8 Top Tips For Bored Stressed Out Folk Looking To Get Motivated

Actually Play with the Kids

It is a well known fact that stress kills, or rather stress induced diseases kill.  But research has shown that in fact boredom kills more people every year in the western world than stress does!  So it is important to manage both your stress levels AND boredom levels at the same time. 

That may sound hard, but if you think about it, you can do this easily by managing your time effectively.  Do this and you will get through your to do list efficiently, which will lower your stress levels, AND at the same time your mind will be focused on different things during the day, which will keep it active and interested!  After all, you simply cannot get bored when you are constantly presenting your mind with new information and opportunities!

However, this all needs to be done in a proper way.  A typical human concentration span for a normally intelligent adult is only about 35 minutes.  After that, your brain may start wandering.  It is at times like this that you find you are suddenly doing something completely different from what you started out doing!

So if this sounds like you, then here are my top tips to help reduce stress levels, decrease boredom, get more done and stay motivated.

1 Take scheduled breaks. 
It takes around seven minutes to get back into productive work once you have been interrupted, whether it is someone asking you if you want a coffee, a phone call or a comfort break.  So schedule a five minute break every 45 minutes and TAKE IT.  That way you will still have time to get back to your workspace, take your 7 minutes “recovery time” and still have 35 minutes concentrated work before your next break.

2 Drink water. 
The brain works at its best only when it is properly hydrated.  Adults should drink around 2 liters of water every day.  Try keeping a bottle of water by your computer and drink it slowly throughout the day. 

3 Use background music or don’t. 
For some people background music aids concentration.  Others need total quiet.  At least one person I know keeps the TV droning on softly in the background.  Find out what helps you concentrate and USE IT.  However, if you should find yourself actually watching the TV, switch it off and go for a proper break!

4 Tackle tougher tasks during your optimal time of day. 
If you are a morning person, do your product development or whatever during the morning and leave more mundane tasks for the afternoon.  If you are an evening person, reverse this.

5 Work on two tasks by switching between both. 
This works best if the tasks are on related topics, for example different aspects of the same project.  This allows you to stay focused whilst not getting bored with either task. It will ensure you stay motivated.

6 Put some potted plants around your computer.  Potted plants help you stay relaxed and motivated and help increase the oxygen in your thinking space!

7 Maintain a DONE list. 
To Do Lists can be very de-motivating as they never end and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  However, if you add a completed task to a DONE list, you will stay motivated and feel a sense of achievement as you see it grow.  This helps reduce stress levels because you have tangible proof that you are getting somewhere!

8 Actively relax at the end of the day. 
Do this by taking a brisk walk with the dog, doing some simple stretches, taking a soak in the bath, doing a work out, actually playing with the kids, reading etc.  Let your brain know it is time to switch off and recharge.

Follow these tips and you will become less stressed, more motivated and kill boredom for good! Think I’ve missed any?  Let me know by commenting below!

And yes they are my kids! 🙂

Do You Quit When It’s Easy?

Have you ever noticed just how much a little thing can affect you?  It has to be a very specific little thing, probably something no-one else would even notice.  And yet, it gets to you.  Gets deep inside you and starts gnawing away.  And if you’re not careful, it can leave you feeling flat at best, or worse make you angry.

Language is very powerful as I explained in “The Mind Altering Power of a Word”.  The right words can whip a crowd into a baying frenzy of excitement, make individuals achieve more than they ever thought possible, invigorate or they can chastise, belittle and demean perceived subordinates.  And words can de-motivate. 

I believe that most people say what comes into their heads at a moment’s notice without giving much or even ANY thought to what it is like on the receiving end.  I often lock proverbial horns with my other half about a careless, even totally inaccurate word or phrase he’s used.  He has never needed to learn the subtleties of language for his career in the City and is certainly no loss to the Diplomatic Corps.

Nontheless, I don’t think I would have been so badly affected had I not felt tired this morning.

The porridge packet simply said “Easy to Open Tab – Just Pull Here”.  After I’d narrowly missed stabbing myself with scissors trying to lift the permanently glued tab, ripped a gaping hole in the side of the box and scattered handfuls of oats all over the counter top, I had to disagree somewhat with the manufacturer’s assessment of the box opening ease.

And this really is my point.  Just because YOU find something easy, doesn’t mean it IS easy.  It simply means YOU have the necessary skills to make you confident that you will be able to do that something easily.  But we all have different skills.  What I find easy, you may not.  Turning cartwheels is easy for an acrobat.  Speaking French is easy for a French National.  Riding a bike is easy.  LEARNING to ride a bike most definitely is not.

If you take the time to learn the necessary skill you will become more confident in more areas and over time, find more things easy. But don’t be fooled by thinking learning is ever easy.  It isn’t.

For everyone online, the words “easy”, “simple” and “just” appear everywhere. These words CAN be very destructive to maintaining a positive mental attitude if you don’t happen to have the precise skills needed to make the task simple. Be aware that whatever is said, YOU may need to LEARN new skills to complete the “easy” task.

So bear that in mind next time you see “So simple to use – my eight year old was up and running in just 5 minutes”.  Consider whether you actually have the same skills and today’s average eight year old before you take the plunge!  Don’t get downhearted.  Decide to keep your positive attitude.  You will need it to get over the learning curve!