Feel like you’re running on empty? Find yourself in the middle of a project and your head’s not quite in it? Not just for an hour or two, but a few days? Look out! You’ve lost your work mojo!
Most of us can deal with short term discomfort or stress, but over time a lifestyle that drains, rather than revives us can start to have a significant negative impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. Sure ~ we all have our ups and downs with motivation. When you’re lacking it, your mind wanders. You might check your email or Facebook, do a little online shopping, have an extra snack, or just about anything but getting the job done.
It’s important to have mojo in your job, otherwise the little tasks end up seeming bigger than they are, and the goal you want to accomplish ends up feeling too far off.
So, Austin Powers aside, let’s go straight to finding out some ways to get yours back!
#1 Boredom: If your job has become monotonous (yawn!), it means your brain is in need of a decent workout. Exercising your brain is good for your mental health in general and learning new things about your job by putting your hand up to do something extra/different can boost engagement. Feeling like your brain is being stimulated is essential for future prospects and job goals, which is a key incentive for us to succeed. Learning is fun when you’re interested in it!
#2 Back to the Why’s: Research by Bailey and Madden reported in MIT Sloan Management Review shows ‘meaningfulness to be the most important aspect of work to employees, trumping pay, rewards, recognition, and promotion opportunities’. Go back and read your Position Description and remember why you took the job in the first place. Maybe you’ve forgotten your job’s true purpose and need to go back to basics to see why it matters to the organisation. It is proven through studies that people feel a sense of pride and achievement when they feel their work matters to others more than just to themselves. The meaning in every person’s work is there, even though it’s hard to see, they’re essential to making a great solution. Step back. See how you fit into the bigger picture. Ask for feedback to see the difference you’re making.
#3 Positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive people can also play a huge role in your attitude towards work. Having the right type of people around you when trying to achieve a challenging outcome can mean the difference between success and failure. Studies show that individuals who create a support system, are better able to weather the rollercoaster of motivation because they can call on their network when they feel they are losing steam. And also – notice your own internal voice. How are you talking to yourself? Is it kind or not so kind? Does that need a bit of a tweak?
#4 Role Models: If you can’t get this from people immediately around you, try finding someone you admire who could possibly be a role model. Otherwise, try mentoring other people yourself! If you’ve been in your industry for a while and have skills you could share with others, why not try helping those who could learn from your expertise? The gratitude you receive might even make you feel more appreciative for what you do, too.
In saying all of this, taking time out to have fun away from work can boost your work mojo. Try learning a new skill ~ anything novel that challenges you, such as a new language, planning a hiking adventure, axe throwing (yes this is a thing!), creating a short play for relatives at home, or visiting some of your city’s facilities such as a museum, the zoo or art gallery. And there’s nothing wrong with spoiling yourself to a little treat, such as a whole block of chocolate to yourself or a massage, so you feel less Walking Dead, and more like a Disney Prince/Princess!