We all have those days, maybe even weeks, at work when we feel unmotivated, unproductive, and overwhelmed. These are all common challenges that arise from time to time and cause us to stress even more and spiral down from there. If you feel like you’ve been drowning trying to stay on top of all your responsibilities, or you feel like you’ve lost all interest in what you do, a fresh perspective and a reminder that we all deal with these things might be just what you need to get back on track. Whether it’s a lack of motivation, or just feeling stuck, here are some ways you can overcome these common challenges at work.
- The challenge – Your motivation has disappeared. You no longer feel the passion you did when you first started your job. In the beginning everything was exhilarating and you were excited for every new opportunity and challenge that came along. You were always available and willing to help, but now your lack of motivation discourages you from even trying. You don’t feel compelled to finish your tasks, let alone take on new projects.
The Fix – Write down everything you like about your job. This could be anything that makes you feel good about the environment you’re in, your co-workers, and the work itself. Go back to the beginning, maybe even re-read your cover letter for the job. Why did you want to work here in the first place? Write down everything you like about the work you do, and be specific. What responsibilities do you enjoy? What special projects did you love working on? What makes you feel happy and accomplished? Reminding yourself of all the positive things about your job can revive your motivation to keep going.
- The challenge – You feel overwhelmed. Your tasks have piled up, your to-do list seems never-ending, and your responsibilities keep growing. You feel like you’re drowning and can’t catch a break. In turn, you feel unproductive because you can’t seem to get anything done. Being overwhelmed at work is a common challenge, but luckily there are lots of ways to overcome it.
The Fix – Prioritize. The key to mastering your to-do list is to stop multi-tasking. When you have a million things to get done, you need to prioritize and handle one task at a time. Focusing on one specific project versus splitting your attention between several tasks will make you more efficient. You’ll feel good about what you’ve accomplished so far and be ready to move on to the next thing on your list. I also discovered that blocking off time on your calendar for each specific task helps me to stay organized and on track with everything I need to finish. When you assign a specific time to work on something, you’re more likely to get it done. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remind yourself there’s only so much you can do. Prioritize, focus, work hard – and everything will get done.
- The challenge – You don’t feel challenged. You’ve become so familiar and comfortable with the routine of your daily tasks that you start craving more challenging work. You start questioning your potential and feel like you’re stuck. Recognizing this can be very discouraging and demoralizing, but the truth is, this feeling can be turned into a positive opportunity to ask for more responsibility and to take your skills to the next level.
The Fix – Focus on your professional development. This challenge should really be viewed as a blessing in disguise because it opens you up to the possibility of exploring what’s out there. This could mean looking for a new job altogether, but more likely you just need to refresh your memory of your career goals and how your current job can help you achieve them. There are several ways you can increase your professional value, such as participating in a training session, learning a new skill, listening to a presentation, or even just reading up on your industry/career options. Recognizing that your job no longer challenges you is an opportunity to ask for more responsibility and to grow professionally.
A working professional and a lifelong dreamer, Bohdana strives to merge her passions with her everyday reality. She is a proud Ukrainian and a loyal Chicagoan (despite the winters). She loves traveling, reading, pursuing self-improvement, and sharing her stories. Allow this blog to bring you motivation and inspiration on your own journey to rise beyond.