When your attention span growing smaller, impatience is increasing. The more you feel stuck in your situation-listening to co-workers about their weekends, waiting in line at the grocery store or coffee, sitting through a meeting you could care less about the more agitated you feel. You can’t access your social media account on your phone. Or you sit home every hour of every day. The slow passage of time can be painful.
Do you have temporary tedium or chronic dissatisfaction? Temporary tedium is episodic. Hopefully you don’t have to wait for something or tolerate a waste of you time more that a day.
When you have chronic dissatisfaction it comes from feeling bored with your life. Finding joy with your work, the people in your life or your everyday existence.
The effects of negative boredom can lead to harm in your health to your ability to perform at school and work. A lack of external stimulation can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety based on the desire to checkout of a meaningless or undervalued life. Besides feeling uncomfortable there are reasons to try and limit you’re boredom.
The best cure for boredom is to make sure you have regular challenges and interesting things to do so incidents don’t throw you off too much. We need to have work, and hobbies that are stimulating and fun, you will still need to make sure you maintain an emotional balance. Everything one needs some down and boring time to rest your mind and nervous system. If you are overwhelmed with challenges and interesting things to do, you patience level for time wasters will be slim.
I struggle in this area. My mind never stops going until I go to bed. I never stop. I can actually watch a movie, listen to a podcast and play a game at the same time and still manage to learn something. With my mind going all the time I do not manage to rest and give my nervous system a break. It is very dangerous to do this I know. But I have a difficult time not do it. I tend to just push my way through everything.
An example of this: About 5 years ago, I fell on the ice shoveling snow. I caught myself with my arms. I knew I had hurt my shoulder but thinking it would heal on it’s own. I kept do everything I had to do. About 4 months later it wasn’t healed, so I decided to go to the Doctor,
He did some X-rays and they found nothing wrong. At about six months I went to a different Doctor and they did x-rays again and it showed I had bone spurs caused by arthritis. They told me could have surgery but it would just come back. I said no to the surgery and when on. By this time my shoulder and my upper arm was bothering me. I had decided I better go to Orthodontist. He said I had a torn rotor cuff and bone spurs and that I needed surgery I finally agreed to have surgery. I was told it would be a 30 minute surgery it turned out I had torn my bicep tendon off my shoulder the doctor had to replace it because It was unfixable. I ended up layed up for 6 months.
While this has nothing to do with being bored, it does tell you the more you accept something to worse it becomes. Sometimes without us realizing it.
Have a plan or expectation for how you are going to use your time. The disruptions and delays are bound to be more annoying than if you suspect there will be delays.
Plan ahead for dead zones. Take charge of your time by planning for delays and distractions. Carry something to read or to do with you at all times to deal with lines and waiting rooms. Have you car radio set to an interesting station, or soothing music to cope with traffic jams. If you get stuck in a boring meeting, what an you notice about the people in the room? If you have a piece of paper plan how you will make the next meeting more interesting, or map out your career plan in the future.
Don’t take the delays right distraction personally. You might feel disrespected or that someone has control of your time, which only increases your agitation.
This is a good opportunity to practice curiosity. Does the person who has a hold of your time need some compassion? Is this a good moment to breathe and relax so you have more energy when you regain control of your time? There is often a gem of wisdom in the moment that you can’t see when your impatient, irritated or bored.
Has life become meaningless and hollow? It’s a good time to reflect on the purpose of your life. You boredom may be a sign that you are In a transition. Acknowledge what is changing so you can move on.