Q&A: How To Handle the Meantime?

waiting for my manifestationPut your smarty pants on, fellow creators, it’s time to answer a reader question:

I’ve got a question I was wondering if maybe you could pose them to your readers sometime.

What do you do when you get bored?

You’ve been chasing your goals for a while now, doing the work, visualizing them, working every day on your projects, etc.

For example, if your work is an online business, well then you’ve been blogging away every day, putting up new posts and articles, answering e-mails, reading other sites similar to yours, coaching clients, etc., doing all of these things every day. And things are going well, you’re advancing (even if at a turtle’s pace!), you’re optimistic about the outcomes.

But one day comes, and you’re just SO BORED with your work! You know you won’t be bored forever. But you’re just sick and tired of looking at your computer every day, and sitting in your office while the sun shines outside. But you’ve got 1000 e-mails to answer, and you didn’t get your daily blog post up today, and you haven’t scheduled any holidays (ie. no one is expecting you to take time off so your readers and clients are expecting you to COME IN), you’ve got appointments you’re supposed to keep, and…….. well 100 million things that you’re supposed to do and people (ie. your beloved clients and readers) are expecting from you.

So what do you do when you feel this way? Not depressed, or pessimistic. Just bored and tired of the same old routine. You’d just love to be able to turn off your computer for a week, and not go into your home office for a week. But you’ve got obligations that you just have to fulfil, seeing as you are the only one running your business.

I’d love to hear some perspectives on this. I’m sure everyone must feel this way sometime. Especially now that the summer is slipping away, and nothing seems more enticing than a sudden, unplanned holiday out in the countryside – but you’ve got all those clients waiting for you, and all those appointments to keep!

I’ve posted this question in its entirety so we don’t miss anything.

And with that I’m turning this one over to you, wise ones. Big thanks to our lovely reader for the question and to you guys for your insights and support!

  • August 30, 2012
  • Tamara says:

    I LOVE your answer, Christina! I am also a writer yet have had little time for writing lately between my job as a Pain Coach and running a support group of 350 people. Using your idea of switching things up gives me a new way to look at my days/time and maybe even get back to that novel in rough draft and begin revising it. Thank you! 🙂

  • Christina says:

    Hi, anonymous.
    So many great answers here.
    I write, have a part-time transcription business, a day job, and a family. I can tell you how I don’t get bored.
    I switch up my projects. I write the rough draft all the way through, then put it aside while I work on something else. I work on fiction, non-fiction, blog posts. Through August I worked on marketing and started research on a new project. Now with a new month I’m ready to dive into my rough draft for the next book and work on the editing. The only deadline I have is self-imposed, and I want to make it, but if I don’t it’s okay. When writing, I do have a daily word count of 1000 words. That can take me an hour. When editing, I like to edit for about 2 hours. That’s in an entire day. If I feel like writing more, I do. If not, I don’t.
    I also understand the feeling of limited time. Are you under pressure to get the project finished due to money? Even if you need the money, in the future try not to take on a project if it requires more hours than you can comfortably complete. Set up a planned work time. I think working half days is great! And I think you are showing your thankfulness for being able to work for yourself when working your half days. You’re saying, thank you that I have these projects that give me joy. And thank you that I have a wonderful family that gives me joy, and I’m able to be with them and arrange my work however it best suits me and my family.
    All artists – writers, dancers, painters, etc. – will tell you that just because something works for THEM doesn’t mean it will work for you. If a writer can pound out 4,000 words a day, great. That’s their process. You need to find your process for your project.
    If the project is starting to drag and get boring, this is another trick I did while working at my part-time transcription business. I would work on one file and get 15 audio minutes done. Then I would go to a completely different file – new client, new topic – and do 15 audio minutes. I would also work for 45 minutes then take 15 minutes away from the computer. Develop your own little tricks to help you get through tasks that have become boring and repetitive. The tasks will get done and you’ll know a break is coming soon.
    When all else fails, take a day off. I had yesterday off from my day job. You would think I would be excited about an entire day to be home and write. Nope. I spent the day reading, watching TV, and we did a test drive in a truck we’re thinking of buying. We spent the time acting “as if” if were ours and we were heading down the highway on an adventure. Even though it ended up raining all afternoon and evening, it was an absolutely perfect day. I’m refreshed and ready to start a new project.

  • Rexo says:

    The wheel is only out of balance if you feel it is. Maybe you feel you’re ‘here’ but sometimes really want to be ‘there’. Perhaps you’re focusing on a need for friends, family or social life but immersing yourself in work as a substitute. However, you can have both by accepting, allowing and enjoying the moment and letting life unfold.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello again, I’m Anonymous Questioner here! Those are all such really good suggestions and advice. I think that what is wrong with me is that: a) like some of you mentioned, since I am doing what I LOVE to do, I felt like it was wrong of me to feel bored sometimes, so I “censured” these sorts of feelings and judged them to be “bad”, which, of course doesn’t solve the problem. I found it really helped to just stop resisting feeling bored and to think that it’s okay to feel bored sometimes even when you are doing what you love to do.
    b) I have a life that is really out of balance, but I didn’t realize it! Someone just passed me a Wheel of Life thingie saying that for your life to be really well and for you to feel good, the wheel should be in balance, if there is one or more areas that are really low and others that are really high, then your “wheel” won’t roll, of course, then your life will not run smoothly, and my wheel is REALLY out of balance, I have N-O friends, a social life of zilch, I’m not dating and I have no family (this last one totally beyond my control, I mean, everyone is born into the family that they are born into and some people just have lots of cousins and brothers and sisters and all that, and some people just don’t), and then of course there are some other areas that are also pretty low as well.
    c) I have been feeling quite a bit of pressure to get this project finished before a deadline, and deadlines, well it’s not that they NEVER feel good, because they do have their uses, but sometimes it can get stressful to have a deadline too, it’s a case of where it’s worth it to have a deadline because of what I get in exchange, you know?
    Anyways, so I have decided to go out for a walk every day, that REALLY helps (someone up there said that no one works 24/7 and that was what I was doing, because I since I FINALLY was able to get rid of the J-O-B I felt like I was supposed to demonstrate my appreciation to the universe by working very very hard on the project, as well as taking advantage of the fact that I no longer had a J-O-B to get in the way!). I’ve also decided to rest one day a week and not work out that day, that really makes a difference too. And finally I’ve decided to dedicate a small amount of time (it doesn’t have to be daily) to other hobbies and recreation that I don’t do for a living, nor want to do for a living, but that I enjoy too, like photography and cooking.
    And of course to trying to get the wheel a little bit more balanced. I need some friends!!

  • JG. says:

    I am ‘anonymous’, on September 1.
    One more thing I’d like to add: Sometimes feeling good attracts unexpected happenings. One must be open to allow them. But sometimes this is one big source of resistance.

  • Anonymous says:

    Reading the question and some of the answers, I could’t help but to think about Jeannette’s constant reminder: focus on feeling goood. The rest follows.
    Is it possible that the reader is focused -and so attracting- on precisely that which bores her sooo much? I mean, maybe at some point it seemed exciting, but evidently it is not anymore….

  • Sophie says:

    My technique for dropping point of views that don’t work for you is a tool of Access Consciousness™. You bring up the point of view. Like “I have to practice every day if I want to be a good dancer” as an example. Then you say: wherever I bought this lie as true am I willing to uncreate and destroy it all? Then use the Access clearing statement. You can find the whole clearing statement here: http://www.accessconsciousness.com/content60.asp
    The thing is, that may not be the point of view that you need to undo though. There may be something else underneath it. That’s why you want to either take an Access class or have a session with a facilitator. Yes, I am a facilitator, you can click on my name for my website and you can also go to: http://www.AccessConsciousness.com for more information.
    How does it get any easier than this?

  • Monica says:

    From an LOA perspective, it seems to me that the question you are asking is how can I be bored if I am living my dream? It’s because you have moved vibrationally to a new place, and now you have new desires to catch up with again. You have a new dream, and boredom is your indication that you haven’t lined up with it yet.
    And we all know, you’re not going to catch up with hard work. You catch up by letting go.

  • Natalie says:

    Anonymous, Even professional athletes, musicians, dancers… take ‘days off’. On these ‘days off’ they do a LITTLE each day so they don’t lose their progress. They might practice for 1/2 hour instead of 10-12 hours on those days. It is a well known fact that no matter what love to do, you need occasional breaks. Muscles need time to rebuild after every strain. It seems to me that those who don’t take breaks have an obsessive/compulsive problem.
    The resistance you’re feeling might be because a bit of adjustment is needed. I think there are a lot of great ideas in these comments. Take some of them and enjoy your family.

  • Tamara says:

    I hear so many “should’s” in the question. I had a therapist once that gave me a button saying “Don’t Should on Yourself.” I have never forgotten that and when I am deep in the should’s and having no fun, I always remember that saying.
    First and foremost, I would think being kind to yourself would be helpful. If we whip ourselves like spent horses and aren’t finding any joy in our lives or our work, then can there be true creativity? I find that I need breathing room to be creative. If you are able to walk away and give yourself the break you deserve, the creativity might flow much more readily and therefore the break could increase your productivity. We all need and deserve joy in our lives on a regular basis.

  • Sophie says:

    I meant be a new person 🙂 Funny, because a goal is actually a prison 🙂

  • Sophie says:

    What Stephen said, a million times. Don’t go buy someone else’s point of view. Stop defining yourself. Be a new prison every day and see what your being wants to do (not your mind).
    I have a great technique for dropping any point of view that no longer works for you (works in seconds). Hit me up if it’s of any interest to you 🙂
    You and your body have amazing capacities you have not even started considering because you are playing in this reality. What if you were one of these artists that extended this reality and showed the world what we are truly capable of?
    Thank you for the inspiration my friend 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello, I’m Anonymous Questioner again. Stephen, I like your take on this, although I won’t deny that I’m a great believer of discipline. For example, I don’t think anyone would have won an Olympic medal without discipline and daily work-outs, even if it was only working out in their heads with visualization. Sophie, I’d LOVE to hear your technique for changing points of view. Do you think you could publish it here? I bet a lot of people on here would love to read it too! Thank you everyone!

  • I wondered if that was autocorrect in action, Sophie. hee hee
    PS – will you share a link where people can track you down for dropping old perspectives?

  • Stephen says:

    Hi Anonymous,
    In your comments above I noticed a lot of “supposed to’s” about being an artist (athlete, musician, etc.). “…when you are doing what you love, you’re not supposed to be bored ever.”
    “…But you know the advice that they give artists: you should work on your art every single day, rain or shine, inspiration or no inspiration…”
    “…if you’re a dancer, a musician or an athlete, you can’t take even a week off, or you will lose all your progress, because those are muscles that need to be toned every day.”
    These are all beliefs that you make true only because you believe them. I am a musician and a writer and these statements do not reflect my reality. I write when I feel like it. I play my guitar when I feel like it. I am not a big fan of discipline when it comes to being an artist. Discipline means forcing myself to do something I don’t feel like doing.
    When I do that I am no longer an artist, I am a technician.
    I have often found that if I take time off from playing music, when I resume I am often able to play things I was struggling with before the time off.
    Perhaps examining your beliefs about your art (and your perceived proficiency at it) will be helpful. You are an artist, and to me that means that you are compelled by inside impulses to create beauty in your chosen media. You will always return to your art, no matter how long you stay away.

  • Eva says:

    Hi, just thought I’d throw out one more thought now that I know you’re an artist. From what I’ve read/watched on great artists they really seemed to paint when they were super passionate about the subject i.e. hay stacks, water lilies… Otherwise they went on benders, womanized, drank, smoked, chopped off an ear and basically wreaked havoc and always came back to the art. I was very close to an artist friend that would put on a boat shirt and smoke pricey Gauloises cigarettes to channel Picasso. Painting late into the night, getting super angry when it didn’t look they way he wanted it to. The art made him nuts but that’s all he wanted to do, it was his oxygen and when it just got too much he would go off and run for miles or read or worse…. then come back to it. The point is stepping away and reconnecting brings the life back into you and therefore back into your art. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Go out and do what you are inspired to do. When you’ll come back you will have a new energy, new ideas and new fun with your project. You have to relax and have fun with your kids. Imerse yourself in those relaxing moments in the nature and be present when playing and being with your kids. Playing with kids is so rejuvenating….I think you have some limiting beliefs around your new J-O-B 🙂 I rather work in sinhronity with impulses of new energy and inspiration – I see I do much more “work” done in shorter time when I follow inspiration compared to when I am trying to force myself to sit and write/paint. If here would be a funtion to bold text, I would bold: RELAX and find time to RELAX.. all the best

  • Alice says:

    Grab your laptop or notebook and go outside! Post your blog from the park – get some air sweety. Rearrange your office get some new energy in there. Make it fun again!

  • Susan Grace McDiarmid says:

    I’ve totally been there. Bored with the same routine, knowing it’s my own business and I’m the only one to run it. I recognize it as my inner voice telling me something is up and needs to be looked at and adjusted. I would question your “shoulds” about all you think you need to be doing. I’d also look at what part of your routine is working and what isn’t. Maybe you need to rotate what you do and when you do it on different days. And do take a break. Even for a little while. Sometimes just taking a 30 minute walk with my dogs gets my butt away from the computer and I have such energy when I get back that I’m super efficient and things are flowing again. Good Luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi it’s me Anonymous Questioner again, sorry to be hawking up so much space on this article. Just wanted to comment that I think you are so right on, Eva. Since I work at home I just feel sooo isolated. I don’t think I’ve seen a single person outside of my family all summer long! Instead of going out with my friends I have been sending them text messages, because I was too busy working on my projects to go out.

  • Anonymous says:

    Rexo, you have got a great idea too! I have been spending all summer long cooped up in my house 24/7 working very hard on my projects and only taking time out to cook for my kids. I thought I was making up for lost time that way because since I used to have a J-O-B and it ate up all my time, when I finally got free of that J-O-B all I wanted to do was rush out and work on my projects. I also love photography (as a hobby), and I think I will do just that, and spend a couple of hours every day either strolling outside and taking photographs, or putting those photographs up into the blog which I have pretty much abandoned since I started working on the J-O-B!

  • Eva says:

    The beauty of having your own business means you can do it from anywhere. Take a road trip, blog from Starbucks using headphones, blog/answer emails from a park, take calls in the car at a rest stop from the back seat. Then go see your friends in between. One problem with working your own business from home, is it can be too isolating. When I get bored or bummed, I just take it all outside and the ideas and enthusiasm starts following again. I’m sure some of those appointments can be moved around and some clients can wait….

  • Rexo says:

    Bored? Change the feeling by going out and doing something you love. No one on the planet works 24 hours a day so schedule in a couple of hours of happiness. Personally, I make sure I allocate a couple of hours of each day to take photographs and make up the time later that day. Or should I ever feel guilty I’d start a couple of hours earlier so it feels like a reward. By doing that, not only do I get fresh air but also develop a skill I use in my business.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi it’s me again, the one who asked the question. Oh that’s such a good idea, Savannah, that I hadn’t thought of. Yes, I’m sure I’m resisting the feeling of being bored, because, well, when you are doing what you love, you’re not supposed to be bored ever, are you? So you think there must be something wrong with you (or your choice of activity) if you feel bored.
    For the moment I’ve decided to stay at home and take half-day vacations all next week and go sightseeing around places we can go to in one day. Then I will come back every day and work out, so I won’t lose the practice of working out, but still be able to get away. But I wonder how all you other writers/artists/dancers/musicians/athletes out there handle your vacations and not working out?
    I think what I meant with the original question was, how do you deal with boredom in this NEW paradigm, this paradigm of only doing what FEELS good? In the traditional way, the way it has always been done, if you were a dancer, an athlete, etc., you always worked out no matter what. You worked out regardless of if you felt down, or bored, or tired, or pessimistic. If you wanted to achieve your goals you always worked out every day, and how you felt didn’t matter. You didn’t only work out when you “felt like it” or when it “felt good” to work out.
    How many Olympic athletes would have won their medals if they only worked out when it “felt good”? I’m sure lots of them have had to drag themselves to the gym or the swimming pool even when it definitely did NOT “feel good”.
    I mean of course, you still want to achieve your goals, or you wouldn’t be doing this activity to begin with. But sometimes, there are just “those days” when you just don’t feel like dragging yourself to the gym, or the dance floor, or wherever it is that you work out. Sometimes your family is clamouring for your attention too (especially if you’re a single mom too).
    So how do you reconcile these two ways of thinking?

  • To me, boredom = resistance. Because if I’m doing something while in the flow there is no possible way I can be bored. I’m thinking that there are a ton of “shoulds” at work in the day to day operation of this person’s business, i.e., “I should blog everyday – that’s how you have a successful online business” or “I should read the blogs of people who have successful online businesses in this space” or “I should be coaching clients”, etc. The answer is: only if it’s what moves the dial, baby. I could sweat blood post daily and still not have one reader. I could coach one client a day and still not make my mortgage payment. I could read all the blogs in the entire world, and not be happy. My prescription for the writer is – examine all those shoulds and see if following them makes you happier or less happy, and note that boredom may be an indicator that your inner guidance is resisting the cookie cutter approach “everyone” says is the way to do it.

  • Savannah says:

    Triple post – my deepest apologies: I may have gone too literal. I’m having a very literal day today. We can schedule some awesome Pisces magical realism convo for next week, if needed.

  • Savannah says:

    Oh! Also! Go read the post about accepting your feelings! Making peace with your boredom might help. Maybe you’re focused on the negativity of being bored and that’s what is holding you back from feeling anything else?

  • Savannah says:

    I keep getting the feeling that the writer HAS to do this. No, seriously, they are the ONLY person that can do it. Is that right though? Do YOU have to do this? Do YOU have to be absolutely present in every moment of this? Can you get one of those internet-based administrative assistants? Does everything have to have your fingers in it, or can you organize your 1K emails into groups and write some lovely form emails and send them off?
    There just seems to be some resistance to doing anything other than this, that you’re bored with. I know that I have been there. Have you ever tried reading a school textbook while hating every moment of it? It takes a lifetime. But no, I “couldn’t” (wouldn’t) take a break because I HAD TO DO IT.
    Now I just try to relax into whatever I am doing. I change the environment. I take a breaking to watch the neighborhood hummingbird . I accept moments where I can’t control everything – and moments where maybe I shouldn’t control everything. I take a break from things that I used to love doing but is now giving me “oh god this is a chore” vibes.
    If you can’t take a break now – absolutely, literally cannot – then schedule a time you can, even just a little bit of time. For me? A soak in a float/isolation tank feels like a week long vacation. The first time I tried it, I had this moment of realization where nothing was wrong and then my brain shut off. It was the first time I had been free from anxiety for years.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. Okay I’m the one who asked Jeannetter the question. Anyways, I was just giving an example, it’s not what I actually do (meaning I don’t have an online business, in fact I don’t have a business at all). I’m working on an artistic project and I’m bored with it. But you know the advice that they give artists: you should work on your art every single day, rain or shine, inspiration or no inspiration, because it’s the stubborn beating away at the drum every single day that will lead to inspiration. If you’re a writer you should write someting every single day even if you have no ideas, if you’re an artist you should paint something, if you’re a dancer or a musician you should practise and do your exercises every single day, etc. For example, a dancer who stops dancing for even half a week, by the time they get back they are SO STIFF, and it will take them WEEKS to get back into the shape they were in before they took off. I love doing the artistic work that I do, it’s just that I WISH I could take a week off or something. But like I said, if you’re a dancer, a musician or an athlete, you can’t take even a week off, or you will lose all your progress, because those are muscles that need to be toned every day. If you’re a writer, you’re supposed to write every day or you will lose… well you will lose something, anyways. But I’m not only “a person with an artistic work in progress”, I’m also a mother, and it’s the end of summer, and I’ve been cooped up in the house all summer long working on this artistic project, and school starts in a week, and I really want to take off for a week and just have fun with the kids before they have to go back to the grind. But you know, you’re supposed to hone and refine your art every day, or you will lose your progress, etc. Doing artistic work isn’t like doing other work, that you can leave it for a week and come back and it will still be there. Like I said, if you’re a dancer or an athlete, by the time you get back you’ll be SOOO out of shape! Even when you are not inspired you must still work out. And of course, if I take a week off, I can promise you that I will not work out! And then there is also the problem of deadlines, of having to have a certain work ready by a certain date. Well, sorry for such a long post. Those are all really great suggestions and I will try and put some of them into practice. By the way, if anyone out there happens to be a dancer or a musician or a writer or an athlete, I’d love to hear your take on this. How do you stay in shape if you go on vacation? (Or do you not go on vacation at all, but just keep pushing onwards with your workouts even though you feel like you are in a rut, and wait to see if it passes?) Like I said, I love what I do and I don’t want to give it up, I just want to have a vacation with my kids!

  • marina says:

    first thought that came into my mind..hire someone to help you out! Also, your clients and business will still be there if you take week of to have fun!

  • Sophie says:

    If you are bored, you don’t have enough going on. Delegate the 1000 emails and blog posts to someone who can do it well and won’t be bored with it and go do something fun!
    What is fun for you? What do you want to create in your business next? Have you asked your business what is required now?
    If you are bored, you are not playing big enough. What else is possible?

  • rochellemariah says:

    Oooooh. I love this question. And excellent comments all. When I hit boredom, I find it’s usually because i’ve veered off course a little. Like Jeannette said- what are you visualizing? Was there a time in your visualizations that were thinking- gosh, i wish i had a thousand emails to answer, gosh i wish i was that “in demand.” Chances are thats just still what you’re visualizing, and your source has moved onto something better- just waiting for you for in the vortex to stop vibrating “emails, i love emails, business, business, business.”
    Think something new. What do/did want this business to bring you? Whatever you’re vibrating right now, its not vacations, and free time.Its not adventure.
    Maybe just put out some new vibes, maybe ones that say… somewhere in these emails is a free trip to australia. Thats fun:) And oddly feels like it might bring a little excitement to tasks you apparently think you need to be doing.

  • Carolyn says:

    So what do you want? If you genuinely think on this and really feel it I have found from experience that not only do I feel better. ut the thing I do want comes like magic! My two cents worth

  • Caroline says:

    Bored? Turn off your computer, go play hide-n-seek with imaginary friends, take a dance class, go for a long drive, hug a tree, toss breadcrumbs for pigeons then chase them away, swing on a swing, go for a jog in stilettos! Anything! Nobody wants to read blog posts from someone who is bored, nobody wants to buy something from an uninspired someone, probably no one wants to even have dinner with you! Hire a VA if you’re important or let the people wait for their products or services (unless you’re a 911 dispatcher), and go have fun! The cure for boredom is fun. The cure for anything is fun. I know, I’m the authority on fun. Please for the love of god, tap into your inner kid…all your problems will be solved as if with a magic wand!

  • MissyB says:

    For me I find interest in the boring. I dig deep and try to do the best job I can. Seeing how many emails I can clear in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea. Games to ease the mundane. At least that way I can leave work feeling I’ve done the best job I can despite it being the less than exciting 9-5 I do. I also remind myself of the perks of the jobs.

  • That’s a good point, Gena! Get a big picture view of things again and plug back into guidance!
    I also love your reminder that this will change soon. We can always count on change, right?
    Thanks for chiming in, my friend. 🙂

  • Gena says:

    This is tricky and I completely understand that feeling! I think you have to step away from the computer just for an afternoon maybe and reassess the situation totally,by that I mean start at the beginning and ask yourself what do you really want? what element of your work is causing the boredom,how can you change that? if you cant change it is there any way you can bring something new to it? make some new goals,write them down and plan steps to achieve them,then let go,return to your work and accept this period of boredom as a temporary stage,knowing you are going to experience change soon 🙂

  • Love you, Stephen. 🙂
    Yesterday I was reading an article about happiness, and the “multiple ways to win” tip came to mind for this question. As well as having outside interests, so there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the day.
    I am also thinking that it’s worth plugging into the passion of what you’re doing, so you’re not just focused on results, but able to enjoy the whole process. And if you’re doing too much “process” (emails, posts, etc.) so it’s not that enjoyable any more, that’s a sure sign to walk away from the computer! I think ANYTHING overdone can be a challenge to enjoy, so variety is a good way to keep the vibe up.

  • Stephen says:

    When I feel something about “the world,” it always means I’m feeling that about myself. Thus, if I’m feeling bored, I look to see what about me is boring right now. I cannot change what has already manifested. I can change myself and create something new.

  • First thing I want to know is what’s the goal? Seems like it might be something related to the online business, but it’s worth clarifying, I think. What are you visualizing?

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