Everybody hits a point in their career where they start to feel the need for a refresh. But instead of letting yourself grow overly detached and uninterested in your work, it’s important to know how to deal when a rut hits. These four tips are the key to helping you get things back on track when a work rut has you starting to feel discouraged.
1. Take ownership.
A lot of times, a work rut happens when you start to feel like you’ve lost control of your career and your life because of work. But the smallest change in perception can be all you need to switch gears and put you back in a proper headset. For starters, work on taking more ownership of your role and tasks at work. This will help you feel more connected to everything that you have on your plate, and that will in turn translate into you taking more pride in everything you’re doing. You should also take the time to think back to why you began doing what you’re doing to begin with. Look for ways to re-connect with the motivations that inspired you to take on a role or a specific position, and that will help you approach your responsibilities with a renewed sense of passion.
2. Learn something new.
If the reason behind your rut is that you’re starting to feel bored, then why not look for new ways to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone? Have you always been interested in learning more about coding but never really felt like you had the time or energy to jump in? Look for a class. Think that some new Photoshop skills might help take your resume and marketable skill set to the next level? Find a workshop nearby. A lot of times, you’ll be able to find short-term classes or instructional sessions for free in your area. But even if the offerings you find require more of time and financial commitment, it might be worth it to dive in. Sometimes, all it takes is being excited about something new to help you feel refreshed in all areas of your life.
3. Change up your routine.
Again, if you’re feeling bored with your schedule and routine, that can be the main reason that you find yourself in a work rut to begin with. But breaking away from the boredom doesn’t necessarily have to require any major changes to your lifestyle. In fact, you can totally focus on implementing super small changes into your usual routine and reap the same benefits as you’d get from bigger changes. For example, you can try taking a different route to work in the morning to change up the scenery on your commute. Or maybe you want to try waking up a bit earlier and making time to meet up with a friend for coffee on a weekday morning before work. Small changes like these help you get out of a monotonous day-to-day schedule, which in turn helps you feel less uninspired all around.
4. Plan a mini vacation.
When it feels like nothing you try is going to pull you out of your work rut, it might just mean that you’re overworked and need to take a break. Removing yourself from everything, even if only for a short period of time, can be just the refresher you need to unwind and come back ready to dive back into everything head first. Have a look at your calendar and see what the best time for you to get away in the next few weeks might be. You don’t need to find a week that you can skip out on work for a full six or seven days, necessarily. Even just a short weekend trip away can be enough to give yourself a much-needed breather from the usual.