Feeling Jaded At Work?

By Siew Ching

Here’s how to fall back in love with what you do.

It’s the New Year but you definitely don’t feel very new or rejuvenated about it. We don’t blame you. The past three years have been tough on everyone what with the pandemic, working from home, and navigating what seemed like a really unsure future!

In fact, it seemed as if all we’ve been doing the past three years was work, work, and even more work. Sure, the idea of WFH seemed like a dream come true until it became not so much of a dream when all we did was work at home (there was nowhere else to go after all, no thanks to COVID!). So if you felt like you’ve been working and doing nothing much, it’s probably because that’s all you really did!

Experts call it work fatigue. We call it? The work blues blah. It’s that feeling you get after relentless long working hours with challenging mental demands. And if you’ve been doing it day after day for the past three years, well, it’s easy to become seriously fatigued and jaded. The downside of it is also you become more snappy, negative, and can’t be bothered with what’s going on.

Which is why even when the New Year rolls in and you’re supposed to feel recharged and inspired to achieve more, instead you’re feeling tired and mentally exhausted, wondering if there’s a bigger purpose to it all.

Guess what – there is! The thing is work can be a huge motivation for many of us to do better and improve ourselves. When work is going great, you feel proud, more confident, and ready to take on any challenges. But when you feel jaded, you can’t see beyond the long hours and boredom at the office. When this happens, working can suddenly feel like an uphill battle. And if you leave it for too long, you can feel stressed out because you’re not achieving much and there’s also that guilt because you can’t seem to snap out of it.

How do you get yourself out of this rut and embrace work once more this New Year? Here are some tips.

#1 Slow it down
You must think this tip is crazy – after all, aren’t you supposed to get up and get going? True, but in order to do that, you need to slow down and give yourself a break. Oftentimes, disengagement at work is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to take a break, even if your list of things to do tells you otherwise. If you can leave it for later, give yourself that opportunity to not think about work for a while. Have you taken any time off lately? Are you due for a break? Even a day or two will help you recharge your batteries so you can re-evaluate work and hopefully come back with renewed energy.

Also, use this opportunity to take time to reflect. Try to pinpoint what it is that triggers you to feel detached from your work. Maybe it’s your role or responsibilities at work. Consider how you can switch things up to make you feel more fulfilled.

#2 Change your routine
Feeling jaded often equals to feeling bored. If you’ve been doing the same old same old for a while now, whether it is at work or in your personal capacity, it’s a good idea to shake up your routine a bit. I was feeling bored at the work I was doing and decided I needed to give myself something to look forward to instead. So I joined Pilates. Twice a week, first thing in the morning, I give myself 50 minutes to sweat, burn and recharge. It not only makes me feel good that I am doing something useful for my health but it makes me more energetic so work doesn’t feel too draggy.

It can also be something you do at work – maybe arrange to have breakfast with your colleagues once or twice a week so this is something you can look forward to. Or attend professional networking events where you will meet people who will inspire you.

#3 Make a list of what you enjoy about your work
Believe it or not, no matter how jaded you are about work there will be some parts of it that you still enjoy. So take time to write a simple list of pros and cons about your job. Then take time to examine the pros, which will help you remember why you wanted this job in the first place. Once done, examine your cons instead. Think of what frustrates you about your current role and how this can be fixed. Write down your solution. It might involve talking to your boss about giving you a redesigned role or something else to work on.

#4 Seek out passionate people
Rule #1 about being jaded and disengaged? Don’t seek those who are feeling the same. You’ll be feeling sorry for yourself with that much negativity passing through one another. Instead, try changing your social circle to include more passionate people – those who are energetic, driven, and inspiring. The thing about positivity is that it is contagious. Before you know it, their drive will be rubbing off on you and you’ll see the better parts of your job soon.

How do you kick the blues from work? Share your tips with us on Twitter @Graduan!

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash.

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