Bored at Work? Invest in Fun

Ben & Jerry’s motto asked us for years, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” This seems childish to the mature and productive adult. It looks like a rhetorical question that deserves a response of “grow up!” Maybe it’s an easy thing for two guys who made ice cream in their garage and got rich doing it to say. Maybe it’s still the truth.

As grownups we take comfort in the predictability of our highly scheduled, structured, and stressful lives. For as much as organization and daily rituals help us to be productive and efficient, too much routine makes everything stale. Being bored leaves us dull and disinterested. It’s a short distance from there to feeling “stuck”, being “in a funk” or any of the other countless euphemisms we use for having unfulfilling careers/relationships/lives.

“Hear the voices in my head. I swear to God it sounds like they’re snoring. But if you’re bored than you’re boring.” – Harvey Dangerous “Flagpole Sitta”

Anyone wanna join me for some New York Super Fudge Chunk?

Breaking routines allows us to step outside and reexamine the course our lives are moving in. Vacations are good for this. Taking “mental health days” is good for this. An old friend of mine made it a habit to “call in well” and use his sick days to promote his use of creative outlets. This seems irresponsible to most folks. It seems to me that we place so great a value on being responsible and productive that we forget to enjoy ourselves while we’re doing it.

Is having fun a choice? Is it an option?

Life is hardest when we don’t perceive ourselves as having choices. Regardless of whether you’re free to change career paths, go back to school or otherwise aspire to something more satisfying – you’re still free to be better/happier. Being bored means you stopped taking risks and stopped imagining.

If your attitude sucks, change it. If you want to improve your workplace, invest in the people around you. Remember, high school never really ends – everyone wants to be cool. Build them up and watch what happens to you (and quite possibly you career).

If you don’t know how to make the best of a bad situation, find someone who does and learn from them (they’re the person at work that everyone gravitates toward). If you’re going to settle for less than you can be/have because it affords you a measure of security then go ahead but don’t be bitter that others are succeeding or having more fun than you.

Get out of your comfort zone and find an outlet. Do something that makes you feel alive. Go be a cliché – Dance. Sing. Play. Then get better, even if it’s just for spite.

Get to know better people. My friends can have fun at the DMV because they expect this of themselves and they’re always looking for willing accomplices. Look around the crowd for the people who have a sense of humor and are looking for an opportunity to use it.

It’s about attitude. It’s about not letting your daily grind grind you. What do you do to get by? We laugh. We celebrate each other’s success. We have cake at every opportunity (It’s Tuesday!). We work hard and we do important things. Then we watch youtube videos about kittens.

Seriously watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fP4emqw7O4

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in assisting people in recovery (whether from drugs, alcohol, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles and improve their quality of life.