At times we don’t consider life or death seriously. Go back in time to that Calculus class where you didn’t have a clue what the professor was talking about because you were too busy daydreaming. Your dream was shattered when your friend pinched you to bring you back to earth. You both were bored as hell. If boredom could kill, it would be your funeral.
This is not just a one-time thing. Remember waiting in the dentist’s office when there was nothing to do, and all you had was that stupid snake game to help you keep your sanity. Yes. Research has shown that boredom can indeed kill you.
The opposite of boredom is productivity. How to stay productive when you are bored like hell at your job?
Before we dig deeper into how to stay productive at work, we must understand what motives us? There are two forms of motivation; Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation comes from external things like hitting a deadline, earning a raise, or making your client happy. This type of motivation can and cannot be in your control. It is not an active element to gauge your motivation.
The thing for you to focus on is intrinsic motivation. This is in your control. The simplest and most natural example is eating. When you feel hungry, you eat something because you’re motivated to feed your hungry belly. No one asked you to eat, but you are doing it because the drive for motivation is coming from inside. We go to bed early not because we feel sleepy, but because we are motivated to wake up fresh.
- Use Memories
Memories have the power to motivate us. In an experiment, it was revealed that students who were asked to conjure up happy memories and complete a task after that proved more motivated than students who were just assigned the task. This proves that memories are quite powerful when it comes to remembering things.
Now for the most fantastic part. The study was conducted with three groups: the positive memory group, the controlled group, and the negative memory group. Quite surprisingly, even the negative memory group appeared motivated.
So, it proves that a memory doesn’t always have to be a positive one. It just needs to be some memory which could trigger some motivation.
Next time you feel the tingles of unproductivity, try thinking about a previous memory. Remember how you felt and what your surroundings were. The more deeply you create that connection, the more motivation you’ll get to complete the task productively.
- A Pre-Game Routine Might Help
James Clear isn’t just a famed writer, he is a pro when it comes to running a business. Not many people know this, but he also has a flair for sports. However, at times it became rather difficult for him to find the right kind of drive. Since there were many games to be played that season, it was difficult for him to stay motivated for every game. So, he opted for a solution. Before every game, he programmed his mind to go in the “game mode.” This distills down to the fact that he followed a fixed routine before going to the game. Here is how it goes:
Grabbing the basketball glove. Jogging in the outfield. Stopping and waiting at the opposite foul pole. Doing hamstrings and stretches. Heading to the bullpen. Practicing throwing the ball in various wind conditions.
It didn’t matter how motivated or productive he felt during the match, Clear says that this routine helped him get back up even after a failure.
However, if you are willing to set a pre-game routine at your work, you can do that by following these three tips:
- Make things as comfortable as possible. Clear states that he starts his day by pouring himself a glass of water. Not much effort but it does get him out of bed.
- Next in-line comes physical movement. When you’re feeling down, your body language is entirely different from the days when you are brimming with energy. Doing some physical movement will force your body to change its posture and change the body language to a get-ready state.
- Establish a routine. To get sustainable results, it’s pertinent to repeat the same method again and again.
If you’ve ever worked remotely or from home, you must know how tedious it gets. You are working solo in your home. Staring at the screen and working. No social connection. Nothing to look forward to. This can often lead to unproductive work. To turn things around, it is better to follow your pre-game routine and see how creative you can be.
- Risk Something Worth Fighting for
Imagine this. You are walking down the street, and you found a $20 bill. How happy will you feel? Quite I guess. However, now consider this. You were walking down the street, and you lost a $20 bill. When you came home, you realize that you dropped it somewhere on the road. Now, compare that feeling of anxiety with one of bliss? Can you compare or equate both? I guess not.
Thanks to the evolution and growth of our prefrontal brain growth, we know that bad situations impact our lives more than good ones.
If you ever weigh the idea of losing $50 for something and earning $50 for the same thing, it is seen that people tend to work harder when there is something on-the-line.
Next time you feel dull, think of something you might lose if you don’t complete some task; this will keep you going without taking any breaks.
Your ultimate focus should be to adopt these methods deep into your roots long before you start losing interest in things. Socialize with your team so that it will keep you all pumped-up during the task.