You’re tired of what you do. You feel burned out and don’t even know how to find the energy you need to carry your work forward. If this is you, it’s time to consider ways to reignite the passion in your work.
You’re not alone. Losing that passionate drive happens to everyone at one point or another. One of the main reasons is that we get lost in the daily grind and lose sight of the truly important things. But that loss of drive can affect how we perform in our work, not to mention our quality of life! When you decide to no longer tolerate a disengaged work life, it’s time to reignite your passion.
Reap the power of why
When in doubt about why you’re doing what you’re doing, go back to basics. Go back to a time when you felt really passionate and excited about the work you’re doing just because you're doing it. Revisit what moved you to action and spend some time getting back in touch with what drove you back then. Intrinsic motivation, doing something just because you love that something, is a powerful thing and there’s no substitute for it.
Take a few moments to finish this sentence: “I started doing this job because I ...”
You’d be surprised how many actionable steps can result from a simple moment of introspection.
List the things that are killing your passion
Understanding why you feel less passionate now is equally important to pinpointing what made you feel that passion to begin with. Take time to make a detailed list of the things that are preventing you from feeling the same about your job. Is it the clutter on your desk? Or perhaps the routine that you’ve settled in is no longer working for you? Maybe your relationship with your team members has changed as of late?
Divide this list into things you can change and things you can’t change. Then make actionable next steps for the things you can change. Your desk is cluttered and causes you to procrastinate? Clean it up now. Switch up your routine. Catch up with team members.
As for the things you can’t change, Maya Angelou said it best:
“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.”
Learn something new
Even if you’re really good at what you do, there is always more to learn. And it might not even be directly related to what you do - it can be as simple as learning new keyboard shortcuts that make you more productive, or learning how to write a better to-do list, or watching some interesting TED Talks. Learning new things will stimulate and engage you, and this way will reignite the passion in your work.
Find a mentor
One of the best ways to reignite the passion for your work is to find and work with a mentor. A mentor is someone who can guide you and give you advice. Having a go-to person to discuss your ideas with will help you regain the passion for your work. What’s more, a mentor will give you the opportunity to observe someone who has been successful in a field related to yours. It will also let you study how they’ve been able to maintain their passion and focus throughout their careers.
Take a sabbatical
This might not be easily accessible to everyone, but it’s worth considering if you’re finding yourself in a serious rut.
Artist and designer Stefan Sagmeister advocates for the power of time off. He swears by taking a year off every seven years. Even though this might feel counterintuitive to being productive, Sagmeister points out that it can regenerate passion and generate new ideas. Sagmeister himself generates enough ideas over his sabbatical to keep him going for the next seven years.
Even if you’re not able to take a full year off, consider taking a month or even a week to recharge your batteries, reset your priorities and reignite your passion. A little bit of time away from work is a small price to pay for chucking disengagement, burnout and fatigue.
A lack of passion in your work is a definite sign that something has to change. Confront what's causing your lack of passion and then reclaim it. Make the decision to no longer tolerate a tepid work life!
What are some ways you have reignited the passion for your work in the past?
Share them with us in the comments below.