8 Signs That You Need a Change ... and Fast!
Listen to your internal dialogue. When you're honest with yourself, you already know how you truly feel.
According to Gallup, 70 percent of U.S. employees feel emotionally disconnected from their workplaces. Despite the initial excitement that comes with a new role, that excitement often fades into apathy.
Do you fall in the same category? Most entrepreneurs would be offended by the idea -- they picked their work, after all. But anyone can, at any stage, become stagnant. Entrepreneurs aren't immune.
It can be challenging to leave your work or begin considering something new, no doubt. There's value in the sense of comfort and security that comes with having a role or company you're accustomed to. That being said, there are countless opportunities out there, and life is short. Spending time on work that doesn't get you excited -- especially when other opportunities loom on the horizon -- is typically not the best use of time.
Keep an eye out for these eight signals that indicate you're bored of what you're doing and need a change:
1. You have lower energy levels than usual.
When you don't enjoy your work, it can take a hit on your energy levels. Given that your profession takes up such a large proportion of your time, it's very likely draining you if it feels stale or is boring. Work you love, on the other hand, gives you energy back in exchange for what you expend.
When you notice lower levels of energy throughout your daily activities, you should question if it might be stemming from your work.
2. You would rather do things other than your primary job.
Work isn’t always the most exciting thing, but ideally, you're doing what you enjoy. If you think about the tasks you're responsible for and only do them begrudgingly, that could be a sign that you're bored.
People gravitate toward tasks and activities that interest them. Consequently, a desire to spend the majority of your time on activities that have nothing to do with your job says something about your current interests.
3. Your desire for the weekend has increased.
Weekends are nice, no matter where you work. That said, if you have a strong mental differentiation between the week and the weekend, that's a telling signal.
The weekends should serve as a nice break, but they shouldn't be seen as something dramatically better than your weekly activities. When that happens, your mind is signaling that it wants to be anywhere but the office.
4. You have decreased focus.
While at work, how productive are you? Do you feel like you're devoting your full energy and attention to the tasks at hand, or do you constantly lose focus? If you're frequently checking your phone or social media or spending time on other things while at work, that's a clear sign that you're looking for external stimulation.
5. You have no problem giving less than 100 percent.
This one's especially dangerous for entrepreneurs: How much effort do you put into your tasks at work? When that answer isn’t close to 100 percent -- and isn't the result of a launch, a family emergency or some other all-consuming event -- you should question whether it bothers you. If it doesn't, you've likely lost your passion for your work.
The best work is intrinsically motivating. It comes when we want to work hard for ourselves and for the potential impact we can have. When you have no problem putting less than your best foot forward, it demonstrates apathy for the mission.
6. You frequently look at the clock.
In an ideal work environment, the days fly by, ending with you wishing you had more time. On the other hand, time moves much more slowly if your job bores you.
A good measure of this is how frequently you check the clock while working. If you're just waiting for it to hit 5 p.m. so you can go home each day, what does that say about your dedication to your venture's work?
7. You resent your job or those around you.
When you're frustrated by your work or environment, it's easy to build up anger and resentment toward those around you. This could include your board, your employees or the industry at large.
Do you catch yourself doing this and blaming those around you for wrongdoings they haven't actually committed?
If so, ask yourself why. It's likely caused by the situation that's currently frustrating you. It's hard to be happy for others -- or with others -- when we're fixating on the things we're not happy about in our own lives. In the short term, resentment can help you feel like you're fighting off those negative feelings. Those sentiments, however, are just another form of poisoning the well.
8. You frequently think about doing something different.
Does being in a different role or company or spending the bulk of your time doing something else cross your mind? If so, that's as strong a signal as any that you're bored and ready for a change.
You wouldn't constantly be searching for a pressure-release valve if that weren't the case. Subsequently, the more you think about alternatives, the more likely it is that it's time to pursue one of them.
It can be hard, but listen to the signals when you can. Making a massive change -- especially when you own a company -- is by no means easy. There are some situations when, due to financial constraints or other considerations, you might not even be able to.
When you feasibly can, however, gather your courage. Listen to your internal thoughts and dialogue, and run through the checklist. When you're honest with yourself, you already know how you truly feel. The question is whether you'll follow your gut.
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