Boredom is a feeling that we all have at one point of time or another. Even the word itself brings about a blah feeling from within. I know I have spent countless hours filled with boredom, because there was nothing interesting to do. Like everyone else, I tried to fix my boredom by going into autopilot: find something to do on my phone, scroll through social media, play some video games, etc. Even though our autopilots might be different, there is always some crutch of an activity that we use, but it never really solves your feeling of boredom.
During this pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we are not allowed to really go outside and do all the fun activities that we want to do (go to an amusement park, hang out with friends, relax in some coffee shop). Even though some areas of the United States are gradually opening back up, we are still supposed to social distance and essentially continue to quarantine ourselves. All of this means, that we are still stuck inside in our infinite loop of boredom. However, this boredom can be harnessed and turned into a power to change your life.
Skills and hobbies are not always enough to constantly be productive
With the shelter in place, there were hundreds of suggestions of how to remain productive when there was not much to do. Almost everyone was saying to pick up a new skill or hobby or take some online class. Even though everyone was saying these things, there were not many people actually using their time to be productive. They might have started to learn a new skill, but gave it all up in the matter of a few days. I know I was in a similar boat. My goal was to become better and more knowledgeable about Microsoft Excel; but over the course of a few months, I gradually stopped following online guides and practicing formulas in Excel. It definitely was hard to continue it, but I also wanted to focus on different things such as this blog.
Part of the problem with learning a new skill or trying to find something to stay productive, we simply rather not do it whatsoever. It could be too much work or maybe we do not have any passion for the skill or maybe you think to yourself “I am young, why would I waste my time learning how to do something like throw cards?” If you asked yourself that question, I would not blame you. You have so many things that you rather do, so what is the point of learning a new party trick. Instead of developing a new skill, this is a perfect time to focus on you.
Productivity can be extremely hard to maintain, but the side effect of boredom can be your advantage
Being constantly productive takes a lot of willpower and time. This can be really difficult especially when we feel as if we have all the time in the world. That is why I suggest doing something on the smaller scale. Instead of learning something that will take many hours and days, you should focus on yourself by thinking what you are passionate about and how you can turn it into a career. I mean, why not do this now? You are bored out of your mind, there is nothing to do, and you have probably been stressing about your career at one point or another.
I had these questions circling my head after I graduated high school, because all I did during high school was fret about my possible career paths and which university I wanted to attend. However, I decided to not stress about my career and go on a gap year trip, which landed me in several different countries in Latin America (I will be talking more about my gap year trip in another post). In my last country on my trip, I was in Argentina and I was completely bored. I was struggling to find fun things to do in the city I was in and I had a hard time making friends with the people that I met there. So, instead of walking around the same city blocks that I was already used to seeing or binge watching a show on Netflix, I decided it was high time that I focused on what I was passionate about. I started off by just simply listing things that I like or found interesting. Then, I figured what I wanted to achieve through my passions. Next, I began connecting dots and drew up a plan. My idea of a plan consisted of which university I wanted to attend, my potential major and minor, how to finance everything, and what I was going to do post graduation. The best part of all of this is that it did not take me much time whatsoever. Also, if I was not completely bored out of my mind in Argentina, I would not have been able to come up with a plan of action for my life. Boredom is what helped push me to finally see what I wanted for my life.
Make a plan with your life in less than 30 minutes
When we are bored, we do not really want to do anything that is difficult. This is why I have a bunch of small, easy steps for you to do in order for you to gain more control over your life. First, I want you to sit down for only 5 to 10 minutes (that’s it!) and write down things that you are passionate about. This could be that you love clothes, making an impact in a business, saving the environment, etc. Once you have a small list, come up with a “why” for each of your passions. For example, I am passionate about clothing, because it gives me confidence.
The next step is to spend another 5 to 10 minutes and Google a couple of possible career paths that you can take that align with your passion. Again, figure out “why” you want to possibly pursue these opportunities. This is of the utmost importance, because it will help give you clarity to your life and give you a greater amount of determination. When I was planning out what I wanted to do with my life, I researched into the possible career path of becoming an insurance broker, because this field has a lot of growth potential and huge amounts of wealth can be accumulated at a young age. For when you research possible paths to take, remember to think about what you truly want.
Finally, I want you to spend a little more time on the career paths and see how you will accomplish the career that you want. For example, if you want to be the CEO of a fashion company, then you need to think whether you want to build from the ground up or work your way into that position from an already existing company. Think about your steps and make sure to develop your “whys” to each of your steps.
That is it! 3 steps that can take you less than 30 minutes to complete! Now you have a plan, something that you can follow. You can expand upon the plan and make it extremely difficult. Regardless, you have established a strong foundation that has research, your passions, and why you want to pursue an activity.
Use your time, use your boredom, create the life plan
Boredom can help push you to figuring out your plan. You are forced to try something so small, 5 to 10 minutes. This is the perfect time to start gaining more control over your life. After spending 15 to 30 minutes, you have created your life plan with a “how” and “why, which means that you changed your life. For me, I am extremely confident in my plan and I know you will too as long as you follow my suggested steps.