Look, we’ve all had those days: the alarm goes off and you think “I want to go back to bed” before your eyes even open. Maybe you’re stuck in a 9-5 retail job just trying to make ends meet, or maybe you have back-to-back classes every day about subjects that absolutely bore you. Or you could have a job that you usually enjoy, but it’s been weeks since you’ve had a break and you’re feeling burned out. It’s completely normal to lose your motivation, to get in a mode where you feel that you hate everything and everyone. For this week’s post, I wanted to give 5 tips on how to create some motivation (even when you feel like you’re running on empty).
Learn how to compartmentalize
One of the best tricks I have is to keep work at work, don’t let it consume the rest of your day. When you get back home, try to avoid thinking about how much you hate your job and you can’t believe you have to go back tomorrow. Don’t waste weekends dreading the Monday morning alarm. When you’re at work, put your energy into work, and then leave it there when it’s time to go home. If this is difficult, get yourself a watch or some other small accessory to remind you to keep your focus. Put it on when you begin working, and then take it off when you’re done. It’s a visual reminder meant to condition you to separate your work and personal life.
Spice up your morning routine
An easy way to set your day up for failure is by having a crappy morning routine. Maybe you wait until the last second to roll out of bed, spending those minutes thinking about how much you don’t want to go to work. Take the time to spend your morning doing something you enjoy, even if it’s for a few minutes. Sit and savor that cup of coffee, having a dance party to your favorite song, or watch a quick comedy sketch that never fails to make you laugh. A morning routine doesn’t have to just be getting ready and running out the door, you can incorporate time doing things that make you happy to put yourself in a better headspace for the day.
Find something positive every day
Don’t let yourself leave work or class until you can name at least one positive event that happened that day. Even on the days where it felt like absolutely nothing went right, there has to be one thing that was okay. Did you hit all of the green lights on your commute that morning? Did your cute co-worker laugh at your joke? Or maybe you just had a really good bagel for breakfast. Even the tiniest good thing can help you feel like your day wasn’t a total wash.
Remind yourself why you’re there
This can be really difficult if you feel like you’re stuck in a pointless void, but sometimes it’s important to remind yourself why you started doing something, or why you’re sticking around. Spend some time and be introspective on how you got to where you are now, and where you want to go in the future. Those “boring” classes are going to allow you to take your major classes next term. That retail job is letting you save up to buy a house, or invest in your small business. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it in your office if you need the reminder.
See what aspects you can change
Sometimes we have to stick with the crappy job or boring classes, but why be complacent with every aspect of it? Is there a project in another department that you could work on? It may be a simple as buying new clothes or redecorating your office. Stop putting your happiness on hold until things get better, and instead focus on improving the situation you’re in now.
Hope you found this helpful! I’ll be here every Monday with posts about mental health, improving your outlook, and a few other exciting topics. Be sure to subscribe to never miss a post, and check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.