How To: Relieve Boredom at Work
It is a truth universally acknowledged that aspiring creative types tend not to be in possession of a good fortune. Income, if any, from artistic pursuits must be supplemented with minimum wages earned from mundane and tedious jobs in order to survive and buy the essentials of life: food, shelter, clothing, prosecco.
Painters, photographers, actors and writers often find themselves living double lives as waiters, gallery attendants, paper pushers or teachers, unable to fully let their creative juices flow.
Ian Rankin, before becoming a full-time novelist, worked as a pig-farmer, grape-picker and alcohol researcher (perhaps that one wasn’t so bad); Dan Brown earned his keep by working as an English and Spanish teacher, waking up at 4am to write first (and whatever one thinks of his work, the 80 million copies he has sold of The Da Vinci Code suggests it paid off). Madonna worked in Dunkin’ Donuts in New York and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm was a waiter while trying to crack Hollywood (he also designed sets for porn films).
Inevitably in jobs like these there are moments of mind-numbing boredom. Here are some ideas to get through them.
· If, like much of the population, you work in an office, staring at a computer screen, there is of course a whole world of boredom-alleviating enticement online - be it videos of monkeys riding backwards on pigs with catchy musical accompaniment or the addictive world of Pinterest. Here, however, are a couple of other suggestions that are sure to unleash the creative juices, or at least occupy you until lunchtime:
· http://gizoogle.net/ Google’s evil twin, this brilliantly hilarious website translates what you search into “gangsta speak.” Look up the news, your own blog or random Wikipedia pages. Hours of fun, fo shizzle.
http://www.picassohead.com/ An old favourite and one which is perhaps a little more legitimately creative. Find your inner Cubist and create your very own masterpiece or browse the gallery for artistic inspiration. Maybe delete your browsing history after.
· Hone your craft. A little more productive than the above, practicing your true calling in life whilst photocopying or making tea can lead to great things. Write a song or poem about what’s around you, perfect your vibrato on your way to the stationery cupboard or take a snap of an everyday object from an unusual angle with your phone.
Aspiring actor? Make like James Franco who, while working at McDonald’s, would try different accents when serving customers. Now he’s got an Oscar nod and was part of one of the highest-grossing movie franchises of all time. Not bad.
· The alphabet game. Simple but very effective, this boredom-reliever is much more fun with a colleague but can easily be played solo. Just go through the alphabet (taking turns if playing with others) and come up with an answer for each letter relating to a chosen category - fruit, cities, artists, singers or how about diseases?
Think outside the box, you’re an aspiring creative type after all.