Even if you love your job and your career, there are bound to be some weeks when it feels like the “same old, same old” routine, sometimes when you hit a plateau or a dip in the road. That doesn’t mean you need to change jobs or careers – or that you should resign yourself to feeling stagnant.
Here are six paths to renewal:
1. Variety: A routine can become a rut too easily. Even small changes add up to reignite your enthusiasm. Try working from a different place once a week. Hold meetings someplace new. Eat lunch with people in other departments. Find two routine tasks that you can complete in a different way.
2. Reinforcement: Very few of us get enough consistent feedback, praise, or appreciation. Provide motivating reinforcement and rewards yourself. For example, the “to do” list: Don’t cross things off your list. Write “DONE!” next to completed tasks and projects. Review at the end of every week so you get a better sense of how much you do.
3. New perspectives: Innovation and inspiration are often found when we look outside our own territory. Read widely; expose yourself to new ideas. Cross-train within your company and practice seeing the organization from others’ viewpoints.
4. New skills: Escape the feeling of being stuck by adding another tool to your skills toolbox. Expanding your skills provides a challenge and positions you to take on more interesting projects and roles.
5. Positivity: You can’t be motivated and enthusiastic unless your focus is positive from the inside out. Too often our negative thoughts outweigh our positive thoughts, particularly about our own actions and abilities. Practice positive self-talk. The environment you place yourself in matters as well: Avoid negative co-workers. Listening to the complaining and backbiting does you no good.
6. Pause: Years ago, Coca-Cola had as a slogan “The pause that refreshes.” Taking a break can indeed be invigorating. Maybe you need an hour away, maybe a day or a week. Just as sleeping on a problem can lead to a solution in the morning, time away recharges your battery and lets you see more clearly.
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