Using Boredom

I’ve been reading blogs for the last two hours. I opened my google reader for the first time in at least four days and had a lot to catch up on; I also (probably) oversubscribe. When I found myself not retaining any information and not reading anything new I finally closed myself out of it, even if my google reader isn’t back down to zero. Similar to what I’ve mentioned before, what’s the point of taking in all this information if its not doing you any good?

Sometimes I get in these funks, usually when I’m bored. I’m not sure if they are entirely my doing, but I do accept some of the fault for allowing them to last entire afternoons.  I have been wrestling with myself back and forth over the bored v. overly busy line for months now and I’m still trying to find some balance. I believe I’m on the road towards it, but then there are days like these. Days when I’m at work and I’ve completed all the tasks for the day and while I know I have other things I could do, I also realize I have four more days this week, so I need to spread it out. So then I’m chained to a desk four more hours than I need to be.

Before I continue–I’m not one of those break-out-of-the-cubicle people, at least not at this point in my life. I enjoy my job for the most part, there are good and bad days, but I am still learning a lot from my current position and the things that I get to do interest me.

Sometimes, I just get bored. So I catch up on all work e-mail possible, I read all the news articles and silly things that get sent around, I offer to proofread things that are not even in my department, but mostly I just read blogs on-line and hope for the day to end faster. Well today, I’m at my limit.

What worries me about this pattern, especially at work, is that I’m not challenging myself to create something new. I’m not using whatever free time I have at work to further my career.  Why stop at the minimum? If I don’t like to accept it in my personal life, then why here? So I need to check off my to do list over time to avoid a day of boredom? That’s fine, why don’t I create some new work for myself? I write speeches and draft op-eds for my boss and our organization has a new blog, why don’t I write for it?

This question has been in the back of my mind since it was launched in…oh…January. I’ve been meaning to write something (they only ask for 300 words!); I’ve been wanting to. Why haven’t I?

The same reason why it has taken me over a year to commit to a blog and why it is still like pulling teeth to make sure I post something interesting and thought-out at least once a week:  I’m scared.

I’m scared to fall flat on my ass. Even though I am employed as a writer (of sorts), I struggle to write publicly. I struggle to find unique ideas that I “approve” of.  There is this hollow shell of me that drains my spirit and blurts out any negative response just to prove my fears right or cement my feet in place so there’s no going forward.

I’ve managed to work on defeating that black marauder (just watched the movie Sylvia, mixed reaction, but that’s another story) within my personal life by starting this blog and taking a ballet class (first one tonight!).  Now I need to apply this to my work life as well.

Laziness and fear are no longer allowed to be excuses in my personal OR work life. Now,  I’m not about to set out to erase these feelings from my body, just to follow through on my interests and not use them as an excuse to give up or not try.

I’m off to look for a work blog topic—How do you keep your sanity and further your career in those stretches of nothingness that occur from time-to-time at work?