Is work tedious? Is the fact that Facebook hasn’t been blocked by your work the only thing urging you to come back after Diwali? You might have “rust out” if you can confirm the yes answers to these questions.
Rust out is the opposite of burnout in terms of boredom, as the name implies. Instead of putting in long hours and burning out from stress, you do a job that is unfulfilling and doesn’t challenge you, which makes you lose interest and become indifferent.
A third of Indian workers, according to recent research by occupational psychologist Dr. Sandi Mann, find their occupations monotonous. Even worse, Mann thinks that boredom may be more harmful than excessive employment.
The reasons for rust out read like a laundry list of issues with today’s workplaces: the de-skilling of formerly complicated positions, a lack of empowerment, an excessive amount of paperwork, endless meetings, monotonous chores, etc. Although it can afflict everyone, two groups are particularly heavily hit.
First, there are middle managers whose careers have come to a grinding halt; second, there are younger employees who, in earlier, more hierarchical times, would have been promoted but are now stuck in lower-level positions.
After a relaxed vacation, do you have to get back to work? Does it seem tiresome to stick to the routine after a casual Sunday holiday? Do you keep staring at the mobile phone waiting for the time to pass from 9:30 to 9:35? Here is your answer as to why are you feeling so tired and lazy;
This condition where you feel tired or bored or zoned out after a weekend or a vacation is known as a rust-out!
In today’s world, human bodies tend to work according to the artificial clock and not the body’s physiological clock. The hours of sleeping and the hours of staying awake have also been changed. Similarly, our food-eating habits and digestion ca[abilities have changed.
And to cope with this competitive lifestyle we tend to avoid and keep away our health, and hence, once in a while, you can have the feeling of rust out!
As our body responds to dehydration which is a lack of supply of water to the body, in the same way, due to lack of rest or inadequate stimulation our brains may face temporary rust out.
Human brains are in continuous need of brain stimulation that can keep their brain cells active and their body functioning harmoniously but when all these factors are absent and you are at the last stage you tend to give yourself rest this will ultimately lead to a phase of, “rust out”
PHYSIOLOGY OF RUST OUT
The brain has numerous pathways to experience the feelings like anger, sadness, grief, excitement, and fear. Due to the disturbance of the brain reward system or the mesolimbic system, there is the occurrence of rust-out syndrome.
The brain regions that control the physiological and cognitive processing of reward are collectively referred to as the mesolimbic system or the reward system. The brain naturally correlates certain stimuli (substances, situations, events, or activities) with a favorable or desirable outcome throughout the rewarding process.
An individual’s behavior is altered as a result, which eventually prompts them to look for that specific favorable stimulus. The coordinated release of many neurotransmitters is necessary for reward. However, dopamine occupies a major place among the brain chemicals linked to reward.
Dopamine is a key mediator of the rewarding effects of food, drink, sex, social interaction, and drug misuse.
The so-called mesolimbic system, which is made up of projections from midbrain dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the striatum, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and many other limbic system regions, is the dopaminergic route that is primarily involved in reward.
The dopaminergic mesolimbic system is activated when rewarding stimuli are perceived, which results in the release of dopamine to the desired nuclei. The nucleus accumbens and the ventral striatum is important reward-related substrates.
The dorsal striatum regulates habitual behavior in addition to being a key player in the action selection and initiation phases of decision-making. It also appears to mediate feedback qualities like valiance and amplitude. As a result, the dorsal and ventral areas work together to mediate reward.
HOW TO HANDLE A RUST OUT?
CHANGE YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORT
Going to work will be a difficult effort if your daily commute is long, exhausting, and stressful. Just consider how motivated you will be to complete your chores if you are already annoyed and worn out before you get to work.
Change the way you commute and how you begin and end your day. Look for brand-new detours where traffic is not a problem. Use the tube if you can, or even bike to work.
To change things up and escape the routine, you might also choose a route with interesting sights to explore.
RE-DESIGN YOUR WORK CUBICLE
Change the environment in which you operate. You can request that your manager provide you with a new workstation or cubicle. Or you and a fellow employee could likely switch desks.
A new environment at work will give you a new perspective on the activities at hand. Change the way the items are set up on your desk if that isn’t possible.
When you’re bored and uninspired, doing tiny things like hanging a photograph of a loved one or getting a small potted plant will help you relax.
KEEP CHALLENGING YOURSELF
Work will get quite monotonous if standards are not set and you are not challenging yourself. It would be better if you made an effort towards something, whether it be personal growth or professional advancement.
Consider additional areas in your life that use improvement, and make plans to address them. Work will become enjoyable and the monotony will go if you are working towards a goal or target.
Additionally, engaging in intriguing activities each day will inspire you and change the way you view your work.
PACK YOUR BAGS AND GO ON A VACATION
Every day of the week, do you find yourself at work bored, and nothing seems to make it better? So perhaps it’s time for you and your friends and family to go on a vacation.
A relaxing getaway will revitalize your life and relieve all working stress. And when you return to work, you’ll be ready to finish your chores quickly.
PAIR UP WITH OTHERS
If you are required to work by yourself at your desk without the assistance of a team, boredom at work may result. Working on difficult projects by yourself may be very boring and frustrating.
In such circumstances, request that your manager place you on a team where everyone’s task is shared. This fosters a collaborative environment that encourages participation and creativity.
You might look for chances to collaborate with other teams and departments. This will enable you to learn new skills from others and contribute your knowledge as required.
WORK TOWARDS YOUR EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT
You can be quick to attribute your ennui at work to your job, but this may not be the case.
Perhaps you are more prone to getting bored because you lack social awareness, social skills, or emotional intelligence.
Improve your emotional quotient by taking action. Take up self-awareness or positivism, for instance. You’ll be more inspired and self-assured, and you won’t lose interest in your work.
REVAMP YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Environmental aesthetics have a significant impact on how well our brains work. Our mood might be impacted by our surroundings’ physical features.
Therefore, if you frequently get bored at work, consider changing the aesthetics of the space. To evoke sensations of energy and vitality, use vibrant colors like yellow, orange, green, or red throughout your workstation.
What can be done, then? Businesses must acknowledge rust and discuss it. They should make sure people are employed in positions that match their skills and create an environment that fosters creative tension, or a healthy amount of stress.
Inform your manager, consider taking on new duties, be clear about your goals, and change your habits if your work is making you feel unmotivated. Find new employment if yours is essentially outdated. The worst thing you can do, maybe, is nothing. He who rusts, as the proverb goes in German, is one who rests.