You’re starting a new job, a new project, a new something. You’re excited. There’s so much to learn.
This moment is thrilling because it feels like so much is possible. You’re about to uncover your brilliance.
I’ve loved every new job I’ve ever had. A new project, when it’s within my realm of interests, is always more fun than managing old projects.
Fast forward three months, the project has launched, the job is familiar, and I’m bored.
I used to think this was a curse. Does this mean that I just can’t be happy? Will I never be satisfied? What is wrong with me?
Getting bored quickly is not a curse. Although hitting that wall of boredom is disappointing, and it can feel like you’re coming down from a high, it’s simply a sign that you have to pivot.
What does it really mean when we get bored?
We’re told to have a big vision. Where do you want to be in your career 10 years from now? Or, what will your business look like in five years?
I wholeheartedly believe in having a big vision. You won’t know where to go unless you have a destination in mind. But what if you have your vision and you hit boredom anyway?
It simply means a portion of the picture needs to change.
For example, I launched this blog in late January. First, I was excited to learn how to build a website. This alone was completely new to me. Second, I had to refine my vision for the blog, my marketing plan, and business model, among so many other things. I loved throwing myself into this project. I got lost in it.
Eventually, I learned how to manage the website. I have my marketing plan, and am working on my business model everyday. I still have a lot to learn, but eventually everything new becomes routine.
New is fleeting.
With this realization, I have two options. I could panic, beat myself up and decide this entrepreneurship thing just isn’t for me. Afterall, I’m just going to end up feeling bored and purposeless.
Or, I can let the boredom guide me.
Feeling bored is my cue to work better.
Eventually and naturally we outgrow certain aspects of our work. When we get bored quickly, it simply means we may be moving at a faster pace, and we constantly need to be learning.
So how can we use boredom as a catalyst to do better work?
First, go back to the basics.
What’s the work you want to do, and why?
Always let your mission guide your next steps. For example, my mission is to help young professionals find more meaning in their work lives. This guides every aspect of my work life and the business I want to build. However, how I do this can shift.
To figure how you should shift, seek the next challenge, which you can find by asking yourself the following:
What’s interesting to you?
What would make you proud?
What scares you?
How can you achieve your mission in the best way possible?
Use these as guides to build, and in a sense build as you go. Have your vision, but stay flexible enough to make changes so that the work you do stays interesting.
Now tell me, what triggers boredom for you, and how do you overcome it?