How To: Get Out of a Rut

So it is that time of year again where most people I have spoken to, including myself, are in a bit of an ongoing rut. As such, I thought it would be a good subject to write about.

Reasons why you might be in a rut:
1. You are doing the same routine everyday
2. Although hypocritical a lack of routine can also cause a rut
3. Not getting what you want out of a day
4. People surrounding you succeeding further than yourself

Obviously there are more ways which can cause a rut but personally I feel like these are the main reasons when I have been there.

Here are 10 ways that you can try and get yourself out of a rut:

  1. Brain dump everything 
  2. Use a pomedoro timer, ie, forest or BeFocused are my favourites. 
  3. Bundle up the smaller tasks ie, emails, filing, decluttering while being off your phone.
  4. Walk away from your desk on breaks, this allows you to refocus quicker and easier when work is getting tough or you feel unmotivated. 
  5. Take up a new skill, you might feel like you have too much time on your hands and feel like you are not accomplishing as much as you would like. Or maybe you need a new social aspect in your life and a new class or hobby can help fill this. 
  6. Get it off your chest! Now I dont mean bog down someone else but talk about inspirational things or get them to account you for your goals ie, tell them you want to go for a run 3x a week and they can ask you at the end of the week, how many times did you go on a run? 
  7. Remember, nobody is perfect! A small step is still a step nonetheless. 20 mins of work will inevitably be better than no work at all. 
  8. Set yourself some goals! Inspire yourself with what you want to achieve, remember to set both short and long term goals otherwise you may be in another rut before you know it. 
  9. If it is the afternoon slump kind of rut, a 20-30 min nap might help you out to clear your mind and give you a little boost. 
  10. Take a break. Ruts are usually the result of working too hard for too long, so take a well deserved break, whether that is a holiday or just a Sunday off or even an hour away from work to give you that time to refocus and rekindle your love for what you do. 

We all know that the best way to manage something is to prevent it rather than wait until it is too late and then the problem is much worse.

How can I prevent a rut from occurring? 

  1. Goal setting and tracking helps to make sure you are getting where you want to be. 
  2. Positivity will prevail, if you tell yourself you will fail, you are setting yourself up for failure. Getting yourself and others around you to be more positive in general can help in more ways than you could ever think. 
  3. Regular breaks and mini resets will prevent you from burnout and a rut (even if you go for a 5 min walk outside). 

I hope this brief look into how to get out of a burnout/rut can help especially as we are all nearing exam times and may need that little kick of motivation to get us to the end of the academic year.

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