My Notes to a Friend Who is Bored at His Job

What follows is a recap of what I recently told a friend over lunch when I found out that he was bored at work.

What Not To Do: Don't Numb Yourself At Work

Put away the smartphone. Log out of Facebook.  Pay attention.  Work is most of your life.

There are 168 hours each week.  You're awake for about 112 hours and you work/commute about half of that time.  Numbing yourself is not an option.  You need your wits about you.


My first advice to you is to leave. Find yourself some interesting work. Doesn't have to be with a different company though that can be fine too.  

You’ve been there about three years and it’s about time you moved to a new position that will challenge you to grow personally.

Try to see what kinds of doors are open to you based on the confluence of experience and opportunity that is your current situation and take a chance on it. If you can plug into something spiritually significant to you, go for it. If not, aim for personal development.

Stay and Be Your Best Self

And if there are reasons that you can’t leave and you need to hang around where you are, then stop doing things exactly the way you’ve been doing them. I don’t mean to get lazy on the job. You’re not Atlas and you’re not shrugging.

I mean that there are probably opportunities to design better ways to do the sorts of things that you have been doing. To make yourself more effective or to make this less prone to error. You can design checklists and systems that streamline the work and reduce the possibility that a step will be missed or a mistake will not be caught.

If you like to write software, you can implement the system in software. If not, you can implement it as process. Either way, if you are bored it’s because you’re not putting development energy into the way you are doing your job.

The more you can chip away at the things that are not urgent but are very important, the more you will love your work.

I can rarely think of any job I have been in where I have been bored and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.