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Boredom - Tips to help stay alert in security and life guard roles.


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Hi guys,

Do psychologists study methods to retain concentration and prevent boredom?

Specifically interested in what methods a lifeguard or security officer could use to help pay attention to what is going on around them.

Also, what field of psychology would study this?

Cheers.

Edited by Wannabelifeguard
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Are you a socially responsible person who genuinely cares about people? 

Why do you want to be a lifeguard? Does vainglorious glamour enter into the picture? Are you a body builder and if so then is it purposed toward being able to do your job as a lifeguard more effectively?

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Learn a new skill. When the coast guard sent me up to Alaska, I was bored out of my mind but I noticed there are many private pilots in Alaska. So, I learned how to fly and obtained my private pilot license. I once thought being on the ocean was the greatest thing but these days I find flying is even better. Plus, there is no covid at 15,000 feet up and away from everybody!

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5 hours ago, OceanBreeze said:

Learn a new skill. When the coast guard sent me up to Alaska, I was bored out of my mind but I noticed there are many private pilots in Alaska. So, I learned how to fly and obtained my private pilot license. I once thought being on the ocean was the greatest thing but these days I find flying is even better. Plus, there is no covid at 15,000 feet up and away from everybody!

I think he was asking about boredom for a lifeguard on duty Breeze. What you could do is take note that he hasn't responded to my answer to his specific question yet. That could be an indication that he's not really interested in pursuing the question any further.

However, from your POV, I guess the question can somehow be answered in a small part  by suggesting he make valuable use of his time when not on duty as a lifegueard?

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Posted (edited)
On 10/5/2020 at 6:27 AM, montgomery said:

Are you a socially responsible person who genuinely cares about people? 

Why do you want to be a lifeguard? Does vainglorious glamour enter into the picture? Are you a body builder and if so then is it purposed toward being able to do your job as a lifeguard more effectively?

Hadn't responded because I have been away from home recently.

I think your question confuses how you want the world to be with how it actually is. It is perfectly normal for lifeguards and security guards to experience boredom on the job. It is just like any job. 

Now to answer your question, I wanted to be a lifeguard in the past to improve my safety and confidence in the water (that is why my name said "wannabe lifeguard"). I never became a lifeguard and no longer want to be a lifeguard. I have developed my own water confidence separately. I also don't want to be a security guard - but do martial arts and know a lot of security guards that come to training. I also recall talking to a couple of security guards about 8 years ago and I remember them talking about the boredom.

However, your response is not relevant to my question. I am asking about techniques that security guards and lifeguards could use to help prevent boredom. I am not asking "Should I be a lifeguard?". This is a psychology forum, not a job advice forum.

I would prefer it if you answer my question or just don't bother to respond to my post.

Quote

Learn a new skill. When the coast guard sent me up to Alaska, I was bored out of my mind but I noticed there are many private pilots in Alaska. So, I learned how to fly and obtained my private pilot license. I once thought being on the ocean was the greatest thing but these days I find flying is even better. Plus, there is no covid at 15,000 feet up and away from everybody!

Thanks, but I was not asking because I am a bored lifeguard (I am not a lifeguard or security guard, and it is not something I plan to do in the future). I am asking about techniques that lifeguards and security guards could use to help them pay attention while on the job. For example, how would you keep a security guard focused on monitors for eight hours a day? It is not an easy thing to achieve. 

Even though your response was a little off point, I appreciate you taking my question seriously and contributing a meaningful response. Cheers.

Edited by Wannabelifeguard
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I just realized I missed the point of your question entirely and didn’t provide a good answer at all. I was thinking about being bored in general, rather than trying to avoid being bored and inattentive while performing a job that requires constant vigilance. Sorry for the poor answer.

Now that I understand what you were asking, I would recommend taking breaks at regular intervals (if there is someone to relieve you), and little tricks we learn while pulling guard duty such as moving around a bit even if it only involves stretching and standing instead of constant sitting. A security guard can go on a walking patrol of his area and this may be possible for a lifeguard as well. It is also necessary to come on the job well rested and hydrated to keep the mind sharp. Another little trick we used on guard duty was to munch on some crackers from our MREs (meals ready to eat). (They always put some crackers in there) The crunching sound can help keep you awake! Of course, it also helps to know there is a supervisor who may come along at any unannounced time to make an inspection which can have serious consequences if he finds you asleep.

Finally, there is also a technique where the person on duty constantly verbalizes, either silently or out loud, everything he is seeing in his field of view as he scans over that field. It may look strange to an onlooker but it is an effective way to stay focused.

As for the psychology involved in this, I come up with a blank there.

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On 10/6/2020 at 10:17 PM, Wannabelifeguard said:

Hadn't responded because I have been away from home recently.

I think your question confuses how you want the world to be with how it actually is. It is perfectly normal for lifeguards and security guards to experience boredom on the job. It is just like any job. 

Now to answer your question, I wanted to be a lifeguard in the past to improve my safety and confidence in the water (that is why my name said "wannabe lifeguard"). I never became a lifeguard and no longer want to be a lifeguard. I have developed my own water confidence separately. I also don't want to be a security guard - but do martial arts and know a lot of security guards that come to training. I also recall talking to a couple of security guards about 8 years ago and I remember them talking about the boredom.

However, your response is not relevant to my question. I am asking about techniques that security guards and lifeguards could use to help prevent boredom. I am not asking "Should I be a lifeguard?". This is a psychology forum, not a job advice forum.

I would prefer it if you answer my question or just don't bother to respond to my post.

Thanks, but I was not asking because I am a bored lifeguard (I am not a lifeguard or security guard, and it is not something I plan to do in the future). I am asking about techniques that lifeguards and security guards could use to help them pay attention while on the job. For example, how would you keep a security guard focused on monitors for eight hours a day? It is not an easy thing to achieve. 

Even though your response was a little off point, I appreciate you taking my question seriously and contributing a meaningful response. Cheers.

Your screen name is misleading and that leads me to wonder why you've kept it. No need to answer that. If you're still concerned with being bored then I would only try to lead the question to taking stock of the job you're doing and perhaps try to find something more challenging. I say that because I experienced the same issue at one time in my life myself. My best guess from personal experience is that there's really no technique that's going to solve your problem. You'll have to either have the courage to make the jump to something more challenging or be faced with the nagging idea that you're wasting your life.

Consider this: If you possess an IQ in excess of about 110, you're going to be in real trouble with a job driving a bus or flying an  airplane. Yes/no?

If that makes no sense to you then sorry I have nothing more I can add.

Edited by montgomery
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On 10/8/2020 at 12:46 AM, OceanBreeze said:

Finally, there is also a technique where the person on duty constantly verbalizes, either silently or out loud, everything he is seeing in his field of view as he scans over that field. It may look strange to an onlooker but it is an effective way to stay focused.

This is actually the technique that I was told about that lead me to begin this topic.

I was told that security guards do this and it increases their situational awareness. I went out and tried it myself and was blown away by how effective and easy it was. I was curious if there were any more similar techniques.

I did not mention it in my original question because I did not want people to assume I knew anything else and not mention anything.

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