Whether you feel comfortable within an office or you are there simply to pay the bills, motivation in a routine that contains regular Monday to Friday hours can be difficult to come by. Monotony is an issue, even if you enjoy the career you are currently within. This perhaps becomes exemplified if you are a millennial fresh out of college and embarking into employment you may not necessarily be completely invested in.
Lack of enthusiasm may exist for any number of reasons, creating a taciturn atmosphere that makes coming into work each day mind-numbing. This may make you feel as though you are wasting your time and skills, that you are out of sync, or even depressed and anxious. There are ways to combat this, however, and to build a routine that keeps you driven but not distracted.
- Different tasks throughout each day. This does not necessarily mean multi-tasking but rather utilizing your efforts on one project at a time, rotating the various tasks. In this way, you are not focusing on one subject in a repetitive manner for a length of time that makes you feel bored, overly stressed, and uninterested. Multi-tasking can be a great skill to have but it can also be counter-productive.
- To-do lists and done lists. We all know about to-do lists, and while this keeps you on track, another thing you can do is focus on your completed tasks. Remind yourself at the end of each day what all you have finished, ensuring that not only are goals being met but you retain the feeling of accomplishment. This in turn helps you stay motivated when you return to work the following day.
- Reflection/meditation. This one may not be everyone’s cup of tea initially, but taking a moment for you is a big aid in clearing cluttered thoughts. Five minutes at most is all you truly need, and there are various types of meditations you could use. One of the easiest and most calming for me is to focus on my breathing. This helps to release the tension and regain concentration before returning to the task at hand.
- Breaks. Tying in with #3, breaks are essential to not becoming burned out in the workplace. I have been guilty of skipping a lunch because I was engrossed in a project, and by the end of the day, I felt miserable and exhausted. When this occurs, you become checked out mentally and resent your work. It is imperative to remember to take a break or even mini-breaks throughout the day – grab a coffee, walk around outside, read a book, or even meditate. You will notice a difference in how you feel when you return.
- Amp up your settings. If you are able, work from the conference room instead of your desk every now and then to change the environment and break up the monotony. Personalizing your workspace is another option that can provide a touch of home, keeping you in a happier mindset.
- Track your skills. Speak with your manager about the skills you would like to utilize more or perhaps work on. This in turn also creates goals you can work toward that are both internal and external.
Sometimes we cannot help the tedium of our offices, but there are ways to preserve inspiration if we choose to control our perception of the workplace as a starting point. Altering the way we handle pressure and stress as well as the manner in which we work can go a long way.