The Difference Between Being Engaged At Work Or Just Being Productive

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Engaged Workers

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Donna M. Macdonald
Donna M. Macdonald225
Writing to a woman's heart...
July 14, 2024 at 1:33PM UTC
You know those days — you're working hard and being productive, but it's like eating dry toast. Gone are the new-girl glory days when everything was exciting. Now you find you're just going through the motions in a funk. You may still be hitting all the marks, but you're not lovin' life or your job. Productive? Yes. Engaged? No!
There's a fine line between merely being productive and being engaged at work. One is black and white, and the other is Technicolor — think Dorothy waking up in Munchkinland. So how do you get from simply existing at work to being fully and happily engaged again? Read on:
1. Engage Your Mindset
Sure, there are workaholics among us, but those who feel more centered about their job generally draw a mental line of demarcation between Real Life and Work. If you're just being productive without joy and engagement, it could be because you've made work your life. Remind yourself that work is just one part of your varied world.
2. Renew Your Vows
Look at your life and the promises you've made to yourself. Your job may provide some important perks you need to be reminded of, like a solid paycheck that helps you live the life you want. Ditto health and life insurance that is super-important and meaningful to your family.
3. Get Acquainted with the Firm Again
So, it's been a few years since you joined the firm. Still, now is a great time to revisit your company's mission statement. Dust off your new-employee folder and take a second look. Remember the reasons why you took the job in the first place. Sometimes just a refresher course on your company's core values and philosophy can reboot your own personal mission and get the juices flowing again.
4. Step Out
Perhaps you've become a little passive in your position or like to stay under radar. Step out of your cubicle and comfort zone and talk to the employees you only say hi to in the hallways. Target someone you think is interesting for lunch, especially newbies — their outlook is still fresh and exciting. Let it rub off on you.
5. Join Up
Volunteer to work at the monthly blood drive or awards luncheon. It's a great way to see all the new faces but also gives you more visibility which could lead to more interesting assignments. Stretching out of your comfort zone will help get you back in the game.
6. Go With The Flow
When we reach flow, our work days fly by, tasks peel away one by one and we might even forget to eat. Ask for projects that more closely align with who you are so you reach that semi-transcendental state. Think of where you best skills lie and try to shadow in a department that mirrors who you are.
All jobs get stale from time to time, but there are things you can do to keep from being just a cog in a wheel and at the same time have a more colorful, engaged work life.
Donna is a freelance writer with a particular interest in the issues, struggles, loves, and dreams of women. She writes all about it on her blog,


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