6 November 2010

How To: Maintain Enthusiasm For Work

There will come a time when you will feel like your work is no longer interesting, when you want to break free from your daily routine and try something new, something far from what you are used to. It happens to everyone, it is your mind’s way of telling you that you need to do something out of your routine.

“In order to beat your enemy, you must first understand the enemy.”

Factors Involved in Losing Enthusiasm

1. Overwork

Skipping a weekend’s rest because of a deadline or you just love your work too much? Not good, you are being too hard on yourself. The longer you work without rest the faster you will lose motivation, no matter how much you like doing it. Mental exhaustion for freelancers and office workers involve being sleepy and tired all the time, frustration, and easy to irritate. No one can work and produce quality materials in that state! That’s why rest days are made.

2. Procrastination

“Deadline is moved to next week, more time to procrastinate!” The nearer the deadline is, the bigger the feeling of being unproductive. Feeling unproductive can do two things: first is it can make you start now or make you even more unmotivated to work.

3. Boredom

This happens to everyone, especially people who work at home. Believe me when I say that most freelancers experience boredom several times a week, even while in the middle of work! This is normal, even the most introvert would experience this while working inside a room, alone, for long hours.

4. Unhappiness

You are good at it but you don’t like it. There is such a thing. I’m a good liar but I don’t like lying. Most freelancers love what they are doing, you are reading this because you want something out of this. But there are instances when no matter how grand a passion you have for your work, clients would easily ruin your day. A way to combat it? Realize that you are not alone in your struggle with your clients. Laugh and share your experiences at Clients From Hell.

5. Unrealistic Milestones

Setting goals to achieve for both short-term and long-term is a good way to motivate you in your work. There may be an air of great challenge to be a millionaire at the age of 23, but is it possible if I’m just a few months away from that age and I’ve just started earning money? No way, that would be too optimistic to the point of foolishness (Albus Dumbledore). The product of unrealistic milestones? You won’t get things working the way you planned because you will always be rushing to beat the deadline.

A good example (and incidentally a terrible warning for all) of this is when I was still studying at a university. One of our professors gave us a project on the first week of the term, which will be passed by its end. Most of us thought that it can easily be done in just a week (it seemed like it) so we did what we wanted except start on the project. A week before the deadline most of us were confident in finishing. Nobody succeeded, and the project was extended for another term. A combination of procrastination and setting of unrealistic milestone resulted to loss of enthusiasm, people started talking about dropping the course. *laughs*

Tips to Regain Enthusiasm

Learn how to avoid feeling despair during Sunday evenings while knowing that next day is another day for work.

1. Say Hello to the Sun

When was the last time you saw the park? Being a slave to work doesn’t help. Go outside and greet the sun, feel the fresh air, say hello to neighbors, or buy an ice cream. Encourage yourself to have an active social life, escape work from time to time! Do not always be too strict about work, slack off sometimes to know the feeling!

2. Know Where to Go Next

Having a solid map of the things you need to do before advancing will help you avoid getting lost. Clarify the things that needs to be done to get from point X to point Z, knowing this will potentially remove distractions and things that are not really necessary for your work.

3. Talk to People

Knowing that you are not alone in losing your mojo for work will instantly give you a recharge, how? Humans are built to share their feelings to other people. The more you share about the bad feelings(and the good things) the better it becomes for you. People can empathize, and knowing just that is good. This might sound odd but try motivating each other, it works too.

4. Find Inspiration

It’s a given, you are too uninspired to maintain enthusiasm for your work. A change of pace is needed! Do not quit just yet, I wrote an article about Finding Inspiration, you can use the tips to renew your energy and get motivated in the work you do once again. No matter how down you are now about your work, remember the saying “The darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.”

5. Treat Yourself

Go to the spa, get a massage, buy yourself a pet, indulge yourself with your favorite foods, go to the movies. No one is too old to do this, in fact everyone should be kind to themselves. Believe me when I say that most hardworking people do not really want to work, all people want to do is enjoy their lives outside their cubicle or room and play!

The above article was originally published at: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/how-maintain-enthusiasm-work/