It can be hard to be enthusiastic about your job after you’ve been at it for a while. Even if you once found the work exciting, it’s easy to get in a rut.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a new job. Sometimes a new perspective is enough. There are so many different things you can try to help make your old job feel a little more exciting.
One of the first steps toward shaking things up is to look at your routine. Do you really need to check email first thing in the morning? Is there a reason teams always meet at a certain time or with a specific frequency? Start by questioning assumptions about the way you’ve gotten used to doing things. Then, change it up a bit.
2. Goof off a little with some work pals.
It’s important to take your work seriously, but that doesn’t mean you have to take yourself too seriously. Goofing off at work, as long as things aren’t taken too far, can actually help to support your career. Happiness matters. And, it’s important to have fun at work — it boosts performance. So, allow yourself to have some laughs and some fun with friends at work from time to time. It could really help turn your mood around.
3. Set some goals.
Having goals that extend above and beyond your normal day-to-day routines can help you stay motivated. But, not all bosses are great at working with you to establish meaningful aims and benchmarks. So, take it upon yourself to pick some goals. Choose goals you can meet, but also ones that will require a bit of a push. Try setting some milestones connected to larger goals that you can celebrate along the way, too.
One surefire way to add a little novelty to your life is by making a commitment to learn something new every day. It doesn’t have to be something big, or something hard — you could just watch a TedTalk video about a topic that interests you, for example. It doesn’t even have to relate directly to your job. Just learning one new thing each day should help bring a little excitement to your routine.
5. Take a vacation.
Just because you feel bored at work, that doesn’t mean you aren’t also super busy and maybe even stressed. Routine tasks can be both monotonous and stressful. Maybe a vacation would do you some good. Stress and tension can build and impact mood. Maybe you’d feel less bored at work after having a bit of time to unwind.
6. Do something for someone else.
Helping others can be a real mood booster. Psychologists have dubbed this effect the “helper’s high.” It’s a real thing. Also, doing something kind for someone else leads to greater feelings of connectedness and strengthens relationships. So, if you’re feeling bored by your own to-do list, see if someone else might need a hand.
Feeling a sense of accomplishment can go a long way toward improving mood. Time goes by faster when you’re busy. So, be aware of everything you’re getting done each day at work. Check items off a list. Keep track of your successes. Staying busy and aware of all your progress could help combat the monotony.
8. Be intentional and reflective about your experience at work.
To fully appreciate an experience, you need to take time to process it. This can be difficult when work has become predictable and routine. So, you might have to get a little intentional about it. William Arruda, a Forbes contributor, suggests a Friday afternoon ritual he calls “the Feel-Good-Trifecta.”
“It’s an opportunity to reflect on the week and document three important elements: Something I accomplished, something I’m grateful for, and something I learned,” Arruda wrote. “I have a number of clients who have adopted this ritual, and they tell me that being deliberate about this helps them see each week as being a little different from the previous — making the same old grind feel like a new blend.”
9. Talk to someone about changing up your responsibilities.
You might feel more excited about your job if your duties and responsibilities shifted. Think about how you might like to adjust things, and then consider talking with your boss about making a switch. You don’t have to leave your job to change things up a little.
10. If all else fails, consider making a bigger change.
Sometimes, people just need a change. The average person will change jobs 12 times over the course of their career. If you’ve tried everything you can think of and you still aren’t feeling engaged at work, consider making a change. Life is too short to let it pass by while watching the clock on your office wall.
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