When you work in the same field or even the same office for years, it’s natural for some of that initial drive and excitement to start to decline. But staying inspired at work is a key to continued growth and success. Here are a few strategies that can help you recharge your excitement when you feel motivation is on the decline:
Shake up your routine
People tend to enjoy routines, but when it comes to your work life, a strict routine can often leave people feeling bored or apathetic. If I notice I’m feeling a bit less engaged in the day-to-day, I find switching up my routine can help shake things up. Even the smallest change, like where I take my lunch break, for example, can affect my energy levels. Whether it’s rearranging your work tasks, changing up your morning routine, testing out that new marketing idea, or altering the time of your coffee break, small shifts in routine can us break out of the familiar.
Remind yourself of your “why”
Feeling uninspired at work can often be a result of losing a sense of your “why”. This refers to the bigger picture behind the work you do — its larger impact, who it helps, its positive effects, and why you’re motivated to do it. I find that losing touch with that “why” is most likely to happen when our schedules get chaotic. We can get so caught up in what needs to be done today that we forget why we’re doing all this work in the first place. I try to connect with my “why” on a regular basis. I intentionally remember what it is I love about this work and what makes it so important to me. If I’m craving inspiration, this can often be just the catalyst I need.
Connect with inspiring people
They say you’re a product of the few people who you spend the most time with. This means that if you’re surrounding yourself with people you admire — hard-workers, innovators, and generally positive people — you’ll be more likely to share their inspiration and positivity. Maybe you already have contacts who fit this role, but you haven’t reached out lately. Maybe they work in your field or maybe they have a completely different career. Interacting with inspiring people, both inside and outside of your own work, can help reignite motivation. Set up time for a quick coffee, or join them at an event to help spark inspiration.
Set some ambitious goals
Focusing on self-improvement can be a great way to get and stay inspired. Start by reflecting on your own work and asking for feedback from those around you. Once you know where you’d like to direct your improvement efforts, it’s time to set some goals. I try to make sure these goals are both challenging and realistic. Ambitious goals can keep us feeling excited by them, and making them achievable makes sure that we’re not setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Say yes to a new project
Like shaking up your routine, if you can shake up the work you’re doing, you’ll often give your mind what it needs to re-engage. A new project or role may help you discover new talents and skills you didn’t know you had, and pushing yourself in this way can benefit both you and the organization you work for.
If inspiration is lacking at work, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean you need to quit your job and start the career search from scratch. On the other hand, it absolutely shouldn’t be ignored. Instead, if you feel motivation declining, take that opportunity to reflect, change things up, make connections, and focus on self-improvement.