While 2020 has thrown something different at us every month, that doesn’t mean we haven’t gotten into some routines that might not be the best for us. With so much going on, it is hard to focus on everything that needs to get done at work. And the emotional toll of what’s going on in the world can leave you unmotivated to get it done anyway.

That, my friends, is a rut.

See if any of these scenarios or feelings seem familiar from Amy Marin’s Recognizing the Signs You’re Stuck in a Rut.

  • Every day seems the same. 
  • You feel like you’re just trying to get through another day.
  • You feel unmotivated. 
  • You feel unfulfilled.
  • You want to change, but fear the temporary discomfort that comes with it.

And according to Lisa Evans, here are a few signs you are in a rut at work specifically.

  • You’re bored.
  • You dread Mondays.
  • Your work is suffering.
  • You’re acting complacent.
  • Someone has asked you if you were OK more than once this week.
  • You don’t look forward to things you used to.

I don’t think it would be a huge leap to say most of you feel this way right now. So let’s look at some tips for you to break out of it!

Figure out why it’s happening.

Take some time to find the source of your rut. While “2020” may be the obvious choice, you should dig a little deeper as to what exactly is triggering your current state.


Go for a walk. Flap your arms. Dance. Do whatever physical activity you can. Getting outside on a nice day would be even better.

Talk to someone.

Just talking to friends, family, or a therapist can help you figure out the source of your rut and work through it.

Take a mental health day.

Read more about mental health days and what you should do during one here.

Change things up.

Even if you are still quarantined, you can still make small changes that may just inspire you from changing the chair you sit in to adding a new plant.

And finally, circling back to Amy Morin:

Squash Perfectionism.

If you struggle with perfectionism, this can keep you stuck in the same place. Instead, focus on completing projects and moving forward rather than striving for perfection. Let yourself make mistakes. Embrace the fact that you have given your best effort and move on. In time, you will be much more productive and creative when you’re no longer tethered to perfectionism.”

How to Get out of a Rut

For more on getting out of your rut, check out the resources I used to write this post:

Stuck in a Rut? 5 Ways to Get Out and Move Forward by Mike Iamele

How to Get Out of a Rut by Amy Morin

8 warning signs that you’re in a career rut (and how to get out) by Lisa Evans

4 Ways to Bounce Back From a Work Rut (No Matter How Long You’ve Been in It) by Melody J. Wilding

12 Ways To Get Out Of A Work Rut by Deborah L. Jacobs

Published On: September 8, 2020|Categories: Workflows, Processes, and Productivity|