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DTMark

Being bored

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I get bored quite easily.

Computer programming, at least, what I do, is relatively routine. OK, now and again, something genuinely new comes along and you learn a new skill or a new product. But most days are rather similar. Necessarily so since I'm self-employed and the way to turn over money is to sell the same thing again and again, not spend hundreds of hours on bespoke code. I imagine that many jobs are like this with some notable exceptions such as policing.

I'll start the day by looking at The Telegraph and the Guardian and a few other forums. Then I'll draw up my to do list for the day and get started.

By about 10:00 it's time for a second coffee and a second look usually at the Guardian to see if something has developed. I might start to look further down the page if there's nothing new.

By the end of the day I've scrolled right to the bottom of the home page and even skim-read the bits about how purple women shouldn't be labelled as victims, how it's racist to criticise people for wearing jeans and why Tolstoy is set to make a comeback in theatre.

This adds nothing to the sum of my knowledge. It is an entirely fruitless activity and yet it seems to be a compulsion.

Does anyone else do this..

 

 

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I cannot sleep. I will ponder your post.

I have come to the conclusion that life is not about work and doing the things that most people do. I feel more and more detached from everything around me but as if everyone else is doing the wrong thing. I am very aware of my own mortality.

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That detachment is probably not a good thing. I sometimes slip into a detached state of mind that can last months, and only seem to realise when I snap out of it all off a sudden. It seems to happen when I get stuck in a rut of doing the same things day in, day out. Maybe it's time for a holiday. A change of location usually gives a bit of perspective.

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8 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I cannot sleep. I will ponder your post.

I have come to the conclusion that life is not about work and doing the things that most people do. I feel more and more detached from everything around me but as if everyone else is doing the wrong thing. I am very aware of my own mortality.

Same here, since my father passed last year.

It's fair to say that I'm one of those people, who, in a "meeting", will already have decided that there is only one sensible, logical course of action within the first 30 seconds and stare upwards in disbelief when said meeting goes on for an hour rambling on at tangents. "FFS".

4 minutes ago, SpectrumFX said:

That detachment is probably not a good thing. I sometimes slip into a detached state of mind that can last months, and only seem to realise when I snap out of it all off a sudden. It seems to happen when I get stuck in a rut of doing the same things day in, day out. Maybe it's time for a holiday. A change of location usually gives a bit of perspective.

You're both "bang on the money", as they say.

This particular state is usually the start of a period of depression which lasts for months.

There is no cause that I am aware of. I am not "stressed". It's just how I'm wired up, have always been like this. The main cause is probably boredom. Though the last "episode" was about two years ago which is quite a long gap.

Learning Italian has proven to be an enjoyable hobby. It's like learning a secret code since I can finally work out what most of the words to the songs I listen to, actually mean.

I can't see it actually being of very much practical use (though a holiday is in order and I'd love to babble away in Italian with some restauranteur) but then that comes to another thing - using my time well.

Is it a good use of my time? Should I try to finish "A Tale of Two Cities"? Which brings more value?

Ah, questions of "value". Must be getting older :)

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Sorry about your dad. The loss of our parents changes us conisderably but I think a lot of people do not realise it. Well, not at the time anyhow. I think our subconcious minds pick up on such things long before we are conciously aware of it.

Being grounded is one of my problems as my mind has always been racing away on half a dozen things at the same time. I do mindfulness meditation, which helps, but I have been lazy this year and have not done much if any. It is just the way some people are - they think a lot. Perhaps too much. They say that stupidity has stopped many a man from going insane.

I would not waste yout time on the book. Watch the film with Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn.

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27 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Same here, since my father passed last year.

It's fair to say that I'm one of those people, who, in a "meeting", will already have decided that there is only one sensible, logical course of action within the first 30 seconds and stare upwards in disbelief when said meeting goes on for an hour rambling on at tangents. "FFS".

You're both "bang on the money", as they say.

This particular state is usually the start of a period of depression which lasts for months.

There is no cause that I am aware of. I am not "stressed". It's just how I'm wired up, have always been like this. The main cause is probably boredom. Though the last "episode" was about two years ago which is quite a long gap.

Learning Italian has proven to be an enjoyable hobby. It's like learning a secret code since I can finally work out what most of the words to the songs I listen to, actually mean.

I can't see it actually being of very much practical use (though a holiday is in order and I'd love to babble away in Italian with some restauranteur) but then that comes to another thing - using my time well.

Is it a good use of my time? Should I try to finish "A Tale of Two Cities"? Which brings more value?

Ah, questions of "value". Must be getting older :)

Learning a language is great, because it's a worthwhile endless task. Another one (and one that I'm further along with) is learning a musical instrument. 

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14 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Sorry about your dad. The loss of our parents changes us conisderably but I think a lot of people do not realise it. Well, not at the time anyhow. I think our subconcious minds pick up on such things long before we are conciously aware of it.

Being grounded is one of my problems as my mind has always been racing away on half a dozen things at the same time. I do mindfulness meditation, which helps, but I have been lazy this year and have not done much if any. It is just the way some people are - they think a lot. Perhaps too much. They say that stupidity has stopped many a man from going insane.

I would not waste yout time on the book. Watch the film with Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn.

Thanks. I think the loss is a "slow burner", as it were.

I've got back into the meditation. I did have the beginnings of a second out-of-body experience the other day but it faded. I hope to have one of those again.

I shall watch the film.

I do have the audiobook read by the brilliant Martin Jarvis, but it's something like 30 hours long.

I might have been able to put that time into it once, but - and I wonder if this has to do with sitting in front of a computer all day long, there's some evidence to support this - I just can't settle for that long even if spread out into 30 sessions.

 

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1 minute ago, SpectrumFX said:

Learning a language is great, because it's a worthwhile endless task. Another one (and one that I'm further along with) is learning a musical instrument. 

May I probe.. feel free to say no.

Which one, and why?

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15 minutes ago, DTMark said:

May I probe.. feel free to say no.

Which one, and why?

Language or instrument?

I've been learning to play guitar since I was 16. The why is easy. How anybody can ever see a video of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar and not be overwhelmed by an immediate need to rush out and buy a Fender Stratocaster baffles me. I honestly don't understand why everybody else doesn't want to do it. 

The language was more thought out. I looked into the "brain training" thing, when there was a fad for it a while back, and discovered that the only brain training activity with any actual evidence of effectiveness was language learning. It's supposed to improve executive function, which should lead to better decision making. I've always been bad at languages, so I picked French because at least I'd done a little bit at school. I've been enjoying it immensely.

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13 minutes ago, SpectrumFX said:

Language or instrument?

I've been learning to play guitar since I was 16. The why is easy. How anybody can ever see a video of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar and not be overwhelmed by an immediate need to rush out and buy a Fender Stratocaster baffles me. I honestly don't understand why everybody else doesn't want to do it. 

The language was more thought out. I looked into the "brain training" thing, when there was a fad for it a while back, and discovered that the only brain training activity with any actual evidence of effectiveness was language learning. It's supposed to improve executive function, which should lead to better decision making. I've always been bad at languages, so I picked French because at least I'd done a little bit at school. I've been enjoying it immensely.

I've had a crash course in guitars.. have always been into electronica (probably evident) but I have a video to watch on the subject. I embarked on a mission to discover new stuff with significant tireless help from someone on here and it has been very rewarding.

J'etude le francais a l'ecole. Mais mon francais n'est pas tres bien. Je prefere l'Italie.

Something like that.. I didn't Google it, so it's probably not quite right..

Perhaps: watch "Spiral" (detective series co-produced with the BBC). All in French, sub-titled. And yet despite not having studied it since school most of it stuck and I could get much of it without reading the sub-titles. I was surprised at how quickly it all came back to me. Decent series too.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spiral-Complete-1-4-Caroline-Proust/dp/B007EAFUIG/

I've been watching Inspector Montalbano (Italian) - superb series. I want to learn it as "phonetically" as I can, so if I ever speak it, it sounds at least faintly convincing.

Back to guitars..

 

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2 hours ago, DTMark said:

I get bored quite easily.

Computer programming, at least, what I do, is relatively routine. OK, now and again, something genuinely new comes along and you learn a new skill or a new product. But most days are rather similar. Necessarily so since I'm self-employed and the way to turn over money is to sell the same thing again and again, not spend hundreds of hours on bespoke code. I imagine that many jobs are like this with some notable exceptions such as policing.

I'll start the day by looking at The Telegraph and the Guardian and a few other forums. Then I'll draw up my to do list for the day and get started.

By about 10:00 it's time for a second coffee and a second look usually at the Guardian to see if something has developed. I might start to look further down the page if there's nothing new.

By the end of the day I've scrolled right to the bottom of the home page and even skim-read the bits about how purple women shouldn't be labelled as victims, how it's racist to criticise people for wearing jeans and why Tolstoy is set to make a comeback in theatre.

This adds nothing to the sum of my knowledge. It is an entirely fruitless activity and yet it seems to be a compulsion.

Does anyone else do this..

 

 

This might be useful:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/work-salary/news/bored-at-work-this-personality-test-could-tell-you-what-you-ough/

I did the quiz and turned out to be Investigative, Social, Artistic - which rang true for me. The only parts of my job where I experience real flow are those which tap into these areas. If I'm honest though, the job isn't intellectually challenging or playing to my investigative nature enough - and I have to battle to find artistic opportunities. 

Personally, I would suggest you pick up your book. The more time I spent on the computer - especially on social sites such as this one, the more distracted my mind gets and the more down I feel. 

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Going back to the OP I think you are making a mistake in not "allowing" yourself to be bored Mark; you are filling every available minute with a further distraction, pulling in new and trivial information incessantly as a greedy child in possession of a big bag of sweets is reaching for the next one before the current one is finished.

Actual boredom or letting your mind drift is essential in order to preserve your sense of self. You can get it from long walks or bike rides or from just sitting quietly for an hour with no distractions bar the sun dappling the carpet (or yesterday, the rain on the window!).

I have been in homes where the radio is always on, sometimes intrusively loudly, such that you wonder how people can think and then you get it: it's so that they don't. I also turn it on as a dulling anaesthetic but only when faced with chores I'm not fond of so it prevents my dwelling upon my dislike of the chores.

I resist taking up hobbies which would fill my already overworked memory with yet more information so language learning is out; the guitar however may finally leave its case again this winter as that is about trained manual skill rather than memory and works another part of the brain.

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You read the Guardian twice every day and you find you are easily bored ?

There could be a link !

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I'm in exactly the same situation as you Mark. I work in IT which at it's core I love, but the problem of course is 90% dealing with the client and 10% actually coding, even then it's mind numbing trivial stuff rather than something engaging. On the odd occasion I do get to do something challenging I really enjoy it and realise what a lucky position I'm in that I have a job that pays well and is ultimately my hobby. 

When I'm outside of work there are just too many electronic distractions.  To be fair my girlfriend and I do have a very active social life, we go out to the theatre regularly, visit places and so on, but that really only leads to having very little down time, most of it for me is spent in front of the xbox. 

I recently purchased a caravan to use as a base when I'm off doing archery competitions, however having used it on a few test runs I have found that the lack of distractions to be very liberating. Was away this weekend and it was great to just be outside in the fresh air with nothing to do, contemplating the world. 

I work in central London but there is a caravan site at Crystal Palace, I have decided to book in there for 2 weeks in January for some much needed head space, I will be able to get to work from there easily (it's actually only about 3 miles from where I live). Not sure my girlfriend is too keen (we live together) and she has decided not to join me, which is fair enough. Depending on how that goes it might become a regular thing. 

Not totally sure what I'll be doing with my time in there but certainly won't have access to too much in the way of technology. 

Obviously not suggesting getting a caravan but I do think that what might be needed, and I'm hoping it's the case with me, is a change of routine. 

The problem for me is that I don't dislike the way I currently live, I just think that it's not really doing me a lot of good.

 

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7 hours ago, DTMark said:

It's fair to say that I'm one of those people, who, in a "meeting", will already have decided that there is only one sensible, logical course of action within the first 30 seconds and stare upwards in disbelief when said meeting goes on for an hour rambling on at tangents. "FFS".

I was like that at school, I'd pick up a new concept being taught in seconds and gaze into space as my peers asked daft questions, only to find that an hour later things had progressed to a point where I was lost. Same with work meetings, although I eventually learned that brainstorming sometimes came up with solutions that I hadn't thought of.

I had a colleague who would always ask me to read contracts first, I'd skim read it in minutes and pick up 90% of the points which we could act on immediately, he would then spend hours reading it slowly, line by line, and glean the other 10%.

As for boredom, I thought from the thread title that my wife had joined the forum. Whereas I can happily "do nothing" for hours, the better half needs constant mental stimulation and cannot tolerate more than thirty seconds of silence.

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4 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

As for boredom, I thought from the thread title that my wife had joined the forum. Whereas I can happily "do nothing" for hours, the better half needs constant mental stimulation and cannot tolerate more than thirty seconds of silence.

I worked as a field archaeologist for a while. The pay was terrible but the sheer pleasure of spending hours quietly teasing out the information from the soil, cleaning a section profile, or recording it with a detailed drawing whilst being out in the open air was tremendous.

There was a request by some diggers to have a radio set up to blast out a commercial station; they were hugely outvoted.

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I have not been bored for a long time but I do remember getting bored some Saturday afternoons years ago when all that was on TV was sport.....Sundays when not a lot to do, or friends unavailable.

Now different, far too many interesting books to read, things to make, cooking, visiting, walking.....must remember to plant the spring bulbs, something bright to look forward to. ;)

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I seem to have the opposite attitude to most Brits, I can't really get bored with freetime but paid work bores the socks off me. Guess i always had that attitude to life, hated school, loved school holidays.

''Can't retire wouldn't know what to do''....a real puzzler of an expression for me.

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1 minute ago, crashmonitor said:

I seem to have the opposite attitude to most Brits, I can't really get bored with freetime but paid work bores the socks off me. Guess i always had that attitude to life, hated school, loved school holidays.

''Can't retire wouldn't know what to do''....a real puzzler of an expression for me.

For me, work was a means to an end and that end was retirement. Wild horse couldn't drag me back to work and I actually quite enjoyed it as I ran my own business.

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4 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

I seem to have the opposite attitude to most Brits, I can't really get bored with freetime but paid work bores the socks off me. Guess i always had that attitude to life, hated school, loved school holidays.

''Can't retire wouldn't know what to do''....a real puzzler of an expression for me.

Quite.....but more than that, they not only think they would be unable to fill all the free extra hours made available to them, they might think they would no longer have a life that had value, fulfillment or is of importance....maybe there are lots of things they would like to do but the fear is that the budget will not be there to do them.....or that they fear they may have to go back to working for money doing something different for less recognition, money and benefits.....some people love a life with a regular work routine dictated by others..... retirement is time wasted and boring. ;)

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I do similar, and waste more time, at work (surprised I've got away with it for so long to be honest). But without any external pressure to be somewhere doing something I very rarely get bored.

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22 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

I seem to have the opposite attitude to most Brits, I can't really get bored with freetime but paid work bores the socks off me. Guess i always had that attitude to life, hated school, loved school holidays.

''Can't retire wouldn't know what to do''....a real puzzler of an expression for me.

I'm exactly the same, as my post above probably suggests. However I'm not entirely sure that 100% free time would be all that great either, some demands on my time help me appreciate the rest (although the balance could be shifted quite a bit from what I've got now), and I think most people want to feel that they're being useful (another fault of the modern world where a lot of jobs are too disconnected and / or faceless and impersonal so no feel of really contributing towards the place you live in).

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