This past year has been a challenge for all business professionals. With lockdown and closures, we've seen our worlds become smaller, and our opportunities to engage with new ideas, explore new things, and seek out fresh experiences become fewer and less frequent. Unfortunately, without those stimuli, it's easy to find yourself bored and stuck in a rut creatively.
Here's how to stave off business boredom and fire up those creative muscles in work and in life.
Only Boring People Get Bored
Ah, Grandma's old wisdom. We rolled her eyes when she said it, but she was right. What she meant by it was that it's our job to entertain ourselves. It's up to us to keep seeking out new challenges, concepts, passions, and goals - they're not just going to fall into our laps or show up in the TV guide.
Be less boring by trying some of these:
- Investing in yourself and your skills - enroll in a new course or level up in a hobby.
- Moving your body - set a fitness goal or just get outside
- Embracing self-care - start a journal, set aside time for meditation, or try some self-discovery
- Try no-judgment creativity - scribble, sketch, free-write, or craft something just for the fun of it
- Set some goals - maybe it's learning a language, getting a promotion, or finishing a project.
Inspiration Is All Around Us
Even if you're working from home until the COVID-19 vaccine is fully distributed, you've got a whole world of inspiration and creativity at your fingertips. Lean into it and give boredom the flick.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Subscribe to a new podcast: use Apple Podcasts or Spotify to explore thousands of idea-filled podcasts that will get your creative juices flowing.
- Read a book! Whether you prefer paper or digital, a great book will get those thoughts ticking over. Don't just focus on business or industry books either - expand your mind with some great literature.
- Listen to music: music is great for creating a mood or helping you focus. Browse around on YouTube or Spotify for a playlist that's unfamiliar, challenging, and thought-provoking.
- See what others are doing: pop on social, head to a portfolio site, or browse a blog to see what your competitors, peers - or even just internet randos - are up to. From drawing to glassblowing to goat husbandry, you're bound to find something intriguing or awe-inspiring.
- Get outside: put down your phone, leave your earbuds at home and enjoy being out-of-doors. Walk, hike or jog through your surroundings and let your mind roam with you. There's no better way to unblock yourself creatively.
Bring Some Change Into Your Day
If your boredom is stemming from the feeling of being stuck in a day-in-day-out routine, change things up. Get up at a different time, switch up your morning schedule, try out some new recipes, or rearrange your office. You can also try incorporating small rituals into your days, such as burning a candle while you work, making an espresso the traditional way, or setting aside a few minutes morning, noon and night to jot down ideas, thoughts, and achievements.
Don't Just Talk It, Walk It
Progress can be fun and nothing cures boredom like a little fun.
Inspiration should not be left for the annual company kickoff or a collaboration session that has been haphazardly thrown together. There are opportunities every day: when you want to empower a team to take ownership of a project, when you want your feedback about someone’s performance to stick, when you’re communicating change, etc. Being a leader who persuades others through inspiration starts with connection. Greater empathy and relevance lead to growth, increased motivation, faster action, and tangible results.
Instead, it would help if you took advantage of the Progress Principle, discovered by psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer:
“Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.”
Talk To the Anti-Boredom Pros
At StellaPop, we're never struck by the boredom bug - we invest in our creativity by constantly exposing ourselves to great ideas, opportunities, and experiences, and we like to think it shows in our work. If you need some help stripping the boredom from your work culture, branding, or leadership development efforts, we're the people to talk to. Just drop us a line!