Should boredom be boring? 工作 「悶壞了」 怎麼辦?

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你有沒有感到悶得發慌的時候?工作太辛苦會讓人身心俱疲,但專家指出,長期感到無聊也會危害健康,讓人產生倦怠感。本期 「隨身英語」 節目探討造成 「悶壞」 的因素和應對方法。

詞彙:boredom 厭煩

How bored are you? Having nothing to do, or doing the same task again and again, can certainly be demotivating. And if boredom persists, you can lose your lust for life, and it can even affect your mental health. But does being bored have to be boring?

A lack of stimulation can lead to boredom – this is when we start to yawn and our mind wanders. It can happen at home or at school, but it’s at work where some experts think being chronically bored can have damaging consequences. This situation has been termed 『boreout』 and is the opposite of 『burnout』. Writing for BBC Worklife, Bryan Lufkin says this happens 「when we are bored by our work to the point that we feel it is totally meaningless. Our job seems pointless, our tasks devoid of value.」 It can be caused by working in a demoralising physical environment or feeling under-challenged. Studies show depression from boreout can affect workers outside the office and lead to physical ailments from insomnia to headaches. But Bryan adds that 「being able to identify it in us, is critical for tackling it.」

When it becomes mind-numbing and extreme, some people joke about 『dying of boredom』. According to Luis Villazon, writing for the Science Focus website, boredom is just a state of mind which won’t kill you, though it can depress the immune system in some people. He says 「The greatest risk from boredom stems from the things you do to combat it. People who are easily bored are more likely to engage in dangerous sports […]」, for example. But some experts say boredom is a natural thing and it should be seen in a more positive light. If we see it as an opportunity, it could ignite our creativity. And if our boredom is at work, it could force us to engage with mentors, career counsellors or even our bosses. And Lotta Harju from EM Lyon Business School told the BBC, 「boreout can mark a transition into something else: a different career entirely, or a different role in the organisation. If people only take its cue.」

詞彙表

bored (感覺)無聊的
demotivating 失去積極性,令人洩氣
boredom 厭煩,無聊
lust for life 對生活的熱愛
boring 乏味的,無聊的
stimulation 刺激,激勵
yawn 打哈欠
wander 走神
chronically 長期地,慢性地
boreout 悶得發慌,極度無聊
burnout 勞累過度
meaningless 無意義的,沒有價值的
pointless 不值得做的,白搭的
demoralising 令人喪氣的
under-challenged 缺乏挑戰性
insomnia 失眠
mind-numbing 非常枯燥乏味的
dying of boredom 「無聊得要死」
state of mind 心境,心態
immune system 免疫系統
transition 過渡,轉變

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What two reasons are given that work might cause someone to develop boreout?

2. How can extreme boredom at work affect us outside the office?

3. True or false? People can die from extreme boredom.

4. How can boredom be good for us?

5. Who might we speak to if we become very bored at work?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. That lecture was so _______ I fell asleep!

boredom                       bored                        boring                        bore

2. I had a _______ journey to the shops – when I got there, they were closed.

pointless                       meaningless             chronically              mind-numbing

3. I have an _______ to work at one of the world’s leading banks – shall I take it?

transition                      opportunity                 insomnia                    demoralising

4. She shouldn’t be working in her _______.

state of mind                states of mind             mind of state              state of minds

5. She works at the hospital caring for _______ ill patients.

yawning                      chronically                   state of mind              stimulation

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What two reasons are given that work might cause someone to develop boreout?
We can develop boreout if our job seems meaningless or pointless.

2. How can extreme boredom at work affect us outside the office?
Studies show depression from boreout can affect workers outside the office, and lead to physical ailments from insomnia to headaches.

3. True or false? People can die from extreme boredom.
False. 『Dying of boredom’ is an expression that means you are very bored, but it doesn’t mean you actually die. However, it can affect your health.

4. How can boredom be good for us?
Some people think it can ignite our creativity, and at work it might force us into a different career or role in the organisation.

5. Who might we speak to if we become very bored at work?
If boredom is at work, it could force us to engage with mentors, career counsellors or even our boss.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. That lecture was so boring I fell asleep!

2. I had a pointless journey to the shops – when I got there, they were closed.

3. I have an opportunity to work at one of the world’s leading banks – shall I take it?

4. She shouldn’t be working in her state of mind.

5. She works at the hospital caring for chronically ill patients.