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Are You Stuck in a Rut?

I exercise regularly and one thing that I find is that I get the best results if I switch things up every now and then. If I do the same thing day in, day out for long periods of time then the benefits decline. When I used to jog every day, I would run the same route at the same kind of pace and while it was good for my general and cardiovascular fitness it didn't really get me to a higher level of fitness. If I wanted to get in shape for soccer season I needed to switch things up, add some anaerobic activity and increase the intensity.

The same can be said for work ... no matter what it is that you do, if you do the same thing day in, day out then it gets boring ... and you lose your edge. You find yourself in a rut!

I have often said that you need to strive for a positive environment in all aspects of your life, because when one part is not fun it will affect everything. The rut in any part of your life hurts ... so what do you do? I don't think that you need to make wholesale changes, even small things can get you out of that rut. Here are some ideas:

Dress differently. If you regularly go to work in casual clothes, then dress them up just a little. Even if you work on the shop floor take a little more pride in your appearance. Polish your boots, wear laundered work clothes etc. Just the act of looking better will make you feel better about yourself, which will reflect in your job.

Change your work time. If you are in a rut then chances are you are not being very productive at work, so you need to change your routine a little. It doesn't have to be much but catch the earlier bus to work, get there 15 minutes earlier and use that time to plan your day. Stay 15 minutes later and use that time to measure yourself, how well you did today and what you could have done better.

Act as though you work for yourself. If this was your company what would you want this employee to do? What can you do to be more productive so your company can succeed?

Smile! If you are in a rut them your attitude will likely have slipped too. The pure act of smiling helps lift the spirits for you and those around you. Do it consciously and check in with yourself to keep it up.

Be pleasant. Similar to the above idea, but in this case go out of your way to be nice to those around you. Their outlook will improve and you will also feel better. Go get the coffee, volunteer to clean up the kitchen, buy some candy or donuts ... anything a little different, to lift the mood for you and those around you.

Almost everybody needs to work and if you can make it bearable for you and those around you then you will be happier, more productive and it will have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.