The routine of a job can make even the best career feel monotonous. Doing the same thing day after day, week after week, can make us feel bored and restless. Some say it's the employer's fault for not creating a more stimulating work environment, while most employers are quick to turn it around and say they're paying employees to do a job. Therefore, it's their responsibility to keep themselves feeling engaged and satisfied at work. I say blaming each other is a waste of time. Satisfaction is a state of mind, and the person with the mind is the one with the ability to improve it. Turns out, science agrees with me...
Feeling burnt out at work? Science says, "take a field trip."
The fastest way to get out of your funk at work is to break up the routine with a little brain-stimulating change of scenery. Madisyn Taylor from DailyOM says workers need to "sign their own permission slips" and go on a field trip. Taylor explains:
Field trips were a break from schoolwork and an opportunity to go on an adventure with friends. Now that we are grown ups, taking a field trip can be just as fun and memorable - if only we were willing to sign our own permission slips so we could go on one.
She's right. Research show that getting out of your routine, and in particular, going on an excursion is a powerful way to wake up your brain. In fact, these studies show new sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain. The positive effects of a grown-up field trip can inspire you to return to work with a renewed sense of energy and creativity. Subsequently, helping you re-engage with your work in new and more meaningful ways.
3 tips for maximizing your field trip's effectiveness.
Taylor offers some tips for getting the most out of your field trip. They include:
1. Focus on quality, not quantity. Your field drip doesn't have to be all day. Even a few hours can make a difference if they give you an opportunity to explore a new landscape or discover something about yourself.
2. Get curious and enjoy the wonder. Choosing a place you never been before will activate all your senses automatically, but going to one of your favorite spots and allowing yourself to experience it as if you were visiting there for the first time works too. Going on a field trip offers as much of a shift in perspective as it is a change in routine.
3. Leave your watch at home. Taylor says, "During a "grown up" field trip, schedules, clocks, and duties are put aside so you can focus wholeheartedly on mindfully enjoying yourself." To get the most out of your field trip, it's important to be in the moment and allow yourself to feel and experience as much as you can with your sense. Being distracted by the time will diminish the power of the experience.
Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do, going on a field trip can be just what you need to shake yourself out of that career rut and re-engage with your job.
P.S. - If a field trip doesn't work, it's time to get some help.
If you take a grown-up field trip and still find yourself in a career rut, consider getting some professional help. Staying in a job that drains you not only decreases performance but can lead to you getting fired. Lower levels of performance due to disengagement and a lack-luster attitude towards work is one of the main reasons employers cite for terminating an employee. Furthermore, studies show those that get let go for poor performance stay unemployed longer too. Don't let your career rut linger, or you could find yourself in trouble.