Overcoming complacency at work

Overcoming complacency at work

I briefly touched on this subject in my post about stretching your comfort zone, but I wanted to delve a little deeper into the topic of complacency at work.

It can be so easy to become complacent in the workplace. Once you’ve been somewhere a while, you’ve got your job down and you know your role like the back of your hand it’s hard not to get complacent.

You start to coast a little. You do your job well, but probably don’t push yourself to go above and beyond.

In this space you can get disheartened, a little jaded, and worst of all – bored.

I say all of this from experience. To be honest the last few months of 2016 I was coasting. I felt overwhelmed with changes happening in the company and instead of feeling challenged and excited – I felt lost and reverted to doing the bare minimum.

Thankfully, this has totally changed and my attitude has done a full 180.


Photography | Elle Narbrook

I re-discovered my why. I got excited again. I changed my mentality, and most importantly – I got creative.

If you feel like you’re drifting in a similar boat, let me share what helped me go from complacent to creative.

Take a break

I took two weeks off over Christmas and I desperately needed that time away from my desk to reassess what I wanted to get out of work and how I could change my attitude. If you can’t take two weeks, take a day. Anything is better than nothing.

What do you want to get out of your job?

Every job is an opportunity to learn, even if you’re not in the job you want to end up in. Think about what you can get out of your current role and how you can go about it.

Never stop learning

Once I realised the changes that were happening at my company were actually an opportunity to learn and not a source of stress, my attitude totally shifted. Speak to management about any skills you want to develop and do some research, find online courses and allocate time to learn.

Seek out inspiration

Listen to podcasts, read books, explore other people’s content (written or visual). It doesn’t have to be about your industry at all, just find some people who inspire you and soak it all in.

Get out of the office

This advice came from my manager who suggested I took my team out of the office for a ‘coffee and creative’ session now and again. Being a team of writers we often feel chained to our keyboards, so leaving them behind for a couple of hours to scribble in notepads feels liberating.

Get your creative juices flowing

My job is creative at its core, but it can be easy to forget that when you get weighed down with emails and other manager admin. I try to allocate at least some time every day to do something creative, whether that’s writing, making an image for social media or thinking of a video idea for a campaign.

Start a passion project (outside of work)

I honestly think my launching Blue Jay of Happiness in January had a positive effect on my work-life. As well as forcing me to get creative out of working hours, I’m learning some seriously transferable skills. For example I’m experimenting with video and Instagram for the blog and am taking what I’m learning to work.

I’ve been so much happier at work thanks to all of the above. Of course, I do still get stressed and have less fun days, but overall I’m feeling fired up and excited. And what’s not to love about that?

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Overcoming complacency at work

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