Breaking Out Of A Rut

Since we got back from our vacation, I’ve been completely unmotivated at work.  I can’t stay focused on any tasks and my mind keeps wandering elsewhere.  The project I’ve been working on for the last few months is a train wreck and nothing seems to be going right.  It doesn’t help that I’ve spent the majority of the last two months out of the office.  Instead of coming back refreshed, I feel somewhat isolated from the rest of my team.

The first big issue is my primary project.  I really haven’t made any progress on it since April and it has hit one road block after the other.  I’m still learning how to get things done in this new corporate environment and apparently there’s still a lot to learn.  It’s frustrating that the solution seems so obvious to me, but I’m finding that relationships are critical if you want to get anything done.  I just need to do a better job of influencing others.  Once this project has a clear path forward and begins getting results, I may feel as though I’m at least contributing to the team’s goals.

Aside from that, I no longer have a strong desire to advance up the ranks.  My only motivation for promotion is to make a little more money to pile into our savings and investments.  I know I could contribute a lot more to my company if I had greater responsibility, but would it be wrong to apply for and possibly take a higher position from someone more dedicated to building their career knowing I plan on retiring sooner rather than later?

Being new to the civilian world, this is also the first time I’ve ever had to go through the whole mid-year appraisal process.  A part of me wanted to blow it off since I can honestly say I don’t really care about it all that much.  Even the individual goals and objectives we had to come up with earlier this year seemed silly to me.  Do people really play this game for 45 years of their life?

I’m just rambling and venting at this point, but getting everything off my chest is therapeutic.  I work for a really great company and countless people would love to be in my shoes.  I am grateful for the opportunity I have and maybe feel somewhat guilty that I’m not giving it my all.

For others seeking early retirement, do you find yourself more or less engaged at work as you get closer to financial independence?  I’m still nearly two years away under the best case scenario and I already find myself mentally checking out.  I’ve always been a fairly high performer yet I find myself struggling to stay motivated.  Does anyone have tips for keeping your mind in the present when all you can think about is the freedom that lies ahead?

4 thoughts on “Breaking Out Of A Rut

  1. our next life says:

    Eager to see what others say. We for sure struggle with this, too, though we’d probably struggle even if we weren’t just a few years from ER. Corporate BS is just hard. We do our best to stay engaged by thinking about the extra money we’ll make by working harder, and by reminding ourselves that the jobs we have to do for a few more years will be a lot more enjoyable if we try rather than check out. We don’t want to hate life until we retire! Forming social bonds at work helps too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mrs SSC says:

    I am in the exact same boat as you, so I have no advice. I think Mr. SSC does a lot better than me, but he loves his job – and I think that keeps him motivated. I on the otherhand, just like my job. I don’t dread coming to work, but I do wish I had a few more days off! When we first got on the FIRE wagon, we did have more motivation problems, but we’ve slowly both gotten into the mind frame that there is a lot of life to enjoy and experience while we are still on our FIRE journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. projectpatrol says:

    For some reason I’m tearing up reading this. In August, I will be 1 year out of work (on purpose of course). Sometimes I think I just gave up. Sometimes I know I did. We saved but, certainly not enough to live out the rest of our lives. I remember just pushing through every day at work with such a vengeance. I did what I had to do but, I gave myself a deadline in which I would quit. Albeit, too early I think. I don’t fully regret my decision but, I do wish I would have held on longer and continued to save. I probably didn’t help at all but, I do hope you find what you need in moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ditching the Grind says:

    Thanks, everyone. Glad I’m not the only one in this boat. I’ve been watching internal job postings intermittently for a while now and actually applied to one today. It would be a lateral move to a part of the company I think I would like a lot more… it’s at least an area I’m much more interested in. I’d consider myself a long shot for the position, but you never know.


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