How to overcome the “I can’t be disturbed” work doldrums

Are you losing interest in your job? (Photo: Getty)

Every summer, when the weather warms up, it’s common to see a drop in productivity.

The holiday season means that our thoughts are usually elsewhere and – when the sun decides to lift its head – social plans are made left, right and center. Work is very much on the back burner.

But this professional slump feels particularly bad right now. The stress in the workplace decreases.

In addition to being at a certain time of the year, career coach Annelise Pesa says there’s another huge reason for this collective feeling right now.

She told “We are carrying the weight of the last 18 months which for the majority of people have been exhausting.

“We also envision an uncertain future with ever-changing regulations, panicking news, concerns about the virus, and the simple realization that life will not go back to what it used to be – especially regarding our personal freedom. ‘

Life and Business Coach Roo Davies agrees that we have been mentally and physically exhausted from the last year and that these feelings are making their way into our work routines.

She says, “The experiences of the past 18 months have exhausted our body’s resources. Mental stress often results in exhaustion which can lead to low energy levels (even if you haven’t been physically active) and a general lack of motivation and motivation. Basically you are walking on empty and it all seems like an effort.

“Being unmotivated is arguably one of the worst feelings and while it’s not a nice place, you don’t feel any urgency or push to make the effort to change your situation. When you feel like this in your professional life, it can seem overwhelming as we spend a large part of our day at work.

The good news is that this crisis is reversible and motivation can still be created – experts have shared a few ways to get out of it.

Have an achievable to-do list

“There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk and seeing those same old chores looking at you and feeling like you’re not doing anything,” says career coach Natalie Trice.

The best solution for this is to narrow it down to make a smaller priority list, as that will make things less overwhelming.

Natalie adds, “Have a list that is manageable and actionable and if you can try to check off at least three things each day you will start to see progress and a sense of accomplishment.”

Get an accountability buddy

illustration of man at his computer

Sharing your daily chores with a friend can help you get them done (Photo: Getty)

Natalie also suggests finding someone at your workplace, or a friend outside, with whom you can regularly learn.

She says, “It’s one thing to say that you haven’t done your job for yourself, but having to let someone else know isn’t much. Find someone in the office or a friend in a similar role and be responsible to each other.

“A quick WhatsApp in the morning to say what you plan to do, and one at the end of the day to check in and say what you’ve done, can be a great motivator and keep you on track.”

Hydration is the key

We all know how important water is for our bodies, but it also helps us focus. And if we are more focused, by default we often feel more motivated.

So be sure to keep a large bottle near your desk and drink it throughout the day.

Natalie says, “Being dehydrated won’t help you feel more motivated, instead it can add to a foggy feeling that won’t let you break through noise and perform better.”

Take advantage of days off and vacations

Vacations and breaks leave us incredibly refreshed and have the ability to pull us out of our productivity funks.

However, this does not have to be annual leave itself.

Making the most of evenings and weekends is another way to feel more energized and motivated.

Natalie says: “You might not be able to get to Ibiza for two weeks of rest and recovery, but it’s still important to take some time this summer. As well as showing up at a decent hour each day (and not checking your emails at 11 p.m.), try to do something for yourself after work – whether that’s going for a run, taking a yoga class, or preparing for a really tasty dinner.

“If you can’t go on vacation, plan some fun things on the weekends, and if you have time for the vacation, book it and take that time to recover from what has been a hell of a 18 months.

“Work can wait, your health and well-being cannot, so do it for yourself. When you return to your desk, decide if this is what is really going to make you happy and, if not, maybe it’s time for a plan B. ‘

Use the learnings of the last 18 months

The pandemic has made us incredibly resilient creatures. We faced all kinds of new obstacles and we faced them head-on.

Tess Leigh-Phillips, Advisor at The mind map, says we can apply these new skills to any professional crisis.

She adds: “The past 18 months have demanded flexibility and adaptability. Our lives have been turned upside down and we have adjusted as best we can.

“So why not apply this flexibility and adaptability to yourself? If you feel tired, set aside time to rest, without guilt. If you’re feeling unmotivated, the worst thing you can do is blame yourself. It’s just a feeling, and the feelings pass.

Find a goal

“Aimlessly, you’ll go on autopilot and perform movements without any sense of direction,” adds Roo Davies.

Rather than just complaining about all the work you have to do, it’s a good idea to try and think of certain things that you want to accomplish.

Roo adds, “It works because the goal is passion’s best friend. When you are engaged and interested, you naturally become energized. Essentially, you refuel your energy resource – refill your reservoir. ‘

She recommends thinking about your strengths and whether there is a new project you can take on. Creating these specific and achievable goals will help you regain your interest.


Monotony and lethargy go hand in hand.

Roo says, “If your workday looks like Groundhog Day, mix things up.

“While routine and structure are great in getting things done, they can also seem restrictive and boring. So don’t be afraid to question the status quo. If you always save the chores you hate most for the afternoon, try doing them in the morning.

A new routine will make things more interesting and less repetitive.

If you can’t change your work routine, change the things you do before and after work instead.

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