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how to deal with boreout

Boreout – How do you deal with it?

Today we are dealing with an issue that many professionals face on a daily basis. You have certainly been in contact with symptoms at work as well.

In this article, we’re talking about boreout – a syndrome that can quickly creep up on people, especially those who work in offices at their PCs.  

We’ll show you what boreout is, how you can recognize it, and what you can do to counteract the syndrome. 

What is boreout?

Boreout, sometimes called boreout syndrome, occurs when you’re bored or mentally underwhelmed at work. This is an unknown but common experience for people in the workplace. Whether you’re in the office, remote or hybrid, you’re bound to have been bored at your job at some point. 

Difference between boreout and burnout?

The most well-known work illness that results from constant overwork and stress and is widely known to every professional is burnout syndrome. Most often, burnout occurs in professional fields where helping activities are performed (teaching, nursing, etc.).

Compared to burnout, boreout occurs mainly in people who are constantly in offices or home offices and are at their workplaces every day.

It simply means that you are tired, constantly bored, underchallenged, and feel no energy in performing your job.

Boreout – qualitative and quantitative variants

A distinction is made between qualitative and quantitative underchallenge! Quantitative underchallenge means that you have too few tasks in total that you implement during your working hours. This form is easily remedied by looking for more tasks or telling your supervisor that you would like to have more to do.

Qualitative underachievement often involves questioning basic things. Lack of assessment when choosing a career, failure to focus on the person’s strengths and interests.

How do you recognize boreout?

Now that we have explained what boreout is, we want to show you which symptoms you can use to recognize signs of boreout.

Some of the symptoms of boreout are similar to those of burnout:

– Lack of drive and insomnia

– Decreased performance

– Low spirits

– Depression (in case of advanced boreout)

– Headaches

– Back pain

Most of the time, you find yourself in a kind of negative spiral during a boreout. The constant boredom at work lowers your motivation and has a negative impact on your mood and the pace of your work. In order not to look bad, those affected conceal their insufficient workload and bottle up their own problems. This is called internal resignation.

Boreout-typical behaviors at work

– You are more preoccupied with private matters at work and do not devote yourself to the tasks that are actually important. You are easily distracted. 

– You try to look busy and pretend to work. Often you even go so far as to work overtime to counteract the bad feeling of not doing anything, out of a guilty conscience about not having done anything during regular working hours.

– You stretch tasks that could be done faster over a longer period of time and take your time

– You’re exhausted after work, even though you’ve done little to nothing.

What personalities are often affected by boreout?

There are character traits that tend to get boreout more easily. These include, above all, personalities with a strong performance orientation and great ambition. These individuals want to achieve a lot professionally and therefore put a lot of energy into work in order to also achieve their goals. Often, this is exactly what can turn into a boomerang and the actual strength negatively affects the life of the affected person.

What can you do about it?

You have already taken the most important step against boreout – and that is the step of dealing with the issue and deciding for yourself which potential symptoms of boreout apply to you. Only then can you actively counteract the underload and boredom.

Take the initiative

The second step is a bit more uncomfortable, but it will give you and your work environment the clarity you need. Approach your manager and talk to him or her about your work skills, your strengths and weaknesses, and your career prospects in the company. Try to find a solution with your boss that is in your interest as well as in the interest of the team and the company.

In concrete terms, this could mean more responsibility, commitment to the company, or new tasks or projects for you to work on.

Your boss will be open to you. Because if you are looking for new challenges, no superior will put obstacles in your way – on the contrary.

Use the topic for a more successful and fulfilling professional and private life

Since we are in a meritocracy, boredom is frowned upon at work. However, you can use it to your advantage, for example, by stimulating your creativity or allowing yourself relaxing minutes.

We don’t want to scare you in any way, but rather encourage you to deal with the issue. If you do, you will not only lead a more successful and fulfilling life in a professional context, but it will also logically have an effect on other important areas of your life.

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