It’s human nature to get bored of doing the same things time and again. Situation becomes worse when you have a monotonous job to handle.
I can relate to the feeling, because during the starting of my career I also felt the same. It was like feeling trapped in a routine; a routine that was boring to the core. Doing the same things, meeting same people, going to the places that you went yesterday, day in and day out. All of a sudden you realize — you are not as creative as you were a while back. Monotony has started to seep in and kill your productivity.
Monotony and Creativity
When you are stuck in a monotonous job, one of the first things you realize is that it starts to impact your creative thinking. How? By preventing our mind from responding to any external stimuli and reinforcing it to old mental connections. As a result our brain is unable to create innovative ideas and there is this mental block on creative thinking. Also referred to as creative block.
Monotony and Physical Activity
Monotony not only starts to impact creative thinking of a person, it also leads to physical issues as well. You feel disinterested in doing stuff. This leads to boredom and lethargy. There is lack of desire, drained off energy and the person could end up in a state of depression.
In shorter run it might not look that big, but when observed in the longer run monotony could kill your team!
The question that arises here is — what does a manager do in such a scenario? How can he/she make sure that the team does not die-off because of monotony?
Here are some tips that I follow while handling teams. And I am sure they will help you as well -
Play around with workplace
There’s not much they can do about the type of work. Because that’s going to be the same. So the first thing you can do is change the things which are at your hand. For instance, office furniture. Play around with it. Change the places of desks and tables. Add some colorful accessories to make it look more appealing. Or even better, bring in some new furniture that perks up the ambiance.
Science says that colors have a big role to play in our productivity. So go ahead and follow that route and throw in some colorful additions to premise to kill the monotony.
Shift break times
Another thing you can do is to shift break timings. For instance, if the lunch break is from 2–3PM, you can shift it a bit early or an hour late. Or cut the one hour break into two of 30 minutes each. Or maybe a 45 minute break and a 15 min snack break in the evening. That’s up to you and your team.
But, don’t force that decision. Before going for this change, have a quick discussion with your team. Get to know if they are comfortable with it. It is better if you involve them before deciding the break timing. After all, you are doing all this to kill their monotony. So they must be involved in the decision.
Throw in some drums and beats
Music is the best thing that has ever happened to humans. When I listen to music I enter a world of my own. It helps me to relax my mind and rejuvenates my thoughts to get back to work with full zeal. And there are plenty of researches that support this fact as well. There is this amazing article on Inc.com as well that explains it in a lucid manner.
So, why not throw in some drums and beats to lighten up the environment? Bring in some music at work and rejuvenate your work space with something exciting!
Inspire to learn something new
Learning is an inseparable aspect of our life. If we stop learning, we stop growing. And that type of monotony could be infectious. As a manager the most significant thing you can do to kill monotony for your team members is to inspire them to learn something new. You can ask them to join a new project. Or get them to enrol in a new training course. And similar other things.
This will give them an opportunity to enhance their skill set. At the same time they will get rid of the vicious and monotonous cycle at work.
Volunteer for a good cause
Last, but not the least, thing you can do to kill boredom at work is to get your team to participate in some community building activities. Get them to volunteer for a NGO. This will give them a break from their routine. Also, it will inspire them to be thankful for what they have. There can be nothing better than getting your team involved in a noble cause, and at the same time giving them a much needed breather from their boring routine.
You can plan it as a weekend activity. And it won’t hamper your work as well.
Technically speaking, monotony is nothing more than lack of variety in something. It can influence a person’s emotions, way of thinking and even lead to medical conditions like depression as well. But, when looked at the impact it can have on a person — the results are shocking.
But I have keeping my team away from the virus called monotony using these tips. And I am sure you can also benefit from the same. So, try them out and don’t forget to share the experience with me.
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