Are you bored at work?
On my way to work today, I almost got a hard lesson in the evils of multitasking. I was doing maybe 70km/h on the highway during rush hour, and for some reason I looked out the side window for a few seconds. When I looked back on the road, the cars in front of me was standing still. And I was still doing 70.
Being a certified ninja driver, I instantly hit the brakes and ended up partially sideways about an arms length away from the nearest car. I also had time to peek in the rear view mirror, where I was able to share a look of panic with the guy in the car behind me. Luckily for me, his braking skills was as amazing as my own.
I guess that should have made me want to write something profound about life. About not wasting your life in the office, perhaps. And it kind of did.
When driving a car, you should really pay attention to what you’re doing. But it’s easy to get distracted when you’re sleepy, as I was. It’s also easy to get distracted when you’re bored.
People who really love what they do are often portrayed as being really focused. They may appear single minded, driven towards a goal. You’d probably not hear anyone describe them as distracted.
At the moment I drive a “family car”. It’s so boring to drive that I’m both distracted and sleepy before I even get out of my driveway. A few years back I had a purpose built sports car. Something about it seemed to demand my full attention at all times.
Sure, I drove more aggressively when I had it, but I was also a lot more focused behind the wheel. Driving to work was no longer a task, it was fun. I was focused on driving the car, and never got distracted by random objects along the road. Driving a sports car actually made me a better driver. I was doing something fun. And part of what made it fun, was that I was a part of a well functioning system. So if you are easily and often distracted at work, why is that?
How does it feel when you sit behind your desk at the office, does it feel like you’re driving a Porsche? Or are you actually bored and frustrated? Are your boss, your co-workers or the processes and policies of your company preventing you from doing a good job?
If that is the case, please let me remind you that you are spending nearly half of your waking hours at that desk. That’s a lot of time spent not having fun.