According to Forbes, boredom at work can be counteractive to productivity. In fact, boredom can lead even high-performing employees to unwittingly sabotage their own work and generally underperform. Moreover, when you’re bored, you become unhappier, less engaged, and more stressed.
Boredom can strike anybody, from the newest intern to the most senior CEO. It’s not so much about having a light workload as it is about having something meaningful to do. Those who believe their work is important; who feel somewhat in control over their assignments; and who believe they’re progressing towards a significant goal are far less likely to succumb to boredom than those who don’t. In short, if you feel challenged in a good way, you’re probably going to be more productive, relaxed and happier. Moreover, you’re also more likely to continue expanding your knowledge and advancing your career.
But when you’ve mastered the requirements of your job and are consistently performing well, how can you ensure you stay challenged at work? The following strategies will help.
- Rediscover the meaning in your job. This might sound cliché, but it’s actually one of the best ways to become challenged again. Ask yourself why you enjoy doing your job so much. Is it because you help people? Is it because you create useful tools? Is it because your work supports important endeavors? By rediscovering what you find meaningful in your work, you’re more likely to reignite and even increase your passion for your job.
- Do more of what you enjoy most. Everybody has something they enjoy most about their work. Pinpoint what it is that makes time go by quickly and do more of it. At the same time, explore options to automate repetitive tasks by means of automating workflows on your computer.
- Expect a higher performance of yourself. Even if you always complete everything well and on time, there’s always a way to step things up a notch. Make yourself work faster without sacrificing quality; expect more precision of yourself; or spend more time researching reports than you have in the past. Do whatever you can do to increase your performance from good to outstanding.
- Volunteer for more work. A surefire way to create a challenge is to take on more work. When possible, volunteer for additional assignments. This will mean you have to perform your existing duties in less time and still complete new assignments well.
- Learn something new. Increased automation and globalization mean that the way we work is constantly changing. Moreover, industries undergo all sorts of developments due to social, economic, and technological advances. As a result, every professional should make a point of acquiring more knowledge and learning new skills in order to keep up with evolving demands. Consider how you can learn something new that pertains to your job. Is it mastering a new app, studying industry statistics, or even enrolling in a training program to officially acquire a new skill? Whatever you choose to learn, it’s a good investment in your career because it can make you better equipped to handle more challenging work.
- Work with another department. The Savvy Intern suggests that working with other teams within your company can help you stay challenged. Even if your company is segmented, there might be projects that overlap that you can help with. Network with other people within your organization to find out about any such opportunities, and remember to run them by your supervisor before committing to anything.
- Speak to your supervisor and ask for more challenging work. If you’re still not feeling challenged enough, ask your supervisor for a meeting. Explain that you’re performing your duties well but don’t feel challenged enough anymore. Chances are, your manager will have a variety of options for you ranging from stretch assignments and high-profile projects to officially assuming more responsibilities. Before accepting any new duties, assess honestly whether you’re equipped to handle them, and remember to ask for any resources or help you might need.
Staying challenged at work is essential to your professional development and job satisfaction. Use the strategies above to aid yourself in performing better, learning more skills, and advancing in your career.