‘Mum, I’m bored!’ If I had a pound for every time I said that as a child I’d be minted. And they say boredom is a sign of a boring mind, well, maybe I’m just a bit of a sad sack.
Ignoring my juvenile cries for help and attention it turns out I wasn’t alone then and the monumental hours I spend watching repeats of It’s Always Sunny In Philapelphia when I’ve finished a hard day’s slog writing about adult boredom suggests I’m not alone being a boring grown up.
Because it turns out the average Brit spends five years of their life feeling BORED, according to a study.
A survey of 2,000 adults found we succumb to boredom twice a day on average – amounting to a daily total of two hours.
Doing the washing-up, de-mossing the patio and buying socks were identified as some of the dullest things in the UK.
Other mundane aspects of day-to-day life include taking the bins out, scrolling through the photos of food uploaded to social media and cricket.
Commissioned by the British Heart Foundation to encourage the public to make the most of their free-time by volunteering, the study found almost half of those polled think life is boring.
NEWSFLASH: Life is boring. It becomes a lot easier to manage once you accept this fact.
And despite having an average of around four hours of free time a day, 34 per cent admit they tend to ‘waste it’ by doing absolutely nothing or filling the time with tedious tasks.
Formula One, company meetings, and building flat pack furniture also leave Brits pining for more excitement.
(Except this Brit, I love Formula One and there’s nothing more satisfying than putting together something from a certain Swedish home store while it’s on.)
Cleaning the windows, the daily commute and tap water bore the pants off us too – as do being kept on hold, getting a haircut and queuing in the post office.
Linda Fenn, head of volunteering at the British Heart Foundation, said:
No one likes to be bored, so we’re encouraging the public to put those ‘empty’ hours to good use and join our volunteering team.
Volunteering is not only a great way to increase wellbeing and self-esteem but also meet new people and learn new skills.
Each year the British Heart Foundation funds over £100 million of research into all heart and circulatory diseases but we couldn’t do it without the amazing support of our volunteer network.
Every penny generated by volunteers helps to fund our vital research into heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes.
On a typical day, peak tedium occurs at 1.10pm – with this time officially the dullest point of the day, according those polled.
Although 23 per cent said they are most likely to be bored at work, a third reckon boredom usually hits when they are at home.
And a quarter believe life is more dull now than it was when they were a child – with 53 per cent fearing that life is passing them by.
Carried out through OnePoll.com, the survey found six in 10 wish they used their free time in a more fulfilling way.
And 47 per cent admit they often feel they have wasted their weekends – having done nothing noteworthy.
It also emerged around half think volunteering is or would be a rewarding use of their free time.
Three quarters of the population have volunteered at some point – and of those who have 75 per cent agreed it was time well spent.
Linda Fenn added:
Whatever time you can give as a volunteer to the BHF, will make a difference.
Whether it is an hour or two a week in a shop, sometime every month as part of a fundraising group, or cheering or stewarding at a local event once a year.
Even a quick post on social media during a lunchbreak can help spread the word!
Every hour given will help us to achieve our ultimate goal to beat heart break forever.
For more information about volunteering for the British Heart Foundation click here.
TOP 50 – MOST BORING THINGS:
1. Being kept on hold
2. Agonisingly slow wifi
3. The video adverts you can’t skip in front of a video you actually do want to watch
4. Junk mail
5. Waiting for a website to load
6. Queuing in the post office
7. Photos of food uploaded to social media
9. Hearing about Brexit
10. Formula One
13. Waiting for the last minute of the washing machine cycle to finish
14. Doing the washing up
15. Having to get to the airport two hours early
17. Having to go to the depot to collect a missed parcel
18. Cleaning windows
19. The sport of bowls
20. Rice cakes
21. Income Tax forms
22. Waiting for your partner to get ready
23. Company meetings
24. Trailing round the shops after your partner
25. Updating your CV
26. Taking the bins out
28. Your daily commute
29. De-mossing the patio
30. The music of Coldplay
31. The music of Radiohead
32. The music of Adele
33. Sending meter readings
34. Building flat pack furniture
35. Going to DIY shops
36. Sorting your recycling
37. Mowing the lawn
38. The week before payday
40. Getting a haircut
41. Going to the gym
42. Doing expense reports
43. Tap water
44. Trimming your fingernails
45. Applying for a mortgage
46. Buying socks
47. Having a bath
49. Going to the dry cleaners
I’ll have no bad words about Radiohead, I’ll argue until I’m blue in the face about Brexit and I love getting behind the wheel for a spin. So take that for what it’s worth.
Do love a trip to a charity shop though. So do your thing yeah.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.