Writer’s block. Burnout. Monotony. Doubt.
However you define it, and whatever the reason, there’s nothing worse than losing your spark.
Actually, I take that back. There is something that’s worse.
And that’s taking a momentarily lack of clarity and drive, and using it as an excuse to give up, or give in.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five tips for reigniting your focus and getting back to work.
1) Accept How You Feel
It’s easy to neglect your feelings if you believe time heals all wounds.
Here’s the thing though: that’s not how emotions work. You can’t ignore them. You can’t reject them until they no longer exist.
What you have to do is accept them.
Starting with acceptance can be difficult. “Isn’t acceptance meant to be the final stage?”, you may be asking.
The answer is yes. Acceptance marks the final step on the wrong path, and the first step in the right direction.
Take stock of your feelings, both good and bad, and identify the problem.
To solve the problem, determine your strengths and weaknesses. Consider strengths that might have been weaknesses in your past. Recall how you triumphed over those flaws, and how what you learnt as part of that experience can be applied to what you currently face.
The most successful people do not associate challenge with negative emotions. They thrive on the test, because they know it is not the first, nor will it be the last. Embrace this mindset, accept that it is part of the process, and work to overcome.
2) Take the Challenge
Look at the situation as an obstacle course, and treat it accordingly.
When internal motivators fail, consider external motivators as rewards for clearing certain stages of the course. Keep upping the ante in order to ensure you stay focused to the end.
It may seem frustrating. It may even seem immature to reward yourself for simply doing what you need to do. But it’s a fantastically simple way to stay on track.
The key is staying honest and in well-defined guidelines. Don’t let the rewards become so big or valuable that they distract you from your ultimate goal, but don’t be afraid to have a little fun either.
Find people to talk to about your problems, and be prepared to listen in return. Often a solution to your problem may be found within someone else’s.
If you work alone, or don’t have friends or colleagues you feel comfortable talking about the issue with, go online. Reddit, for instance, is a good place to start, as you may be amazed at the range of professionals who engage regularly on the website.
4) Shake Things Up
It’s easy to get stuck in the routine, only to let the routine define us.
Even a slight change in our daily habits can make all the difference. For some that might mean a change in their diet. For others, taking an educational or recreational course might prove successful.
I know people whose lives have been revolutionised by as simple a decision as waking up an hour early to go on a walk with their partner or friend. By tweaking their routine, they tweak their mindset, and find solutions as a result.
Pretty simple, right? Or, at least, it should be.
Sometimes it’s a great idea to work through the night on a project, and other times it’s better to do absolutely anything else. Being able to distinguish between the two is crucial if you want to stay motivated and on target over a period of months, years, or even longer.
If you don’t have a hobby, now’s the time to consider one.
Don’t let a rut become a sinkhole. Losing your spark is part of the process in defining your excellence. Follow these five steps, and get back to work.
You can do it.