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We all know that feeling of being in a work rut. The Sunday Scaries seem to be amplified by 10 times their normal dread levels. You feel a noticeable lack of motivation and productivity. And, really, you just don’t seem to care all that much about your work anymore. Don’t worry! This is a normal feeling that plenty of people experience every day. If you’re experiencing these feelings only once in a while, there probably isn’t much to worry about. We all have off days. But, if this feeling is dragging out for days, weeks or even months, there may be a bigger issue at hand. You can try using some of these tips to figure out the cause of the problem and implement strategies like taking breaks with a diamond painting project or switching up your office scenery to get you back on track.
1. Determine the Root of the Problem
There is always a deeper reason behind a workplace rut. If you’re just having an off day once in a while, this might be because you didn’t get enough sleep, haven’t exercised enough or went a little too hard over the week. But, if your feelings are dragging on for days, there must be a larger issue at hand. Sometimes, we don’t even know the cause of our workplace rut, which is why you should take some time to figure it out. For some, the reason is obvious. Maybe you’re just bored with the job and don’t feel the same level of satisfaction, or maybe you feel underappreciated. Whatever the reason is, you need to figure it out so that you can more accurately address the situation at hand. Knowing the problem helps to come up with a meaningful solution.
2. Plan an Outing with Co-Workers
Getting a group of co-workers together is a great way to get out of the office and have some fun while also building stronger relationships with the people around you. If you think that your workplace rut is a result of overworking, it might do you some good to spend a few hours doing something else. But, when you hang around with co-workers, the topic of work inevitably comes up. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. You may want to talk with your colleagues about your rut and see if others are feeling a similar way. Some of your co-workers may have great advice on beating the rut or approaching your manager about an issue.
Additionally, creating friendship between co-workers is greatly beneficial to your job because it can help strengthen your ability to communicate with others in the office and form a stronger bond of trust. Having a few office buddies is also helpful for the times when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You have someone to vent to or ask for a little extra help if you’re behind on a project.
3. Adjust Your Routine
One reason that you might be experiencing a rut is that your routine has gotten old—or it wasn’t right for you in the first place. Of course, the entire point of a routine is to get your body and mind used to doing something at the same time every day. Routines help us to generate feelings of productivity, which will spill over into workplace productivity, and they give us a sense of structure that we can rely on–particularly during times of uncertainty. Having a specific routine can also reduce feelings of stress. However, when your routine has gone stale, you’re not reaping the benefits of a routine. Maybe your routine needs a little sprucing up. Or, maybe your routine was never that beneficial in the first place.
Consider how you go about getting ready for work in the morning and find ways that you can improve on your routine to make yourself feel more ready for the day. If you have time, exercising before work is actually a great way to get your endorphins flowing and promote feelings of accomplishment and productivity before hitting the office. You should also try to integrate healthy eating into your daily routine. Even if you’re satisfied with your morning routine, it may be your nighttime habits that are getting you down. Get to bed at a normal hour each night and avoid looking at any screens for the last 30 to 60 minutes before you go to bed to get optimal levels of sleep.
4. Discuss Your Career Goals and work
Maybe the reason behind your rut is a lack of direction. You’ve been working for the same company for a while and you don’t feel like you’re making any progress to move up the ladder. These feelings are completely valid, and it’s important to address them with a supervisor or manager before you fall deeper into your rut. Ask your boss to sit down for a meeting and discuss your career goals and your future with the company. You may be surprised to learn that your boss has been thinking of promoting you or maybe was completely unaware that you were interested in other positions. Communication is key, so express yourself in a professional manner and you may find a new sense of accomplishment in your career.
5. Give Yourself a Break from work
Breaks are one of the most important ways to prevent workplace fatigue. Many of us are guilty of working straight through lunch in an attempt to just “get it all done.” But, you’re actually harming yourself more than helping when you do this. Our brains get tired of looking or working on the same thing for long periods of time. In fact, not taking breaks causes a lack of focus and a decrease in productivity. Make it a point to cut yourself off from working at a certain time and go take a short walk or sit outside and eat lunch. Just 30 minutes away from your projects will help to clear your mind and refuel your focus. During your break, you can also try activities like diamond painting, a mosaic-like craft created from faceted beads. Crafts are a great way to distract the mind and reduce feelings of stress.