Most people have had jobs that didn’t excite or interest them. You might even be in a job right now that makes you feel completely unmotivated. However, for whatever reason, you need to stick with it. In that case, it’s important to learn how to stay motivated, even in less-than-perfect conditions.
Work is a huge part of our lives, so it’s important that we make it meaningful and aim it toward our passion and purpose. Even if you’re in a job that you don’t really like, it’s possible to find ways to keep improving.
Here are 10 ways to stay motivated at a job you don’t love.
1. Figure out Why You Aren’t Motivated
Do you know exactly why you are not motivated? This should be the first thing that you do. Figuring out why you aren’t motivated will give you insight into exactly what you don’t like about your job.
You may find that you like your job but don’t like working for your critical boss. Or perhaps your interests have changed over time and you don’t like the area you’re in anymore. Or maybe you love to socialize, but you’re working in a cubicle where you rarely interact with your coworkers.
Whatever the situation, try to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s bringing down your energy levels. This will help you as you learn how to stay motivated and reach your goals in the long-term.
2. Leave Your Stress at Work
This can mean multiple things. Do not bring work home if you don’t need to. If your work is what is causing you stress, then you should try to leave it completely at work at all costs, if possible.
This also means that you shouldn’t let a bad day at work make you feel miserable at home, as well. Try to keep work and home completely separate so that you can enjoy your free time.
This may mean creating a routine for when you get home to help you disconnect from the work day you just had. Maybe you go for a short walk, sit outside and eat a snack, or read a chapter of that new book you just bought. Whatever it is, it needs to be something that pulls your mind into the present moment and away from what happened during the day.
This will help you create a work-life balance that will help up your motivation in life in general.
3. Stay Positive
If you have a negative attitude about your job, then it will probably make it difficult to learn how to stay motivated. You need to try to think as positively as you can, and have a good outlook about the tasks that you are doing.
This will, of course, require a shift in thinking. Try to challenge each negative thought you have about a task. For example, if your boss just gave you a huge project that you’re dreading, instead of saying “This is going to be awful,” try telling yourself, “This is going to be a challenge, but it’ll be a great opportunity to learn something.”
If positive thinking is particularly difficult for you, try developing a daily meditation practice. This will help you create space to take in and analyze the negative thoughts you have throughout the day.
4. Lay out an Action Plan
If you don’t plan on staying at the job that you don’t really like, then you should come up with a way to find a better job or at least work on skills that will help you get one. You can start thinking about what your next job will be, how you will get that job, whether you will need schooling, and so on.
Once you have an idea of what this future goal looks like, enroll in some free online courses, read books from the area, or start browsing job sites to see what’s available. The simple prospect of being able to find work you enjoy more will likely do wonders in lifting your motivation levels.
5. Find Hobbies You Enjoy Outside of Work
Having something that you enjoy outside of work can really make work more enjoyable. Hobbies will allow you to take your mind off of work and truly relax.
Not only is this a great stress reliever after work, but it can help you have something to look forward to throughout the day.
6. Be a Great Worker
Even if you do not like your job, try to do the best you can with the job you have. Focus as best you can on the task at hand. If your boss appreciates your work and praises you, then you will be more likely to feel motivated on a daily basis.
You can also try to help out your coworkers. Feeling altruistic will give you a positivity boost that will help you feel good about what you’re doing.
7. Take a Break When You Need to
Now, this doesn’t mean you should stop being an efficient worker, but you should take a break when you need to. If you have been skipping your lunch break for the past ten years, you’re just hurting yourself. You should take breaks so that you can feel refreshed when you go back to work.
Also, a recent study showed that “more than half of Americans (55%) are still not using all their paid time off”. If you’ve earned vacation days, use them! That free time with your family (or alone) will give you the necessary space to relax and unwind. You’ll also be able to look forward to these blocks of time throughout the year, which should do something to boost your motivation.
8. Look Forward to Something
I’m sure there is some reason why you can’t leave your current job. You need to think about your end goal and why you currently are where you are. Maybe you are working in this current position so that you can possibly one day get a promotion.
Maybe you are working this less-than-motivating position because you need to pay for your college degree. In that case, you need to think about how great it will feel when you finally graduate from college.
Whatever the reason, keep a written reminder in sight at all times to help you remember why you’re doing the job you’re doing. With that visual, you can learn how to stay motivated and set goals, even when the work is less-than-ideal.
9. Ask for New Responsibilities
If you’re bored with the monotony of doing the same tasks each day, go to your boss and ask if there are any new responsibilities they would be willing to give you. Perhaps they’re looking for help on a project in an area that interests you. You won’t know if you don’t ask!
Alternatively, you can ask your boss to inform you if any other positions come up within the company. With time, you may come across an opportunity to move into something you enjoy more.
10. Dress Like You Are Still Motivated
It can be easy to start “letting go” and not caring about your appearance when you feel unmotivated. However, don’t adopt this mindset. Make sure that you are still dressing the part and that you still feel confident with the way that you present yourself.
One study, described by The New York Times, explained that “If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement”.
These results belong to a field known as embodied cognition, which says that the way we think and process information is directly related to our physical appearance. So why is this important for your job?
If you dress well and feel confident with the clothes you wear, you’re more likely to perform better, feel better, and achieve your goals.
Everyone experiences days at work when they feel unmotivated, but if it’s happening every day, it’s time to take a good look at your work life. It’s possible to learn how to stay motivated, even at a job you don’t really like.
If you find that these things still aren’t working and that you are only growing more resentful of your job, it may be time to take the required steps to find a job that will make you happier.
More on How to Stay Motivated at Work
- How to Get Motivated to Work and Start off Your Day with Positivity
- How to Feel Inspired When You’ve Lost Motivation
- How to Find Motivation When You’re Totally Burnt Out
Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com
|||^||U.S. Travel Association: PAID TIME OFF TRENDS IN THE U.S.|
|||^||The Balance Careers: Vacation Time and Pay For Employees|
|||^||The New York Times: Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat|