Job Satisfaction for Every Season: 8 Ways to Stay Motivated at Work Year-Round
Feeling burnt out at work? The time of year could be to blame. Certain seasons can be depressing and demotivating for workers, like the early days of January or the start of fall. But no matter what the month, work doesn't have to put you in the doldrums. You can stay interested, motivated, and productive year-round by finding ways to refresh yourself and your perspective. Try these eight tips for continuous job satisfaction, and learn how to enjoy work every season of the year.
Change your routine. Routines are good for maintaining structure, but they can get old, especially during a drab season. If your job is flexible, see if you can make a change that will bring newness to your routine--moving to a different space or working one day a week from home. Even simple tweaks can stave off burnout, like a later start time in winter or altering your route to work.
Stay social. Having people to talk with and offer support makes work more tolerable and enjoyable any time of year. If you work alone, make a point to reach out to others during the day and after hours to stay social and engaged. Relationships are the building blocks of happiness, plus socializing helps you avoid dwelling on the negative aspects of your life and work.
Nurture a favorite hobby. Hobbies excite us and give us something to think about other than our jobs. Allow yourself to devote time to nurturing yours. Your hobby might be anything from painting to cooking to working on cars. Whatever your thing is, fit it into your weekly schedule and spend time doing something that brings you fulfillment and relaxation.
Take time off, guilt-free. Everyone needs vacation time and mental health days to refresh and stay positive. Don't fall into the mindset that you're too busy to get away. Instead, schedule breaks during those times of year when you fell less inspired at work. Just planning a vacation can do wonders; it gives you something to look forward to, which can be as motivating as the time off itself.
Exercise. Exercise is a stress reliever that recharges the mind and body and keeps you from burning out. The nice thing about exercise is that it's something you can do year-round. In fact, the changing seasons make exercise even more motivating since each season brings a new set of outdoor options--from summer kayaking to fall hiking to cross-country skiing in winter.
Work ahead. Sure, you can slack off during a dull season at work--or you can use the time to get ahead so that when the busy season hits, you're less burdened, less stressed, and less likely to experience job burnout. Working ahead can be inspiring, especially when you get on a roll. Not only will you feel productive, you'll be encouraged by the fact that you've completed tasks in advance.
Celebrate your achievements. A change of season is a good time to look back on your accomplishments over the year and see how far you've come. Rewrite your resume so that you can see your efforts on paper. Then celebrate your achievements with a dinner out or a relaxing massage. Giving yourself the kudos you deserve can be both eye-opening and motivating.
Assess whether a job change is in order. If the thought of going to work gets you down daily, it might be time to assess whether you need a job change. Sometimes finding the right type of work and work environment can make all the difference to year-round job satisfaction. If a new season doesn't motivate you despite your best efforts, your current job could be to blame.
Don't let the season make you sluggish and unproductive at work. Instead, embrace each time of year with a fresh approach, and keep your job satisfying and fruitful from January through December.
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