Remember what it was like to be a newbie in your profession? Making the transition from theory to practice was intense in the beginning. You were a bit unsure of your abilities in the beginning, but you stuck with it and built your skills and confidence along the way. With all your hard work over the years, you’ve gained enough experience and knowledge to know exactly what to do--even when you get thrown a curveball. It’s as though you could do it all in your sleep, really. And some days, your work may actually make you a little drowsy. *yawn*
Even though it’s rewarding to be practicing at an expert level, it can have its downsides. And by downsides, I mean some aspects can become excruciatingly booooorrrriiinnnggg, especially if you aren’t finding new ways to keep your heart and mind engaged in your work.
What’s so wrong with being under-challenged, AKA, bored at work?
There’s no poker face for boredom. Think about the last time you saw someone who looked really bored. Your kid at the electronics-free family gettogether. The wait staff at dinner the other night. Your colleague at the networking seminar. When someone is bored, it’s obvious; they look like they’d rather be anywhere but where they are. The same holds true for you. And if you are bored as you interact with your clients, they will know it, too. Lackluster interactions are not exactly good for client retention, my friend.
Boredom can be misinterpreted as incompetence. If you are bored, you are less likely to stay present and engaged, possibly leading you to miss important details. Be honest. If a taxi driver picks you up at the airport and drops you off at the wrong hotel late one evening, the second you realize his mistake, would you be thinking, “Oops! He must have been on autopilot” or “WHAAT? And I tipped him? That guy is incompetent!
Mistakes can lead to getting fired by your client; big mistakes can lead to being sued by your client. If the chef serves you overcooked steak, you may not go back to that restaurant. If the chef serves you Hepatitis A, you Google “food service litigation.” Making careless mistakes in your practice erodes the trust your client has in you. In any service-based professional relationship, trust is essential for the relationship to be beneficial. If you aren’t fully engaged and present in your work, you’re more likely to make substantial, serious errors that could result in malpractice complaints and lawsuits.
So how can you get yourself out of autopilot and be more present and engaged when work feels routine?
Ditch the assumptions and move into curiosity. Although you may have tackled the same problem before with clients, if you remain open and curious about your clients, their needs, and their circumstances, you’re open to discovering new, innovative solutions to common issues. Think of the innovators in your field. They didn’t get there by staying inside the proverbial box. Be open and curious like the influencers who came before you, and you’ll be more energized by your work. When you combine openness and curiosity with your expert status, you may even develop a unique approach that positively impacts your industry as a whole.
Read business-related books from outside of your industry. Exposing your brain to new material will sharpen your mind, and seeing the connections between your industry and another can lead to your creating effective solutions to the problems your clients have.
Get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to be a talented visual artist to be creative. Create a new dish in the kitchen. Write a short story. Brainstorm ideas for generating new streams of income in your business. Creativity, both in and out of the office, breeds excitement that can make your day-to-day work more meaningful.
Take your expert knowledge outside the office. Share your knowledge with students in your field or with your community at large by giving a free presentation that provides useful information. Mentor a newcomer to your field. Volunteer to serve on the Board of Directors for a non profit. Be of service to your community and be seen as the go-to person for your niche.
Be aware and interested in the reasons behind your boredom. Are you craving a change of pace, and your boredom is a signal you are ready to stretch outside your comfort zone? Are you doing activities that could be delegated to someone else so you can focus on what you do best? Get curious about the reasons certain tasks or interactions are feeling ho-hum to you. The symptom of boredom may just be a signal you are ready for change.
Remember the work you do positively impacts your clients’ lives. Your work is very personal to the clients you serve. Accountants keep busy business owners and “big picture” people out of jails and insane asylums. Therapists help people break free from destructive patterns. Financial advisers help people plan and realize a secure future. Attorneys safeguard their clients’ best interest. As a service professional, you turn a stressful burden into a manageable task. Your clients love you and need you. What could possibly be boring about that?
No matter how routine your duties may seem at work, you can breathe new life into your day when you approach your work with curiosity, openness, and reverence for the important role you play in your clients’ lives.
“When you pay attention to boredom, it gets unbelievably interesting.”
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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about business coaching topics and Brainspotting for Business Blocks and serves as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized business coaching advice, nor is it medical or mental health advice, legal advice, financial advice, or spiritual advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://www.bethmedina.com/disclaimer.