By Nico Strydom
A lack of energy and enthusiasm, being unmotivated and the feeling that there is nothing to look forward to, are all signs that you are trapped in a rut.
There may be many causes for falling into a rut and according to Ilse de Beer, a psychiatrist, it often also is difficult to establish when and how you did so.
“With the uncertainty, isolation, financial tension and general worry that 2020 brought about, you don’t have to look far for the reason for this happening.”
The lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic was a time for great introspection. People’s routines and way of life changed completely and for some it possibly came with the realisation that their work and life as they knew it were no longer what they wanted.
“While there was a return to reality with the country that passed through the different levels of the lockdown, many people have fallen into a rut. They feel trapped in a work for which they no longer feel motivated,” says De Beer.
The lockdown also brought about changes in the workplace. “You may have lost a colleague who was retrenched due to Covid-19 or perhaps your role and responsibilities at work changed. You might also have received a salary adjustment.”
According to De Beer, a lack of work security and a decline in the feeling of permanence also contribute to feelings of dissatisfaction in the workplace and a desire to make a change. “But be careful of making drastic changes. Research shows that one should not make big changes during difficult times, times of sadness, mourning, tension or disruption.”
A simple change in routine could, according to De Beer, often be the answer to get you out of that rut. She makes a number of suggestions on how this can be done.
“Change your work space. It could help to promote feelings of comfort and inspiration. Change your routine. If you change the sequence of your tasks, it could make your work feel different.”
De Beer also recommends that work should not be piled up, as it could reach a stage where you find yourself in a flat spin. “Make lists and be organised. This ensures that you work within a structure and contributes directly to a feeling of control and competence.”
Don’t try to do a lot of things at once. According to De Beer, this will lead to you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and will have a negative impact on the quality of your work. Draw up a schedule and perform one task at a time.
“Even small achievements at work will help you to feel competent and motivated. If you realise that you are in a rut, don’t be tempted to do too many things simultaneously, as you might not get the results you expected. Make only small changes to begin with to see what will work.”
De Beer also recommends that you hone your skills by completing an online course, as it could help to rekindle your passion for your work and give your self-confidence a boost.
Ilse de Beer: https://ilsedebeer.co.za/af/home/De