Home ▸ Here’s what you should do if you’ve hit a career slump

Here’s what you should do if you’ve hit a career slump

As an entrepreneur, motivation isn’t negotiable. Without it, ideas flounder and never get off the ground. Some argue there’s a deliberate science behind cultivating motivation, while others seem to have just been born with an endless supply.

The reality is most of us will experience some point in life where we could use a little inspiration. Try a few of these techniques and see if they can help you get back in gear.

First off, clean your desk

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the spring. Sometimes starting with a fresh foundation is all that’s needed to jumpstart your motivation. One easy fix is to remove unnecessary clutter from your workspace. That could mean updating family photos in the office, completely clearing your desk or deleting files from your computer desktop. It might sound monotonous, but minor changes of scenery, whether physical or digital, can create space for inspiration.

Soul search

Ask yourself, “What am I good at and why do I want to be doing what I’m doing?” It’s a seemingly simple question, but helps get to the core of what makes us tick. Naturally, we’re more inclined to do things we’re good at because, well, we’re good at them. No one likes to fail. If you identify 1–2 things you excel at, and spend 80% of your time mastering those strengths, you’ll find much more drive in your day-to-day.

Break a sweat

In a way, exercise is comparable to entrepreneurship. Both require goal setting, hard work and an incentive to keep fighting through the pain. For me, working out kick starts my motivation and carries over into my actual work. Whenever I’m facing a slump in the day, a quick workout, even if only 20 minutes, completely shifts my disposition. Endorphins are real and useful.

You’ve just been fired

Every three years, I fire my entire team. Don’t worry, it’s only for a few seconds! Together we pretend we have no ownership over anything that got the company where it is today. I pose the question, “If you didn’t work on ‘X’ what ‘Y’ would you be inspired to create?” It’s an extreme approach, but I’ve found that people tend to lose steam when they get too comfortable or lack a sense of autonomy with a project. It helps freshen our perspective and identify the next goal.

Book a trip

No matter what, I always have a getaway planned in the books. It could be a weekend ‘staycation’ with my family, or a Euro trip in a year, but either way I like having something to look forward to outside of work. This forces me to be honest with myself and schedule needed breaks from the fast-paced world of tech — and also serve as a reminder that hard work has its benefits.

Commit it to ‘paper’

Sometimes we simply forget what we’re trying to achieve. We all have that friend who loses sight of New Year’s resolutions come January 2nd — hey, maybe you are that friend! Whether it’s pen and paper or the digital equivalent, writing down goals has been shown to help people actually achieve them. Keeping them in a prominent place helps inspire me and acts as a subtle, daily reminder to refocus on my priorities.

Motivation is the cornerstone of all success. There is no success if you don’t have the drive to get started or keep going. We all have slumps from time to time — that’s completely natural. But we don’t have to stay there.