We’ve all been there – for me, it’s usually right after Christmas when the work depression hits although I’ve been know to have the summer (and autumn and spring..) work blues from time to time too. Sometimes, the solution is to change jobs if the underlying cause isn’t easily fixable but other times, it is just a phase that passes. Not being someone that enjoys feeling down, I’ve employed all kinds of methods to bring me out of a work funk in the past and surprisingly, I’ve actually found some that work! So I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks that I’ve learnt in my career that I wheel out whenever I’m feeling a bit unmotivated.
The Big Ones:
1. Gain some perspective.
An obvious one, but this is the first step. I’ll talk to others, read something about another culture, or just generally try to expand my mind. It can be so easy to get sucked into day-to-day trivialities (I may have been close to tears last week when my favourite blazer got ruined in the wash!) and to forget the stuff that matters.
2. Identify the problems and brainstorm solutions
If a long term funk, try and identify the problems and think or talk through possible solutions. Writing out a plan itself can do wonders for your state of mind.
Even if you work in the crappiest company, there is always something to learn (even if it’s what not to do!). Self-improvement is a great feeling.
4. Eat right to fuel yourself during the day.
Cut back on sugar and caffeine. It may sound counter-intuitive but it will have a big impact on your energy levels! I limit myself to one coffee a day and try to resist the office treats.
5. Get enough sleep.
My best days happen when I am well-rested. It’s not always possible but where you can, cut back on computer or TV time and get an hour’s extra sleep.
6. Revitalise your space.
Tidy your desk. Get a plant. Frame a photo. Breathing new life into your surroundings will help and might just revitalise you.
7. Start a new project or take initiative of an existing one.
Action feels good even if the thought of doing it doesn’t. Thinking a little less and just doing is sometimes exactly what you need.
8. Take breaks seriously (even if you feel like you don’t deserve one).
And I’m not talking the Daily Mail here! Go for a walk, try a new lunch place or even just sit in a coffee shop for half an hour. Physical space will help you gain mental space.
9. Dress for success.
Taking pride in your appearance will give you a confidence boost that may well trickle into your work. I’m also a big believer in dressing for the job you want, rather than the job you have 🙂
10. Remember that SO much in life is perspective and attitude.
Change your perspective, change your life. It really is as simple as that.
Not sure where to begin? Do anything. Seriously. Pick the easiest, quickest task and just do it. The feeling of completion is wonderful and will encourage you to tackle bigger, more complex tasks.
It’s also worth noting that how you do one thing is how you do everything, so you make sure you show up and try your hardest – you might be surprised by the knock-on effect it has in the rest of your life.
Let me know if you have any tips that you use to get out a work funk! I’d love to hear them 🙂