Are you bored? Or boring?

I have a source of irritation to tell you about. It’s when I hear someone say they are bored. When I hear this, I automatically think how is this possible? Sure, you might hear young kids say this, but when I hear this from a teenager or anyone older, I feel badly for them. Why? Because they don’t seem to understand it’s their own fault they are bored.

Why do I think no one should be bored? It’s simple. There are too many choices of things to do to possibly be bored. You know I love lists, so naturally I’ll be providing some G-rated options in case your mind is drawing a blank on what you can do to avoid boredom. Seriously, I can’t imagine how it would even be possible to be bored. Can you relate?

If you can’t relate to how I find it impossible to be bored, then I am going to challenge your thinking about this. We all know there are plenty of things we should be doing to be productive each day, and yes, I understand some people are far more productive than others.

For those of you who fall into the former category, you have even less of an excuse to utter the words “I’m bored”. Yes, it might be possible to be bored for short periods of time, say for example when you are sitting in grid-lock traffic. However, this is a perfect time to listen to music or give someone a call. Notice how I didn’t include texting, as in many states it is illegal to do so while driving, and possibly talk on the phone too.

So, if you are guilty of uttering the words ‘I’m bored”, consider if you really are. Why? Because for one thing, I can tell you are not fully leveraging your brain power to come up with more than one or two things you could be doing instead. Even when we are in situations when we are waiting for someone or something to happen, we can still engage ourselves in a productive activity. The first thing which comes to my mind is reading or listening to a Podcast.

Recently at the gym I found myself less enthused when I was working out on the resistance bike. Typically, I would listen to upbeat music while I’m biking, but I found when I switched to listening to podcasts from Ted Talks, the time on the bike flew by much faster. I think it is because my mind is more engaged when I am listening to the fascinating stories being told. The best part for me is that I always learn something new from each podcast.

Going back to the question of whether you might in fact be boring if you often find yourself to be bored, is another concept I want you to give some thought to. For instance, when you are in conversation with other people, are you only talking about other people, or are you in fact sharing information about something interesting you learned? Many people who chronically talk about other people are often the ones who would claim to be bored.

How do I know this? It’s because in the past I felt surrounded by people who often expressed this out loud. When I realized these were not the type of people I wanted to be associated with, I quickly made a conscious decision to find different people to interact with. What a fabulous decision this was! Are you possibly trapped in this type of web?

Perhaps you have heard of the expression relating to interesting people talk? What do they do differently? They talk about a variety of subjects versus people.  If you are guilty of this, take some time to think about why you do this. It’s not that hard to course correct on this behavior style. The first step is to be become aware of the fact you are doing this.

Now, as promised, here is a list of things you can do if you claim to be bored, and which won’t cost you much money. Not having money shouldn’t ever be an excuse for being bored, and I’m sure you have also heard the expression “creativity is the mother of invention.” It doesn’t cost money to be creative, so let’s get to the list to start you off in your non-bored direction.

  • Plan something. Yes, literally anything. It could be a party, it could be a trip, it could be putting together a list of books you want to read, or people you want to meet.
  • Challenge yourself to learn how to play an instrument, or another one if you already know how to play one.
  • Another challenge would be to learn how to speak another language, and to be at a conversational level within a period of time you set the goal for.
  • Everyone needs to eat. Are you good at cooking? I’m not. So, I have challenged myself to become a better cook, and to cook with a goal of making healthy food.
  • Do you have a hobby? Someone recently asked me if I had one. I had to think about whether I did. I’m not sure if it is a hobby, but I love looking at residential real estate, and designing rooms on-line. Ok, my other and secret hobby is finding the perfect IPA beer. So far, Lunch from the Maine Beer Company is my favorite one.
  • If you have any extra time, look for an organization you can donate and volunteer your time to. This can be really rewarding, and your time is more precious than money.

I could go on with countless more ideas, but you get the idea. When you are doing things which are productive, it provides you with a way to valuably spend your time. You also won’t be talking about other people, and essentially you will be building up your conversation list to become a more interesting person. Not the boring one none of us wants to be classified as.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

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