Let’s not beat around the bush. Admit it; you can’t seem to get back your pre-pandemic mojo at work. The electricity you once felt tackling new projects is now just a sizzle and dwindling each day. As a result, even getting ready for work is stressful.
While there is no magic wand to erase job dissatisfaction, there are strategies that can help reinvigorate a positive mental attitude at the office. Here are three ways to help you get your work mojo back.
Begin by designing healthful habits
Primarily, take care of YOU! A lot went by the wayside during the pandemic, including attention to personal well-being. Homeschooling children, disruption in the way we work, and isolation from co-workers have taken a toll. Evidence is mounting about the actual physical, emotional, and financial effects on people, particularly front-line workers. So, it is no surprise that peoples’ relationships with work, usually a satisfying and meaningful part of their lives, may now be just a burden on an already full plate.
As a first step to reduce anxiety and relieve stress, make a list of the things that boost your happiness. Then begin to add more of those to your life. For example, if it is spending more time with friends, reconnect. If you love to travel, plan regular weekends exploring unfamiliar places in your area. Take your dog or kids hiking, volunteer, learn to cook, or schedule a family reunion. Begin an exercise routine and engage your co-workers by scheduling walks at lunchtime. Experts recommend creating a community, finding ways to stay active, and engaging with others to boost happiness and well-being.
Job two: stop doomscrolling! War, drought, pestilence, and earthquakes! Read all about it while you relax with a steaming cup of cortisol booster each morning!
If you feel like a stress ball all the time and have trouble sleeping, reduce your caffeine intake, but most importantly, disconnect from the wired world at much as you can. Forgoing hostile and intolerant social media posts and hysterical news stories can lower stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. You will also focus better and be more productive at work. If you must go online, set a timer. Avoid logging on at night for better sleep and limit negative media to create a more relaxing work and home environment.
Re-engage with work in a whole new way. Best-selling author Dan Buettner organizes his book, The Blue Zones of Happiness, around chapter titles using the word “design.” That’s because happiness and contentment do not appear by accident. Instead, you can get your mojo back by creating the conditions that support satisfaction at work. Here are a few ideas from Buettner’s international panel of experts:
Set goals at work and for yourself. Happiness is connected to a purpose, pride, and the pleasure you feel once you carry out your goals.
Do not get burned out by working or commuting too many hours. Instead, reduce your work hours, move closer to the office, or find a job that matches your “passions, values, and talents.” Design in balance, take time away from your phone and emails and make sure you are taking a vacation every year.
Find true friends at work. Buettner writes that “one of the most powerful contributors to work satisfaction and productivity is agreement with the statement “best friend at work.” Most of us find work more fun when we engage with those we like. If you do not have a social network in the office, Buettner suggests a proactive approach by inviting potential friends out after work, home, or sharing aspects of your personal life. A robust social network is crucial to most people’s happiness in life, so why not start with your co-workers?
No chance of finding like-minded buddies at your office? Why not find out whether your company is hiring and seek out acquaintances who would make a great fit? Then let Partnership Employment’s expert recruiters do all the hard work of contacting your HR department and matching job openings with your qualified referrals. Your supervisor will be pleased with your initiative, and you will get to spend time working with people you enjoy.
Getting your work mojo back doesn’t happen by accident. So be intentional about designing a new daily focus on health and well-being, dampening harmful media noise, and engaging meaningfully with colleagues so that work is once again a pleasure and not a chore.