Last week I shared 10 ideas to help you get out of a funk in your life in general. The tips included several ways to change the environment in your personal life to lift your spirits. But what if your home life is fine, and your work life is leaving you with the blues?
Today’s tips are all about ways you can change things up at the office to help you get out of a funk at work. If your work days are filled with feelings of annoyance, drudgery, boredom, or a lack of fulfillment it could be an indication that it’s time to look for a new job. However, most of the time, it’s simply a sign that you need to change things up to re-spark your energy for your current job.
Remember your “Why”
Why do you work in the first place? Why did you choose the job you are currently doing? What is the best part about your current job? How does it make you feel to be successful in your current position? What are you hoping to achieve with your current job?
Think through and journal your responses to these questions to help you reconnect with your why behind your current career. Sometimes we get stuck in the day to day monotony and lose sight of the big picture of why we are doing what we’re doing. Take several minutes to take a step back and see the big picture to refocus your thoughts on the positives of your current career.
Get a change of scenery.
Most of the time we don’t have the luxury of completely changing the location of our office, but you can make small changes to your current work space to freshen things up. First things first, clean up your work space, get rid of the coffee mugs, the papers and clutter, take out the trash, and put everything in it’s place.
You might also want to do a little reorganizing and redecorating. Not necessarily a complete overhaul of your space, but could you shift some of your supplies around to be more efficient? Could you bring in a new family picture to inspire you during the day? Maybe grab a small bouquet of flowers to brighten up the corner of your desk this week.
If you have the flexibility in your position, you might want to talk with your supervisor about working in a completely different space once in a while. Ask if you can work from home one day a week, spend a few hours at a coffee shop, or maybe hold your next meeting outside or at a local restaurant just to change things up a bit. Often by working in a different space we can refresh our creativity, re-energize our focus, and avoid some typical office distractions which can all have a big impact on both the way we feel about our jobs and our productivity.
Clean up your digital space.
In our modern world our digital environment can be just as overwhelming, if not more, than our physical environment. Take a few minutes to take control of your email inbox. Delete every unimportant piece of junk email you have hanging around and breeze through a few of the emails that only require a quick response. It won’t get you to inbox zero, but it should shrink things down to be a little more manageable.
While you’re at it, organize the desktop and folders on your computer. If you randomly save things all over the place, take a few minutes to drag and drop your files into organized folders. Remove the visual chaos on your computer and cut down on the amount of searching through files you need to do throughout your day.
Create a schedule for your day.
There are only so many hours in your workday. And you only have so much energy and focus. When you start feeling “blah” it’s easy to float around from one task to another, working on whatever feels good for the moment, but completely ignoring the important items. This just sets you further and further behind and builds on your blah. Take a moment to create a schedule for the things you need to do for the day and then stick to your schedule whether you feel like it or not. If you’re feeling in a funk, you probably won’t want to do a lot of the things that need to get done. Make sure you have a plan to get them done anyways, and try to build in a little margin to reward yourself for sticking with your plan.
Take a break.
Depending on the level of your “funk” this break could range from a five minute walk around the building to clear your head to a week long vacation. Working hard and focusing is important, but we all need time to rest and rejuvenate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, and frustrated by every little thing, it might be time to step away from your work for a while. Take some time to do things you enjoy, get a little exercise, soak up some fresh air and sunshine, and then get back to work refreshed and ready to tackle your assignments. (This post on 101 ways to practice self-care can give you some ideas for what to do on your break.)
No matter how much we love our jobs, there will always be days when things aren’t as enjoyable as we would like. It’s easy to get stuck in these moments and worry that it will last forever. Usually with a few small changes these feelings will pass and we can get back to business as usual. The sooner you can reset and refresh tings, the easier and faster it will be to get out of a funk at work.