It’s not uncommon to lose motivation to keep on churning out the goods at work. For me, it doesn’t matter how busy I am, I have my days when I am absolutely unmotivated to do anything. I know I have deadlines and I see the phone ringing and emails pinging me for stuff, but there are times when I just want to push things back and sort of dwell in my unmotivated-ness. Feel me?
In my opinion, there are two groups of folks who experience a regular lack of motivation: (1) those that may enjoy their job, but believe there is something better out there for them, and (2) those that may truly be content with their job, but experience the slump anyways. I’ve experienced both and either way it’s usually the same feeling and results in the same thing (i.e. inability to churn out the goods).
Here are things that I do for getting over the slump at work:
1. Recognize that what you are experiencing is a slump so that you can start tackling the slump head-on.
2. Group your deliverables into different categories. I group mine into 2 large chunks: (1) deliverables related to specific projects usually with a firm deadline; (2) projects that are higher level and impact your group/organization/business and not necessarily tied to a particular project. When I hit a slump, I change up my priorities. I’ll shift my focus from the first chunk of stuff to the second.
3. Try and get your hard deadlines pushed back. I know, I know… not cool, but I do it anyway if possible. I would rather deliver something good, than something half assed. I schedule meetings to discuss the deliverable with the internal or external customer and reset the deadline at that meeting.
4. Surf the web for jobs and apply to one or two that you like. Even if you aren’t seriously looking, it helps. It’s almost like a mind trick. You know that there are other jobs out there that you are qualified for.
5. Let it out. It helps when you can talk about it with your co-workers. Luckily, I have a handful of people that I get along very well with at work and it does help to just complain about stuff over lunch. 9 times out of 10 they are going through the same thing as you and it helps. If you don’t want to share with your co-workers, then share with your friends/family. It does help to let it out.
6. Slightly related and not really to #5 is this… Find someone to compliment and lift you up. I think it helps when people tell you how awesome and amazing you are. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, there are times when I just need to hear how much of a rock star I am. I have my hubby and my sister who knows to do this and it helps.
7. Eat well and snack even better.
8. Force yourself to exercise… 30 minutes of running or elliptical or whatever that will make you sweat and keep your heart rate up for a sustained period of time. This is my least favorite and I have a subset of motivation tips just to do this one… but it does help get you out of the slump. I take baby steps. First, just get myself to the gym. I have to entice myself to get there by allowing myself buy a trashy magazine that I’d never buy. Second, persuade myself to do just 15 minutes and just focus on reading the magazine. Next thing you know, 15 minutes have already passed while I’ve been catching up on the latest gossip about some crazy celebrity. I cover up the time so that I’m not constantly looking at it and agree to stop once I’ve gone through the magazine… usually I end up working out for 30 minutes. I am not a fan of working out.
Hope this helps you get through your work slump! Please share your tips and advice too!