#80 “I’m Unmotivated at Work”

unmotivated at work

“I can do this in my sleep… my job is meaningless… I’m unmotivated at work.” If that sounds too much like you, here are a few challenging exercises to help you shake things up and rattle your monotonous world!

Exercise 1 Give What You Think is Missing

Do you wish others would communicate more often? Is the environment a dud? Is the job boring?

Then take it upon yourself to find creative ways and bring these things to your job first. Don’t sit back, be passive and wait for things to magically get better. Take control and step up first. 

If you wish others would communicate more, do it first and do it often. If the environment is negative, toxic or uneventful, figure out what it takes to spicen it up. Maybe that means:

  • starting off with a joke
  • sharing a funny meme
  • keep others guessing as to your next virtual background
  • finding anything that will make people smile or laugh

Toxic or brutal environments may need your presence even more so!

If the job feels boring or meaningless, take it upon yourself to craft it into something that requires additional curiosity and exploration. Surely there are ways you can make it more difficult, interesting, fun or curious. Perhaps that means:

  • teaching/mentoring other people as to your job function and receiving the same from others
  • asking “why” as many times as it takes until you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing
  • mapping out a flowchart that displays your individual contribution to a larger objective
  • treating your job as a tool to leverage so you can increase creative thinking, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence and self-awareness

The items above are considered “job crafting.” If you’re unmotivated at work, creatively think of ingenious, crafty, novel, trailblazing ways to make it more challenging.

Exercise 2 Don’t Put all Your Motivation in One Basket

Create motivation in more than one place!

Sometimes jobs can be motivating, but sometimes not. Your employer doesn’t (and can’t) guarantee motivation… therefore, if you can find it at work, great! But many people cannot.

Perhaps you can lessen the focus on motivation at work and instead create it elsewhere. Find things you love to do for the sake of doing them! For example:

  • start a side business or gig
  • hobbies/courses/traveling
  • meetups/toastmasters/group activities
  • teaching/mentoring/coaching/advising/consulting
  • committees/boards/councils
  • church/meditation/spiritual guidance

I will share a fantastic quote that one my recent clients shared with me, “Do the dishes for the sake of doing the dishes.”

Find things that will keep you coming back and engaging simply for the sake of engaging. Not for reward. Not for thanks, and not for anything in return. But engage for the sake of engaging.

Exercise 3 Start Acting Like a Leader

Did you know that you are a leader, right here right now as you read this?

You oversee and lead your current job. Others depend on you. The reason you get paid is to resolve issues, regardless of where your title falls on some fancy org chart.

If you’re unmotivated at work, just think about how many tasks, issues, duties, and responsibilities that require your action and your input. Is that enough to get you motivated?

Start leading your job and take command by trying the following:

  • envision your future self and then ask your future self for advice
  • do the things you wish your current leadership would do (within scope, of course)
  • blaze the trail, especially when you don’t know HOW to do something (leaders don’t need to be told how, they figure it out along the way!)
  • ask insightful questions that lead people to unravel the answers for themselves (as opposed to telling people the answers you know)
  • challenge yourself to make deliberate decisions based on the core values that are most meaningful to you (do you even know what your core values are?)

I hope you can create motivation, both personally and professionally, by seriously applying these exercises! 

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!