Ep 35: Simple ways to feel less disengaged at work

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It’s easy to start feeling disconnected from your work. There’s so much going on at work that takes our focus and concentration away from what we do best.

All that can add up to real stress. You have the power to re-engage yourself at work.

Here are a few simple ways to reconnect with your work.

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Full transcript 👇

Episode 35 - Simple ways to feel less disengaged at work - Cat looking out of a window with bars

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

Are you having trouble feeling personally invested in your work right now?

  • Maybe you have a lot of drama going on at work that’s distracting you.
  • Or maybe you’ve just hit a wall with what you can really do in this particular role.

Regardless of the reason, feeling disconnected from your work can be stressful.

After all, you spend most of your waking hours at work.

There are real costs to your productivity and your confidence when you don’t feel invested in what you’re good at.

There’s no room for that in today’s competitive work environment.

  • Struggling to have some control over the the direction your work is taking can easily turn in to cynicism.
  • Having more and more work put on you with already limited resources can lead to overwhelm and anxiety.
  • All this brings you to a pretty stressful place.

Engaging is hard because you have to fight to stay in the game. It’s even harder if you’re not sure exactly what you’re fighting for.

Sometimes it feels easier to just pull away from the fight.

Companies need to find meaningful ways to help employees feel more challenged, appreciated and forward-focused.

But really, whether or not you engage in your work is your decision.

And it’s a personal decision, not a business decision

When you don’t feel personally invested in your work it’s hard to grasp the purpose and meaning in your work days.

There is no line between personal and business anymore.

What affects you at work affects your livelihood.

And that’s very personal.

So being engaged in your work is ultimately your responsibility.

It is possible to feel more engaged.

You can find a few simple ways to reconnect with your work to help you feel better about the time you spend there.

  • You may discover a new direction for your work right where you are.
  • Or you may buy yourself some time until you can put a more definitive plan together.

Either way, making a decision to re-engage just a little bit can help you feel stronger and a little more in control.

Here are a few things you can consider.

Focus on the small stuff.

While you may have little control over the bigger decisions, you do usually have more mastery over the smaller parts of your job.

Find one strength or enjoyable skill you can hang your hat on right now.

This is something simple you can do just for the sake of enjoyment and that you can look forward to.

For example, if you like to write, maybe you can send a quick round up email to your coworkers where you share your perspective on the week’s industry news. This could be fun for you, and it won’t hurt your visibility.

Or maybe there’s a particular milestone coming up in a project that uses some of your very best skills. Lean into that one deliverable and put those skills on full display.

Find simple tasks or projects that will allow you to feel like you’re making a personal investment, even if it’s a small one.

This gives you kind of an intrinsic boost.

Seek out learning and training opportunities.

Maybe your company offers online training through an employee portal or a third-party learning platform. If they do, that’s amazing!

Carve out some time in your schedule to take advantage of this benefit to boost your skills.

Or find an introductory course online in a new area of focus that you have your eye on. This will put your focus on the future and take it off of what’s not working for you right now.

Learning is a great antidote to disengagement.

Offer to help someone else with their work.

I know you probably have more work than you can say grace over right now.

But offering to help a coworker with a simple task can help you feel needed and appreciated. You need to feel this way right now.

There’s nothing like knowing someone else is counting on you to make you feel energized.

Sacrificing a little of your time for someone else will go a long way to help you feel more connected.

And besides giving to others always makes you feel better.

Take regular breaks.

I’m a broken record on this one, I know. But when you’re struggling with stress, overwhelm and disengagement, you need to take time away to release that stress.

Feeling burned out for sure won’t help you feel more engaged.

Sitting for long periods at your desk is not just unhealthy for you physically. It also locks up your creativity and jacks with your focus and concentration.

Go do something else for a minute.

Then do that again in about an hour.

Regular breaks will help your days feel a little less intense and give them some rhythm.

There’s no one solution to employee engagement.

But you have a lot of power in your hands right now to reconnect with your work in simple and strategic ways.

For articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at Lorimiller.me. You can catch Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Visit LoriMiller.me for info on how to subscribe.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
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