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How Can You Kill Apathy at Work?


Where will you be when apathy strikes? Probably at work. 

For most of us, work/the office is where we spend the bulk of our waking hours. Even if you love what you do and who you're doing it for, it's only natural to stop caring from time to time.

The problem that arises, though, is that you've still got stuff to do. Your boss, to-do list, clients, etc. don't care if you're feeling apathetic, nor why you might be. The important piece is the completed task.

So how do you still get stuff done when you don't give a rat's booty about what you're doing, why you're doing it, or who you're doing it for?

Sadly, there's no one way that's going to work perfectly for everyone every time. That'd be great! But it's just a dream.

Sometimes exercise works. Sometimes long lunches help. Sometimes going out with friends or doing something spontaneous can break the cycle. Sometimes you need to change up your role entirely!

I can't guarantee it will work for everyone, but this is what works for me whenever I'm feeling apathetic at work.

I shut people out. I hate distractions anyway, but when I'm feeling apathetic, I have to remove as many reminders as I can that I'm still doing this job. I have to make it feel like I'm not actually where I am or doing what I'm doing. So I put my headphones on and ignore everyone.

Sometimes I'll work from home or in the car (I'm thankful that I can). I try to find privacy in some way. Then I look at my to-do list (which you absolutely need to have). I pick an item on that list that I can complete without having to feel anything or care, and I just do it.

Is it my best work? No. Am I happy about it? Hardly. Does it take me longer than usual? Probably. But it gets done. And that moment of achievement does a number on my apathy. "I did this. I accomplished something." Of course, the right music helps tremendously.

After a few achievements like this, which could take hours or days, I start to come out of my apathetic turtle's shell. I begin to care again, and that's a beautiful moment.

This advice very much takes a "shut up and deal with it" approach. But that's been the best solution I've found so far.

It's okay to be apathetic about work. It happens to everyone, no matter how passionate you are. But stuff still has to get done. So hole-up in a quiet space, put on your song of choice, and just get after it!