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12 Things Highly Uninspired People Do

12 Things Highly Uninspired People Do

There’s a difference between motivation and inspiration: motivation is temporary and inspiration is bigger and serves a higher calling. People can be motivated by money in the short term, but we all seek to be inspired by being involved with something with a greater purpose. Some of us go through each day uninspired. Maybe because we haven’t set down and created goals that inspire us to do more, become more, and have more. Uninspired people do these 12 following things well.

1. They try to get through the day instead of getting something from the day.

We call these people clock watchers. They usually say, “I can’t wait until it’s lunchtime,” “I can’t wait until break,” and then lastly, “I can’t wait until I get off work.” Then when they get home they plop down and watch the latest reality TV shows.

2. They seek entertainment instead of development.

The highly uninspired are usually more concerned with the next “Dancing With the Stars” episodes or the next sporting event of their favorite team. They look for entertainment instead of trying to invest in themselves, usually because they haven’t realized they aren’t yet fully developed or they are just lazy.

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3. They focus on what is wrong instead of what is right.

Everything is wrong and nothing is right. The highly uninspired are so focused on what is wrong that they can’t objectively see anything that is good.

4. “What if…?” isn’t in their vocabulary.

“I can’t,” “It’s too hard,” or “It won’t work,” are their favorite sayings. They can’t think about, “What if I read one book a month?” or, “What if I worked harder on the job?” or even, “What if I turned off the TV and did something that contributed to a bigger goal?”

5. They see what they can get away with, instead of what they can do.

They show up late, slide out early. They look for ways to get around, instead of going through. They say, “I did what you asked me to do,” instead of asking, “What else can I do?”

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6. They focus on today only and don’t think about tomorrow.

The highly uninspired are not thinking long term. They are thinking about today and how they can get through it. They are not setting goals that require them to think past today.

7. They seek followers that are also uninspired.

We have all heard misery loves company. The highly uninspired look for others who are uninspired and who can validate how they feel and make them feel better about themselves, knowing they aren’t the only ones. They want to bring people to their pity party.

8. They seek activity over accomplishments.

They think that activity is just as good as accomplishing. They would rather get through the day and say, “I was so busy,” and feel like that really means they did something. They love the excuse that they are always busy doing the things that don’t matter.

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9. They do what is easy.

The highly uninspired stay away from the hard stuff. They look at the to do list and ask themselves, “What is easy and what can I do so I can appear to be busy?”

10. They want something handed to them.

They think that the government, their employer, and their parents owe them something. They look for handouts, or even worse ask for handouts, instead of looking at what they can do to earn something.

11. They care more about what’s in it for them than the good of all.

They are usually more focused on themselves and don’t really think about others. This is probably what has led them down the road to being highly uninspired. When you give more than you take, it is more rewarding and you get energy and inspiration for doing good for others.

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12. They make excuses instead of taking action.

They blame the weather, they blame the office, they blame their boss. They never take ownership or action to get things done. They would rather complain about all of the obstacles, and usually complain more about potential obstacles than those that actually exist.

We all get to a point where our inspiration may be lacking, the above points are your warning signs that you may need to re-evaluate where you are. Ask yourself, “Am I doing some of the things outlined above?” If so, ask yourself a second question: “Are my goals big enough to inspire me to do more, become more, and ultimately to have more?” To have more you must become more. You must become a better employee, a better manager, a better leader, and a better learner.  When you create worthwhile goals and you search and seek information and take action on that information, you will become highly inspired to accomplish those goals and you will go from being highly uninspired to highly inspired, and will even inspire others.

Featured photo credit: Highly Uninspired via morguefile.com

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Brian Willett

Helping people challenge and overcome their own status quo

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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