Since humans have stopped being chased by saber-tooth tigers and started settling in safer places, we’ve gotten soft. Once we feel comfortable, whether it be in a relationship, a job or a living space, we tend to get a little loose. We become complacent. We lose our drive, motivation and just kind of float along the lazy river. Put down your beer and brush the nacho crumbs off your shirt. These are a few ways to help you ‘unlazify’ yourself.
Be the change you want to see in the world
I know this sounds like it came right out of a Care-bears’ movie but here’s a little play at home (or desk) exercise for you. Look around your cubicle, how long has it been the same? A few months? A few years (or even worse)? Take everything that has visible dust on it, put it in a bag and take it home. Now replace those dusty items with some new ones. There are a ton of benefits to changing your surroundings. One benefit that’s pertinent to my argument is (drumroll please) increased motivation.
Find joy in what you do
This might seem like a moot point to any veteran employee. But this point is being made for people that have had the life sucked out of them, eight hours at a time, for years on end, where all that remains of them is an ashy cynical husk of a human being that can only be awakened emotionally on Friday. If you can’t find joy at work of course you’re going to die a little inside every second that ticks by. Think of it not as a service to your employer but a service to yourself to find the joy in your occupation.
For years I was a telemarketer. Finding joy in a profession that’s hated just a smidge less than a tax collector or Plague Doctor can be challenging (and that, my friends, is the understatement of the year). I rationalized it. A lot of the people we dealt with were ones that could not leave their homes, so shopping online or over the phone was their only option. With a lot of extrapolation you could even say that in a sense we were helping people.
Yes, another Care-bear quote; anyone that’s cynical should leave the room right now. We spend a lot of energy concentrating on the negatives. We complain about everything from the supervisor’s criticisms to the quality of the paper clips. You know what though Mrs Negative Nancy? The more you think about the negative things the more negative they’ll seem. This is actually proven scientific fact. People that were told they would have a root canal at the dentist felt more pain during a routine cleaning. Alternatively, the people that were told that they would undergo a routine cleaning felt little or no pain.
Have you climbed out of a rut at work? What techniques or personal mind-tricks did you use to overcome complacency? Let us know in the comment section below.