Do you ever feel like you can’t master any enthusiasm for work? We all have days like this, but what happens if they seem to go on and on, with no end in sight? A prolonged period of low motivation can pose a serious problem and noticeably affect your performance. The business arena is a competitive field, and you can’t really afford to fall behind. Proper motivation is the key to quality work.
Many people fall into a rut, lose their drive, and start feeling a general discontent. Sometimes, a raise can remedy the situation for a while. But, make no mistake about it, money is not the answer. It can placate you, but as soon as you get used to your new salary, lack of motivation might rear its ugly head again. Instead, you need to really face your loss of motivation, try to determine what caused it, and take the right steps to get it back. Here are some helpful tips on how to do just that.
1. Sweat it out
You would be amazed just what a profound transformation exercise can usher into our lives. Spending energy seems counterintuitive, when you’re already experiencing a shortage. However, time and time again, study after study, research has shown that working out actually boosts energy. Exercising stimulates the production of endorphins. These substances, similar to morphine, give you a natural high which can over time accumulate to a general feeling of physical and mental wellbeing. A regular workout has been shown to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and fight depression. Just what you need to find your lost motivation.
2. Take a break
Sometimes, the answer is simple: we just work ourselves too hard. When was the last time you allowed yourself to take a break? By that, we don’t mean that last holiday when you checked your phone every five minutes, and spent more time writing emails than enjoying yourself. Bringing work with you on holiday ruins the purpose. If you can, take a real vacation, or at least a few days off. Travel is believed to help you avoid depression and boost your quality of life in general. But no cheating! Use this time to really unplug. No matter what you think, your company probably won’t collapse while you’re away. And you just might come back fresher than you’ve been in ages.
3. Fake it ‘till you make it
Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? Well, you should. Even when you don’t feel like it, make a concerted effort. Look your best, plaster a smile on your face, and go for it. You might feel like you’re lying to yourself as well as everyone else, but after some time, you could be pleasantly surprised. Drill yourself into doing the work even when you don’t feel like it. If necessary, lower the standards temporarily. Push past the laziness, and just start. If you manage to stay off social media, we promise you will manage to get things done. However, be careful. This approach is excellent for shorter periods of motivational loss. But if you are aching for a true life change, this could only mask the problem and prolong the agony.
4. Have a long conversation with yourself
When you are facing a lack of motivation, it’s vital to really think back long and hard. How far back does this state stretch? Are you just having a few bad days? Maybe the change of weather caught you unawares. Maybe you’re mentally still on holiday. Give it time. However, if you notice that the low motivation is not a new situation, but instead something that has been bothering you for a long time, perhaps it’s time to have a sit-down with yourself. Create a list of things that make you happy about your job and those that make you miserable. Dig deep. What could really turn things around for you? Once you know, you can start working to get it.
5. Desperate times and desperate measures
Finally, it is possible you are feeling stuck because you actually are stuck. Do you slog through your day, while deep down you are dreaming about an entirely different career? Perhaps you work in accounting, but fantasize about writing a book? Maybe you’re an IT expert who’d rather be a chef? Maybe you’ve been stuck for so long, you can’t even remember who you are, and what you really want. If that’s the case, it’s time for some serious soul searching. Sometimes, a career change is the only viable solution. It’s a scary life change, but you don’t have to plunge into it. Explore the idea slowly and carefully. If it feels right, and gives you your fire back, perhaps it’s worth the risk.
The bottom line
Loss of motivation happens even to the best of us from time to time. If you find yourself in this boat, the only way out is to fight. The sooner you acknowledge the problem and start working on it, the sooner you can find your lost drive.