We've all experienced it before in one form or another— that listless feeling where nothing really matters and where our efforts all seem for not... you know, a rut. For some, particularly those in creative fields, it seems like these states come frequently, while others rarely fall victim to its effects (lucky bastards). Regardless, being in a work-related slump not only impacts your productivity, but your passion as well, and if this summer is any indication, I'm definitely susceptible to long-term ruts where my work is concerned. I mean, it's 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday and I'm only just sitting down to write my first post of the week... it's slump city over here. So because those who can't do teach, and because I want to pull myself out of this apathetic state I seem to have landed myself in, here are a few tips to help revitalize you during times like these. I hope they help you and me both!
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
The last thing you want to do when you find yourself in a slump is to beat yourself up over it— you'll only fall deeper down the hole and have a harder time getting out of it. Understand that you're human and that various factors are going to weigh on you and your work from time-to-time... that's just the reality of life. Because I went through a really tough time in my personal life over the past few months, I know that much of that hardship bled into my professional life, so I try not to make myself feel badly when I can't be bothered to create content. Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to take a break, and to be gentle on yourself when you need it. Have faith in your ability to pull yourself out of this rut, and just give yourself time to breathe; as with most things, that's usually a good place to start.
WRITE IT OUT
After you've given yourself time to, well, wallow, resolve to snap out of it by making a plan of attack. Start by writing a list of all the things you love about your job, as well as all the things you want to accomplish moving forward in your career. Try to think outside the box and don't be afraid to write down any lofty goals you may have for yourself— if it makes you excited to start working again, write it down! From there, break down those larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks that will help you achieve them, and don't be afraid to include silly little things that you know will make you feel excited about your job again. For example, I know that a site redesign would give me a renewed sense of excitement where my blog is concerned, so that's on my list, but so is buying a few new plants to include as photo props. Write down anything you can think of, big or small, that brings you joy, and refer back to it anytime that listless feeling returns.
GET TO WORK
Once you start feeling excited and reinvigorated about your job, don't waste a second of it— get down to work! Regardless of what you do for a living, jump in head-first and don't look back. I find that the more work I do when I'm feeling inspired, the more I actually want to work, and so the cycle continues. Basically if you strike while the iron is hot, your slump will eventually be a thing of the past.
Your rut may be well behind you by this point, but the minute you lose sight of your goals, they can easily be lost forever. So unless you want to go through the process of having to pump yourself up again down the road, remind yourself daily of why you love your work, of how lucky you are to be doing what you do, and of your dreams for the future. Be positive, be grateful and get excited for what's in store for you— only then can you truly love what you do and keep those pesky ruts at bay... or so I imagine. xx
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