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Are You Just Going Through the Motions?


Robby

We can blame the time of year. We can talk about burnout or stress. We might mention the ever-present nature of technology, or the frustration of some national trends. But at one point or another, all of us feel like we’re just going through the motions.

But here’s something we should bring to mind: doing something without caring about it is usually worse than not doing it at all.

Bored at Work
© Flickr User Sean MacEntee

The Curse of Apathy

“I love it!” and “I hate it!” are two sides of the same coin. When we are passionate at work or in our personal lives, the enthusiasm is infectious. It may inspire other people to take our position, or get them riled up against us. Either way, passion leads to more passion.

But too often, organizations are cursed by overwhelming apathy. People get stuck in doing the same thing, assuming nothing will ever change. They grow weary and feckless. Chances are you know this feeling. In fact, you’re probably facing it to one degree or another in your own life.

The problem with apathy is that it’s actually more destructive than either end. If you do nothing, your lack of action will be noticed. Eventually, people will wonder what’s happening. You may get reprimanded, or someone may check on you.

Likewise, if you work harder, submit new ideas, tear through old projects, or clean up—others will take notice. They might feel threatened and chase you away. Or, they might appreciate your efforts and offer accolades and awards. Doing something is, well, something.

However, putting forth the minimum effort is the kiss of death. If you merely do the minimum, you’re going to get stuck in a rut.

And life is far too short to not be engaged.

To Cure Apathy, Take Risks

Quit your job. Apply for a promotion. Volunteer to lead a team. Re-organize something that’s weighing the company down. Put in extra hours. Stop working on something entirely. These are all big actions you can take that are the opposite of apathetic. And they are all likely to have an effect.

Don’t want to make a change at work? Do so outside of work. Find a new hobby you know nothing about. Join a non-profit board. Volunteer somewhere, especially somewhere new. Reconnect with old friends. Find a new place to become a regular. Do something radically different to make your life more interesting.

This moment is the only chance you get to be in this moment. Try something new. Try something old, again. But don’t just keep going through the motions. You deserve better!

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About the Blogger:

Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, August 22 2017 » Stress and Mindfullness, Success Consciousness

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