and not in others?
A likely reason was because those experiences had a higher quality. They allowed you to enter into an immersive flow state, in which your entire consciousness was devoted to the activity.
- Plan weekend activities for next month now. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also forces you to stay productive instead of just busy.
- Map out what is placing demands on your time. Can you consolidate all your “busy work” (such as responding to emails) into one block of time instead of allowing it to cause constant interruptions in your day?
Write a list. Lists are fun ways to pass the time. You can make a list of places you want to visit, books you want to reach, or goals you want to achieve. You can also make a silly list without a serious purpose.
- Make a list that challenges you to think of a variety of ideas. For example, try to write down 50 different Christmas songs or 50 girl’s names that start with the letter “A.”
- You can also make lists of your favorite things. For example, you can have a list of your favorite movies in a particular genre, your favorite books, or your favorite travel destinations.
- Write a letter or email. If you’re bored, think about someone you haven’t seen in awhile. Try writing that person a letter or email. This can help you do something productive by reaching out to someone and will also lessen your boredom. Express something positive to a friend or family member. In addition to lessening your boredom, you will feel better about yourself. Tell someone you’re grateful that they helped you with something, for example, or that you admired how they handled a situation.
- Consider writing a letter to a soldier overseas, disaster victims, or an elderly person at a hospice. There are many organizations that collect such letters and then mail them for you. If you join this kind of organization, you will always have something to do when you’re bored.