While we like to think that success is exciting—in most cases, it can actually be pretty boring. When we start on the path of becoming masterful at something, things inevitably start to feel a little dull. And if you’re like us, when the daily routine to take us to where we want to be seems long and mundane, it’s easy to get distracted.
Long term goals can require us to fight for attention and motivation. When something is new there is much to be excited about—everything is uncharted territory, and each new experience gives more and more opportunity for positive feelings to arise. However, the more we experience something the more our enthusiasm and attention can wane.
Predictability is what psychologists say puts an end to our fresh euphoria. When we know what’s around the corner, our excitement diminishes and feelings of boredom start to grow. That’s why we need to keep things fresh if we’re focused on a long term project or goal.
To help you survive, and in honor of National Anti-Boredom Month, we’d like to take a look into why we get bored and what we can do to fix it.
Listed below are just four ways you can ward off boredom and reinvigorate yourself as you tackle your ONE Thing.
1. Acknowledge the Boredom
Just like the first step in a recovery program, acknowledgement of your boredom is a key part of being able to move forward. And to help find a solution, look inward and correctly identify the feeling for what it. Even the very act of distinguishing between different emotions allows you to have a better grip on your experiences, and, in fact, have been proven to stave off complacency.
2. Change your Perspective
Once you’ve acknowledged your boredom, take it one step further. Are you feeling challenged? Perhaps you feel stuck? It’s easy for our current circumstance to seem permanent, and sometimes all it takes a little shift in perspective to realize that “right now” isn’t “forever.” Sometimes what we’re looking to achieve is just beyond our current routine. Shifting your perspective and keeping an eye on the finish line can drastically change how you feel about your path, allowing for a whole new arsenal of positive emotions to flood in and push us forward.
3. Take a Break
We’re all human. And human beings are naturally inclined to take breaks. Think back to the last meal or workout you had and focus on the moment that your body knew it had enough food or exercise. Your mind is no different. When it’s had enough, it’s had enough.
Some studies have shown that the longer we stay focused on an activity, the more our attention is depleted. Our brains need a breather every once and a while. That’s why it’s important to go for a walk, meditate or have a conversation with a coworker every once and a while. That way we allow our brains to recharge a little bit, giving us the energy we need to do our best work.
4. Set a Small Goal
Nothing kicks boredom to the curb like experiencing a breakthrough. Like we mentioned above, learning something new forces us to turn off auto-pilot and take control. In the same way, so does goal setting.
When we achieve a goal, our brains are boosted with dopamine, a reward mechanism that provides us with increased focus and additional motivation to keep the ball rolling. If you’re stuck in a rut, try setting smaller, stepping-stone goals that will lead you out. With each goal you knock down, you’ll gain momentum and stave off feelings of boredom.
Becoming bored isn’t the fault of the bored, but remaining bored is. How have you learned to fight off boredom? Let us know on our Facebook page!