There are times when people feel burnt out, or when they feel they’ve lost their energy and zeal to do things and find themselves falling into a rut. While this is natural on occasion, it’s important for people to actively take stock of their lives and careers, and figure out how to best bounce back from that low point — especially if the feeling lingers or reoccurs.
If you find yourself feeling listless or disengaged, you’re not alone. To help you successfully navigate past the rougher days, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their preferred methods for refueling their drive and reigniting the spark when they feel like nothing they’re doing at the office is worth their time. Here is what they advise:
1. Look Back at Past Journeys and Successes
Entrepreneurship is tough and we deal with highs and lows every day. Once you hit a few of these lows in a row, it can be even tougher. However, that is all part of the business and something you need to remember. To get past these downtimes and move ahead, think about your past projects and tasks and how you overcame them. This will give you new ideas and inspiration for what’s to come.
2. Take a Vacation
Taking a vacation can help improve your focus and effort on the job. Keep in mind, a vacation doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive trip. Take some time off work, and spend a few days with your friends and family. These small, but important, actions can help reset your brain and keep you laser-focused when you get back to work.
3. Remember What You Are After
So much of what we do is a marathon, not a sprint, so it is easy to slip into neutral. For me, I just have to remember what I am after. What is my end goal? Knowing that usually motivates me to get moving.
4. Perform a Self-Audit
A few years ago, I was struggling. My performance simply wasn’t what it could be. I broke my day down into six-minute chunks so that I could completely track what I was up to each and every hour of the day. This wasn’t to self-chastise, but to develop awareness. That’s how I identified the activities I was doing every day that energized me and those that dragged me down. The latter, I eliminated.
5. Get Inspired By Others
To refuel your drive when you’ve lost your spark, try getting inspiration from others. For instance, take a look at the work of your competitors or the work of an industry leader you admire. Looking at their work can inspire you to keep going so that you can get where they are and create the amazing things they’ve created. I find it makes me think “I can do that, too” and pushes me forward.
6. Reach Out to People
In moments like these I try to challenge myself, and as an introvert, that usually results in making connections and interacting with unfamiliar people. It could be a new intern or someone I see on the way to work. Reaching out to new people and engaging them in a valuable conversation usually gives me a different perspective on things. That always brings new energy to what I do.
7. Talk to Your Customers
When I lose my enthusiasm, which is inevitable from time to time, the best pick-me-up I have is to talk to my clients. Sometimes I hear awesome stuff that we are doing right and that makes me proud. When we could do better, it fires me up. And sometimes, it’s just really getting to know the real human being that benefits from the value our firm seeks to create. Usually works for me.
8. Write Down Your Thoughts
Losing your spark is normal and can be combated with the right techniques and habits. Personally, I think writing down all your goals and thoughts can be extremely helpful. Losing motivation often stems from a lack of direction. Whenever you deal will any loss of motivation you can always refer back to what you’ve written down to remind you what you’re doing and why you initially started.
9. Prioritize What You Like
Put more of a priority on the parts of your job that you like doing the most. Spending some extra time on whatever that exercise may be, should reinvigorate yourself in an overall sense and help you get back on track and regain your spark.
10. Make a Change
Change is good. Having a routine is important to one’s success, but if you feel yourself becoming stagnant, then make a change. That change could be something as simple as your morning routine, or something larger, such as how you approach the work you are currently doing. If you are feeling stuck, it is time to reinvigorate yourself.
11. Focus on Something That Excites You
Many suggest taking time off or relaxing. But for many entrepreneurs, rekindling your spark is about finding something new and exciting to work on. So when you need to refuel, consider pausing your current projects and maybe even closing your inbox. Focus on something you’re excited about but maybe had previously deprioritized. Working on a new problem often helps fuel a new creative drive.
12. Understand Thyself
No two people refuel their gas tank in the same way. Finding energy and inspiration is a deeply personal thing, depending on your unique personality traits. Introverts might find it in the gym or in meditation, while extroverts may find it in travels with friends. Don’t allow someone to prescribe you the best way to do it; find your own.