I Have Lost Interest at Work | About Islam
Home > Ask the Counselor > Others > I Have Lost Interest at Work

I Have Lost Interest at Work

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 21, 2019

Question

I suffer from a lack of interest in my work for the last 10 years to the extent that I actually lost my job due to non-performance. I am just unable to focus on my task; I repeatedly get distracted. Please suggest how to overcome this condition. Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


I Have Lost Interest at Work

In this counseling answer:

• In order to remain focused on a task, the first thing you can do is to literally remove the things that distract you.

• Always ensure to take your break away from your workspace.

• Think about why you do the job that you do.

• Try a different routine at work.

• Make the workspace one that is appealing to you, somewhere that you enjoy being, that makes you happy.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum,

You have done the right thing to seek advice on how to overcome your lack of interest in your work. It is clearly having an impact on your performance as you state it caused you to lose your job. There are several ways you can tackle this problem and help you to spark interest in your work again and, therefore, reduce your chances of getting distracted. In sha’ Allah, ultimately, you will become more productive and a better employee.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

Borrowing from an Islamic perspective can help to identify how to overcome this problem. We can begin by comparing the process to that of khushu’ (humbleness) in prayer. Like with prayer, we can encourage khushu’ by keeping in mind why we are even standing here praying. What is the purpose behind why we are doing this?

Applying this principle to your work-based situation, you can think about why you do the job that you do. What are your motivations for going to work? What is it that made you passionate about your job in the first place? Why did you choose to pursue a career in this field? Thinking about these motivations can help to reignite the passion for your work once more, at least to a small extent.

At the very least you are working to attain a salary to support your family if you have one, or even just to provide for yourself. Framing it in this way will help you to keep in mind that you are doing it for the sake of Allah (swt), as an act of worship, to take care of your family and yourself. This alone could provide you with a sense of motivation at work.

Beyond this, there are other things you can also do to grow your passions further. You can do this in two ways: firstly, by focusing on the specific environment that you actually work in to address your problems with getting distracted. Secondly, you can focus on your career on a wider and more general level to address your lack of interest. Both approaches will also simultaneously impact each other, too.

Regarding your specific work environment, in order to remain focused on a task, the first thing you can do is to literally remove the things that distract you such as your phone. Leave it in the car and only use it during your break.

In relation to breaking, always ensure to take your break away from your workspace so you are not exposed to the same environment for the duration of the day. Go outside, get some fresh air, and talk with colleagues about something other than work. This way, you are less likely to feel tired of just living in your mental space of work for the entire day. It will give you space from work so that you can approach it with a fresh mind each time you return after a break.


Check out this counseling video:


If you still find yourself becoming easily distracted, you might try taking shorter breaks more often, so working for 50 minutes followed by a 10-minute break (or whatever time scales fit into your work schedule). During your break, allow yourself to get distracted so that when you get back to work again you will be better able to concentrate on the task.

Also, don’t forget to make use of your annual leave. Not only is it your right, but is needed to maintain passion towards your work by having time away. It will also help you to appreciate the fact that you even have a job in the first place – something that in today’s economic climate many struggles with. It will help you to realize that underneath your struggle to find interest in your work, Allah (swt) has blessed you by giving you an opportunity that many others fight so hard to obtain, if not just to earn a bit of money to provide for their family. When we face the same routine every day, it’s all too easy lack appreciation and overlook the blessings in it

Organize your workspace in such a way that you enjoy being there. You can do this by literally organizing it, decluttering and making everything neat and orderly. You can also make the space look visually appealing to you decorating it in bright colors, artificial plants,…etc., depending on your work environment.

If you work in an office setting, this is easy enough. Likewise, if your job involves driving, then you could apply the same principles to your car or work vehicle. This will help to not only improve your mood at work but will also impact positively on your productivity, too.

Continuing in relation to your specific workspace, you might also think of completely reorganizing everything so you are not stuck looking at the same scenery every day. Make the workspace one that is appealing to you, somewhere that you enjoy being, that makes you happy.

Likewise, try a different routine at work. Try completing the tasks you have to complete in a day in a different order to normal. Follow a different routine to keep your job exciting and not just following the same routine every single day.

In terms of focusing more widely on your career, there are a couple of other steps that you could also do to spark interest in your work again. Think about training in a new skill related to your role. This will enable you to not only be a more effective and valuable employee but will enable you to approach your current work with a new perspective or a new approach to getting the task done. This can ignite new passions towards your work as well as encouraging a sense of accomplishment and achievement in your career which will also serve to keep passions high.

You might also think about finding a mentor, either in your current work environment or it could even be someone from the outside to motivate you and keep you driven. They might help you to create exciting work-based goals to keep you driven.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to implement the steps it takes to find passion towards your work again, keeping in mind your desire to please Him (swt).

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

I Hate My Body

I Feel Left Out & Far from Allah

I Don’t Want To Work 9-5 All My Life; It’s a Prison




About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

find out more!