How often do you feel bored? One of the hallmarks of adult Attention Deficit Disorder is a lack of tolerance for boredom. Just what is boredom? It depends on who you ask! Some people see it as an absence of mental stimulation. Others believe that it is when you can’t find anything that you want to do. Boredom is seen as doing tasks that are repetitive or tedious. Some people with ADD/ADHD describe boredom as an excruciating physical pain that is accompanied by anxiety. However you define it, boredom is not your friend! What can you do to ease the periods of boredom in your life?
Here are 101 strategies to beat boredom:
Alleviate meeting boredom:
*Use meeting appropriate fidgets --things that you can twist around in your hands.
*Practice mental exercises—only do this if you can also track what is going on in the meeting.
*Meditate on an idea—related to your job or the meeting.
Lessen work boredom:
*Switch from task to task—do this with purpose, not randomly.
*Do less preferred tasks before preferred tasks.
*Intersperse tasks that you loathe with those that are pleasant.
*Change the conditions of the task that you are doing. Have a cup of tea or a low-calorie beverage. Listen to music or a slightly distracting lecture.
Do physical activity:
Walk, run, hike a trail, bicycle, roller blade, tai chi, karate, capoeira, yoga, dance, bellydance, exercise circuit, swim, jump rope, hula hoop, basketball, softball, volleyball, clean house, straighten the garage, build a fence, haul rock and put up a wall or flower bed.
Camping, spend time with your children, birding, hiking, wildlife viewing, plant cataloging, rock collecting, tree identification, wild food gathering, landscaping, flower gardening, vegetable gardening, water gardening, construct and place bird and bat houses, play with your dog.
Draw, paint, ceramics, plaster statuary, build furniture and wooden objects, carve, whittle, tie knots, origami, flower arranging, quilt, make cards, scrapbook, sew, needlepoint, embroidery, metalwork, cook, barbecue, play an instrument, photography, write stories, poetry, develop essays, color pictures/mandalas.
Read your favorite books, watch TED Talks, listen to NPR, take a class, check out books and videos about a subject that you want to learn more about, take a free online class, learn Sudoku, do crosswords, unscramble words, learn about nature, travel to local places of interest, volunteer, meditate, journal, study the brain, listen to music (jazz, blues, country, folk, gospel, Latin, classical, pop), learn a computer language, build a website, write a book, take classes for computer applications, watch videos, polish your resume, sponsor/mentor a child or college student.
The French have a term for boredom. It is ennui. This tiny word is filled with meaning. Ennui is a feeling of weariness, listlessness, and boredom produced from a lack of excitement, novelty, or activity. In my twenties, I experienced a great deal of ennui. My job paid well with wonderful benefits; I had an active and lively social life. I was bored and frequently felt depressed. Changing my life meant that I drove the ennui out. I haven’t been bored for years!
Since I became a teacher, I have never been bored. Each day is different, and I am always on-the-go. Presenting information to a group that is not interested in buying what you have to sell is one of the great sales jobs of all time. The hours are long, but the knowledge that you are planting seeds for the future is a powerful feeling. It’s hard to be bored when you are using all of your senses and working as a teacher for 60 hours a week.
If none of the strategies that I listed above help you with boredom, I highly recommend finding a stimulating job that you can love. If you enjoy your work, or are challenged by your career, you will never be bored.
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