Boredom: when you have plenty of things to do, but you don’t want to do *any* of them.
I actually have two different levels of boredom. The first one happens when I run out of distractions. Sometimes those distractions are legitimate things that interrupt me, and I resent them. Most of the time they are the things that I set up to keep me from doing **work**.
Work is defined as any large project wherein there is a significant time lag between beginning and when I see any kind of measurable result. Reading is not work. Blogging is not work. Writing a book report is work.
The first level of boredom is relatively easy to deal with. I put myself in a place where creating new distractions is actually… work. Eventually, I run out of distractions and begin showing actual productivity. The second level of boredom is much more dangerous: At some point, particularly when I’m working on a large project when I begin to feel slightly discouraged because of the time lag between putting effort in and seeing measurable results. The typical response to this is to revert for a “short” period of time to doing something where I can get lots of progress with little work. Reading (even assigned reading) generally has this effect. So do video games. Sometimes blogging has that effect (thus), though not if I have something particularly complicated I’m trying to pound out. But when I’ve already removed most of my distractions, I can hit a spot when I have nothing to do but… work. And when every single project I’m working on is in the exact same slump… that’s boredom.
Of course, usually the biggest time for these kinds of slumps is right before a deadline. And next week is midterms.