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Feeling Unmotivated at Work? Here Are 11 Ways to Refuel Your Drive

When you start to hit a slump, there are positive actions you can take to help shake it off.

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Motivation works cyclically. There are moments when you feel as though you can take on the world, punctuated by moments when you feel like it makes no sense to do anything. If you’ve been feeling unmotivated at work recently, you’re not alone. Workers worldwide go through the same moments of “boom and bust” when it comes to their motivation.

However, one of the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to power through those feelings. The success of an enterprise hinges on its leader being able to escape the doldrums and remain focused throughout their projects. Here, 11 associates of Young Entrepreneur Council share some of the methods they use to remain motivated and stay at the top of their game as industry-leading entrepreneurs.

1. Focus on Gratitude

Ask yourself these questions: Why are you lax? What caused you to lose your excitement for doing your job well? Do you still remember those days when you prayed to get this job? Why are you taking this job for granted? Afterward, listen to good music — things that will make you feel inspired and extra happy, reminding you of how blessed you are to still have a job at this trying time.

Daisy Jing, Banish

2. Set Meaningful Short- and Long-Term Goals

Set short-term and long-term goals that are meaningful to you. When you are working toward goals that are important to you, the work will have meaning and purpose. It is impossible to bring the same level of energy and passion every single day, but when you are working toward something you care about, you will be able to grind through down days.

Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group

3. Take More Responsibility

Boredom can be a result of low difficulty and low speed. If you’ve mastered your task at the company you work at, you might begin to lose interest because the work is easy. You know the details already, so your brain glosses over and, soon enough, the day is over. Understand the chain of value at the company. Why does your work matter? Can you do something else up the value chain?

Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

4. Think About What Is Making You Feel Stuck

Think about what is making you feel like you’re in Groundhog Day. What are the things that are happening over and over again that make you feel stuck, and how can you change those things? I had this feeling about two years ago and realized that it was because I had the wrong people in leadership roles that resulted in us having the same conversations over and over again.

Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

5. Choose a New Challenge

Choose a new challenge. A frontline worker might ask to be cross-trained in another department, which is a win-win for you by the way. A small-business owner might dig into an aspect of their business they’re unfamiliar with, such as accounting or new social media avenues. Trying something different is almost always a solid antidote to a lack of motivation.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

6. Keep Track of the Little Wins

Sometimes we’re so focused on the big picture that we lose sight of little wins. These “little wins,” in my opinion, are great for maintaining your motivation. They prove that you’re moving forward, even when it doesn’t feel like you’ve accomplished much. I’ve found that writing down a few wins each night keeps my confidence up and keeps me inspired.

Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

7. Know What You Are After

This is definitely one of the hardest times to remain motivated. For me personally, there are two things that help. One, I have to remind myself what it is that I am after. This want has driven me this far, and it still fuels me today. Two, I have to remain on a schedule. I schedule every day the night before. If I don’t do that I risk wandering into the next day feeling aimless.

Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

8. Take a Break

When I start to lose motivation, I know that it’s time to take a break. I normally love what I do, and when I’m not feeling my best, I take a couple of days off to relax and reflect. I find that this time allows me to really focus on my physical and mental health while spending time with my family. As a result, when I get back to work I feel clear-headed and ready to go. 

John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

9. Switch Up Your Routine

When I start to feel unmotivated at work, I switch up my routine to break the monotony. Something as simple as switching the timing of tasks can make all the difference in how my day goes. Sometimes I can handle bigger tasks in the morning while, at other times, I feel more productive at night. Being able to make necessary schedule changes has helped me stay focused.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

10. Nurture Your Creative Side

We lose our motivation and start to feel unhappy when we stop nurturing our creative side. Creativity needs to be fed, and when you take the time to write, build some code for a fun app or paint, you get back in touch with what makes you tick. It’s very important to take the time to step away from just work and to focus on creative projects. You’ll always come back feeling renewed.

Blair Williams, MemberPress

11. Make Unpleasant Tasks More Manageable

It can be hard finding inspiration at work right now. To keep myself motivated and engaged, I’ll take any unpleasant or long task and break it down into smaller activities. That helps me refocus on the smaller task and removes the overall unpleasantness from the overall task. This way, I’m still moving forward in a more positive way.

Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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