25 Things To Do When You’re Bored At Work

By Kristin Kizer
Aug. 3, 2021
Articles In Life At Work Guide

Find a Job You Really Want In

Everybody has those days where they’re simply bored. Maybe there’s no work motivation, maybe you’re having a bad day, or you didn’t sleep well, or it could be that you just hate your job.

Usually, feeling bored at work is fleeting, and that’s a good thing. But what do you do when you have those feelings?

The good news is we have some ideas that can help you turn a day full of boredom into a productive day. These suggestions are actually designed to help your career, at least a little bit.

They might even inspire you to get back to work or to enjoy your work more. Or, who knows, they could inspire you to want to do more and find a new job that you find more rewarding.

  1. Read. No, we’re not suggesting you pull out the latest best-selling novel, but we are suggesting you do some professional research. Wait – are you doing that right now by reading this article? If so – good for you! Keep reading.

  2. Check out your benefits. One thing that’s pretty universal, most employees don’t fully understand their work benefits packages. And if you don’t understand all of the great things your company is willing to give you, how can you take advantage of them? We suggest getting in touch with HR and asking them where to start.

  3. Look into further education or training. When you’re looking through your benefits package, you might find that your work pays for some additional training and education. Even if they don’t, you still want to invest your time and money into furthering your career (or finding a new one) by improving your skillset.

  4. Clean. Are you someone who can’t really think when there’s clutter surrounding you? Or maybe you’re someone who needs to do something else to be inspired. No matter what drives you, a clean desk makes your workspace look good and reflects well on your work habits.

  5. Reach out to others. Nurturing your working relationships inside and outside of your company can do a lot for your reputation and can help you stay top-of-mind when people are looking to hire or for someone who does just what you do.

  6. Polish up your resume, portfolio, or social media presence. Don’t spend your work time on Facebook, but you can take some time to update your professional profile and to spiff up your resume, portfolio, cover letter, and other documents.

    Making a point to touch these pieces of professional collateral regularly is going to be a big benefit one day, and you’ll be thankful that you stayed on top of it.

  7. Go for a walk. Most jobs allow employees to have breaks, and many are flexible about when you take them. If you are lucky enough to have a job like this, take advantage of it and go for a walk during your break.

    Oftentimes a change of scenery and getting your body moving and your blood flowing can do a lot to refresh your mind and take the tedium out of your day.

  8. Update your calendar. Go through your current calendar to make sure it has everything listed that it should. Then, spend a little time daydreaming about the things you’d like to do, professional and personal, and try scheduling them in. This way, you won’t forget about them, and you might actually follow through and do them.

  9. Clean out your emails. It’s not the most fun job in the world. If it was, you wouldn’t have so many emails from 2009 sitting there. There are some things that are a chore to do, and cleaning your emails is one of them, but if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be bored and productive.

  10. Ask why. Do a little soul searching and ask yourself why you’re bored. Is it because you’re between projects, are you avoiding doing things you really should do, or are you in a job that’s not challenging enough? Or maybe it’s just one of those days, and you know it will pass.

    Whatever the answer is, think about acting on it and maybe pursuing a different avenue.

  11. Leave job reviews. Have you ever explored some of the job review boards out there? Why not leave your impression on others. Just make sure, if you’re going to hit up some job review sites, that your company doesn’t track your internet activity.

    This could make them think you’re going to leave the company, or they could discover a nasty review that you left.

  12. Test your skills. Who doesn’t like a little challenge or a mental test now and again? Look online to see if there are any tests for people in your industry. If you can’t find any, try an online IQ test or check your typing speeds. This sort of distraction is kind of an acceptable way to play a game while you’re working.

  13. Write a blog. If your work is okay with employees writing blogs, then sign up to contribute and write one. Many companies would be thrilled to have more insider knowledge and information available on their blogs, especially without having to beg people to write them. This will definitely put you in a good light.

  14. Explore your company space. Do you work in one of those companies that have a gym, a relaxation area, outdoor seating, a library? So many companies offer all sorts of benefits like this, and most employees stay tied to their desks.

    Go ahead, explore the office and its buildings. Learn what there is to know and finally figure out where that good vending machine is.

  15. Track your accomplishments. It’s never a bad idea to keep a handy list of your professional accomplishments. They might not help you today or next year, but if you want a raise, you have all of the information you need to battle for that extra pay. It might also come in handy if you decide to apply for a new job.

  16. Make a list. Start writing down lists. It could start with your errand or grocery list, but then try to expand it to more meaningful lists.

    How about a five-year plan. What do you want to accomplish in the future? Are there any places you want to go? Feel free to use the time when you’re bored to give your brain something fun to play with – like an exciting new future or adventure. You’ll find it harder to achieve if you never even dreamed about it in the first place.

  17. Catch up on required training. Many employers have required training for their employees to complete each year. Whether it’s simply an HR video on how to treat your co-workers or if it’s important technical training that applies to your position, this is probably a good time to get that over with.

  18. Help others. If you truly don’t have anything to do, is there something you can do to help a co-worker?

  19. Create an out-of-office message. You know those random messages that your email uses when you’re not around, why not come up with a memorable and clever one that will leave people smiling.

  20. Clean out your documents and photos. For some people, this task alone could be a 40 hour a week job. Try to get rid of what you can and find a better organizational system for the information you keep. This is one of those tedious tasks that waste time and makes the day zip by.

  21. Do a little creative writing. It’s not really work-related unless you’re a novelist, but creative writing fires the brain and gets you thinking. It can easily and quickly relieve boredom and might reduce a little work-related stress as well.

  22. Consider charity. Think about groups you’d like to help, whether financially or by donating your time and talents. Then think of ways you could get your employer involved in helping that charity.

    Or maybe you can get them involved in sponsoring different charities. Many companies find that being involved in the community and supporting local causes benefits them financially in the long run. Why not spearhead this effort.

  23. Find a new newsletter or blog. Seek out a news organization that provides information on your work, profession, or skills, and then read up on what they have to say. The trick is to try to look outside of your normal outlets and get information from a totally different perspective.

  24. Update your email signature. What does your work email signature say? It probably doesn’t matter because most people stopped reading it a long ago. Update that signature and add a funny slogan or an insightful quote that will at least prompt them to see what’s different.

  25. Block out your day. Try a new scheduling method that includes blocking out portions of the day for different work tasks. See if this type of approach makes you feel more invigorated, if it makes you more productive, or what if the opposite happens and you realize you were more efficient before. You never know until you try.

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Kristin Kizer

Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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