How to Get Out of a Rut at Work


We’ve all felt at one time or another that we’re just spinning our wheels at work.  Going through the same routine tasks everyday, and not feeling like we’re accomplishing or learning anything.

Here are some quick tips that I’ve learned over the years that I use when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut.

Change of Routine

Sometimes, I just feel like I’m going through the same motions at work every day.  Arrive at the same time, coffee breaks and lunch at the same time and place, and leave at the end of the day at the same time.  What I’ve found is that these routines, over time, end up making me feel like I’m stuck, even if I am satisfied with the content of the work I’m doing.  So, a sure fire way of feeling better, and getting unstuck, is to change up my routine.  I will wake up at a slightly different time and change my morning routine, or take a new route or method of getting to work, bring a different lunch, or eat and go to lunch with different colleagues.  Really any of these will help, and the more you do the better you’ll feel.  You’ll find your brain has to work a little bit harder to keep up with the routine, and you’ll feel more focused and energized.  This is almost always enough to get me out of a rut.

Find a New Collaboration

Even if you manage to make a change in your daily routine, you may still be stuck with the same tasks day after day, which can end up being a little boring.  Another sure fire way to get out of a rut like this is to find a colleague who works in a different department or field, and try and find a way to collaborate with them on a project.  Make sure your boss is OK with the extra work, but as long as you can squeeze it into your normal schedule, it shouldn’t be a problem.  Collaborating will allow you to use different parts of your brain, and also, ideally, introduce you to other networks of people, with whom you’ll be able to work on even more projects in the future.  This is a great way to get out of a rut, and also, ultimately, broaden your skills and advance your career.

Find a Mentor

Similar to collaborating, finding a good mentor can be invaluable.  If you find the right one, a mentor has been through everything you’re going through now, and knows how to deal with it.  They can lead you in the right direction to meet new people, broaden your skills, and even teach you how to get more out of what you’re working on now.  Sometimes we get so stuck in the daily routine, we fail to see the learning opportunities right in front of us.  A mentor-ship gives us the opportunity to step back and see what we may be missing.

Hope you found these interesting and useful, good luck!

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