It’s 10:00am already, and so far you’ve had three coffees, written an email to your aunt, commented on three Facebook memes and looked for a new skirt on Trade Me for Saturday night. Which reminds you to text your friend about Saturday’s location and time, and...
We all have times in our day, week, career, or life, when motivation lapses – after all, we’re human. Maintaining motivation is important in making sure your life and career don't suffer long term, but how do you keep it going when you're finding it hard to pull yourself from the procrastination black hole?
Don’t dream it’s over
This may be a good time to take your mind off Instagram and on to a new journey – one of self-discovery. Take time to have a think about what motivates and inspires you from a work perspective. Can you find this in your current role?
Find your old CV and read over what you’ve achieved, and what your ultimate goal was. Are you there now? Revisiting your career dreams may put you back on track and drive you to pick up where you left off. Or, do you need to come up with new goals that are more relevant to where you are now?
Make your boredom work for you
This may be a good time to ask your boss for a new and exciting challenge. Don’t drag yourself into their office and announce that you’re bored, but present some compelling reasons why you’re ready for the next step in your career within your current workplace.
A new project, increased responsibilities, a leadership course, professional development opportunities or even shadowing another person in their job could be just the ticket to the productivity train.
Attack the elephant in the room
If your unmotivated state is hinged entirely on starting a difficult piece of work, then the only way forward is to just... start. Forget about quality, and forget about the end result, just take little bites of the project each day and before you know it, you’re on a roll again. Anything but staring at that blank screen is progress.
Ask for help
Instead of hiding your social media scrolling from your workmates, consider asking someone at work to mentor you.
Besides the welcome opportunity to confess your procrastinating sins, you can ask a mentor what they could do to help you back on the road of motivation and productivity. They may offer solutions such as goal setting and strategies for the project you are stuck on, and a wider look at career development options or ideas.
Together write a list of what you need to have done by the end of the day or week, and then request that they hold you accountable. You could even instigate a reward chart for yourself – just don’t spend the next four hours making it look pretty with coloured gel pens.
There’s a reason people take holidays – maybe it’s time you took yours. Walking away for a little while might just be the refresher you need and save time in the long run. Come back with a clear head and new energy.
Change it up
Do you work alone in an office or at home, or are you surrounded by the distraction of many noisy workmates? Is your work space as uninspired as you? Perhaps the answer to your workplace discomfort is to change what’s not working and aim for inspiring new surroundings.
Can you move somewhere else in your office, work from home one day a week, take yourself to a cafe or rent a hot desk in a shared workspace? Or, would a new plant and a bright picture liven up your mind as much as it would your surrounds?
Out with the old, in with the new
Feel like you’ve tried absolutely everything? Maybe it’s not you.
If you really are dragging yourself to work each day without a glint of inspiration or drive, it’s probably time you found something new. Start considering what that might be and – who knows – the job hunt itself might reignite that dormant career spark.