I'm SO bored!

Low Engagement Scores are corporate’s rendition of boredom.

What does boredom look like for you?

For me, boredom is not a lack of things to do, rather, I simply don’t want to do any of the things on my jam-packed to-do list.  It’s kind of a limbo state where I know I don’t want to keep doing what I’m doing, but just feel like I’m stuck doing it.  This topic spun off of last week’s procrastination topic, as “hard” and “boring” are two reasons I put off doing things.

Sure, there are situations where you really are stuck.  We’ve all been in those staff meetings where the roundtable discussion of everyone’s to-do list seems like a replay of the week before, and the week before that, and, well, the week before that.  Yet, you are stuck in that mandatory staff meeting.  Heck, it may even be your own staff meeting.  And, if you’re bored, chances are that every other person sitting at the table is too, with the exception of the lucky dog who currently is getting to speak.

Research on the “Evasion of Boredom: An Unexpected Spur to Leadership?”, notes that boredom has been largely omitted from leadership literature, or positions boredom as something incomprehensible to effective leaders.  Through their research, though, they recognized that, “The experience and consideration of boredom may provide the impetus for creativity, risk-taking, curiosity and challenge-seeking, and may foster sustained and embedded individual learning…ultimately creating a more reflexive, resilient and agile leadership.”

What they’re saying is that our boredom is calling us to greatness!  Let’s step up to that challenge and allow the “yellow flag” of boredom to lead to more reflection and creativity.

First…Get curious.

Curious minds are active.  And, active minds are not bored.  Challenge yourself to really dig in and notice what you discover about yourself and/or your team.

  • What are you really bored with?
  • Where are you too comfortable?
  • What lights you up?

Next…Get creative.

Shake. Things. Up!

Notice the shift in energy that’s created when you…

  • Get your team to tweet their status report instead of sit in a meeting.
  • Take a new look at your biggest work problem, through the eyes of your dog, your favorite boss or even your grandmother.  What advice would they give you?
  • Unplug the office for an entire day…no electronics, only real conversations. That sounds radical, huh?
  • Read the Wall Street Journal…backwards.

Devise something new to energize your brain!

And…Get active.

Jumpstart yourself!  Physical and mental activity stomp out boredom.  Do whatever it takes to power yourself and your team to a new level of aliveness and drive.  Get your heart pumping hard again…on the treadmill or at that whiteboard.

“Stuck” is not a given.  The feeling of boredom is life’s yellow flag.  It’s our inner voice yelling, “Wake up!!!!” It’s waking you up to find aliveness and interest in your own world, again.  Remember that feeling?  Get it back by getting excited about what you’re working on, what you’re learning, or what you’re creating.  Same goes for your too-comfortable, bored colleagues.  Inspire one of them today!

What's one thing you can do, today, to shake things up?

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