How to Get Out of a Slump at Work
If you’ve ever been in a slump, you know it’s no fun. You’re unmotivated. You can’t make progress in anything you’re doing. Your performance is slipping. Little things are piling up, and you’re neglecting matters of importance.
When you’re in this situation, set a goal. Just one. Make it something simple that’s important to you, such as exercising for ten minutes each day for the next two weeks. If you want to, post your goal and maybe even commit to it publicly. By focusing on that goal, you’ll reach it. You can then build on it.
Still, if you don’t reach your goal (or don’t reach it when or in the way you had hoped), don’t be hard on yourself. Some things just take time, and whatever you’ve accomplished brings you that much closer to achieving your goal.
Other things might help in climbing out of that slump. Try to make one little change in your daily routine, such as changing the route you drive to work. Focus on the positives in your life. Get moving, whether it’s stretching, taking a walk, or playing hopscotch. And here’s one I like: Pretend to be motivated. By acting as if you’re motivated, you might actually generate some of the motivation that’s been lacking.
It can help to declutter your workspace. Whether you remove everything from your work area and start over or just clear the immediate space on your desk, the act of cleaning and organizing can be renewing.
You should also try to work on small tasks. And take a break now and then, or try a few mini-breaks and one or two longer breaks where you get away from your workspace.
In addition, cut back on commitments where you can. If you’ve taken on too much, learn to say no when people come to you. Strive to find some balance in your life. It can be helpful to think of the five key categories of a balanced life as work, physical, social, creativity/education, and relaxation. Try to incorporate a little of each category in your day every day.
Keep in mind that one of the most important things in emerging from a slump is patience. You need to be patient with yourself as you work your way out. When you emerge from the slump, give yourself credit. And if you’re of a mind to, reflect on what helped you emerge, so that if it happens again, the slog to get out will be a bit easier.