Wisdom//

3 Ways to Find Meaning if Your Work Feels Repetitive

These tips will reignite your drive.

MT-R/ Shutterstock
MT-R/ Shutterstock

There are days when our work feels purposeful and exciting, but there are also those that feel boring and monotonous. On the days where you feel like you’re just going through the motions over and over again, you can start to feel frustrated, fatigued, and unmotivated. Fortunately, all it takes are a few simple strategies for you to reinvigorate your work with purpose and joy.

Here are some Microsteps to help you get started:

After finishing a task, write down one new thing you learned

When we hyperfocus on the aspects of our work that don’t feel fulfilling, we miss those small but important things we learn along the way. When you take a moment to pause after a project and write down one thing that challenged you or taught you something you didn’t know, you can shift your perspective from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. And once you realize how much you can learn in a single task, you can start to see the rhyme and reason in work that feels tedious.

Once a day, reach out to a colleague and ask what’s new

Make an effort to check in with a team member of yours every day, whether it’s to say good morning, ask what they’re working on or how they’re feeling. By carving out time on your to-do list to connect with a colleague, you can deepen your connections, help encourage one another, and feel a sense of purpose in the relationships you’ve cultivated at your job. A small check-in can serve as a significant reminder that there’s meaning in your work, and it starts with appreciating the people around you.

Find a creative outlet after the workday ends

If you’re working on a project that doesn’t allow you to express your creativity in a fulfilling way, find a way to channel your creative self after your working hours. While it’s important to feel that your work has a sense of purpose, it’s also OK to acknowledge that you’re not always going to feel enthusiastic about every task, and sometimes your creativity needs to spark after 6:00 p.m. When the workday ends, carve out some time to play dress-up with your kids, prepare a new recipe for dinner, or work on an art project you’ve perhaps forgotten about. Tapping into a creative outlet after hours can help you return to your desk in the morning feeling refreshed and recharged.

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