By Kayla Bayens
We have all been there. You get to the start of a work day and suddenly you have zero motivation to get anything done. You could care less that there is a pile of papers sitting on your desk, or an over stuffed inbox full of boring work emails for you to check. All of your motivations seems to have drained out of you like sand. It is unfortunately something we will encounter no matter how much we might love our jobs. So as a gift to all you hard workers out there I have made a compilation of all of my favorite tricks to get back into the motivated groove!
You Are Unstoppable
It is a mantra that I often say to start off my day. In fact I often write a little post-it in the morning with the word “Unstoppable” on it and keep it on my computer. I’m not invincible, I do fail or make mistakes at task. But I don’t let that trip me up or grind my progress to a halt. I don’t let those stop me. Instead I fix them, make a note for next time and move on through my day tackling every task as if its my first of the day. Remember you are unstoppable. Disappointment, mistakes, hiccups all blockages of work will not stop you in your tracks. You are powerful, smart, and determined. You are UNSTOPPABLE.
Write Down Your Strong Points
Alot of times I see the best people at work all have the same personality quirk. They nit pick at the things they did wrong or what they think they are weak at until that is all that they see about themselves and their work. You want to destroy your motivation then let yourself get stuck in this mindset. It is an easy one to fall into and quickly spirals out of control. To keep yourself from this pitfall at the start of each day write down your strong points. What are you good at, what do you have experience in, where do your skills shine, what project or part of one did you excel at recently? Take all these things and make them into a list each day. Remind yourself that you are good, no that you are great, at your job. And as a bonus if anyone tries to tell you that you are bad at your job you readily have a list that proves just the opposite.
Stale, that is the best way to describe the feeling that comes from not having motivation. The work is stale, how you do it is stale. Its the same. To fight this power I tend to looking for inspiration. In terms of keeping motivated you should do this for both yourself and for any team you are on at work. Read about how your field is progressing, read about what is going on out in the world, read what other people think is happening. Doing this will spark ideas in your head about how to improve what you do, how to improve the company itself, and how to improve yourself. It doesn’t need to be non-fiction either, it can be a really good book that just so happens to get your juices flowing!
For your team take them out to see things outside of their normal environment. Visit companies outside of your field, check out conventions or related events, or take your team out for a lunch in a near by park. Getting outside of the environment you and your team see day in and day out. Seeing the same things triggers the same pathways in your brain. Move outside of your normal environment and watch the ideas start to loosen up. Maybe even take your next team meeting outside of the office. The same thing everyday all the time gets old real fast, change it up and keep your motivation up.
We already talked about how the same thing becomes stale. The same is true for the tasks you are working on. Don’t be afraid to try new skills, to ask for assignments outside of what you normally do. Talk to your supervisor and let me know that you are interested in expanding your skills or looking for a challenge. They won’t get mad at you over this. In fact most supervisors would be thrilled to hear their employee wants to do more! Ask a co-worker who has expertise in a skill different then yours if they would be willing to do a trade of skills, where you each teach the other something new. Work needs to be exciting for you each day but you have to work to make it so. If you just sit back and try to be passive about it then it will quickly become monotonous and boring.
You spend alot of your time at work. In fact you spend the majority of your days there. Why not get to know the people around you? Take lunches together, go grab some coffee. Having friends in the workplace can go a long way to making the work more enjoyable. How many times in college did you manage your way through a difficult class because your friends were in it with you? Or how many seemingly easy classes where incredibly painful to get through because you didn’t know anyone? Make the effort to get to know the people working around you. You’d be surprised by how much you might have in common. While making friends with the co-workers around you makes for a great work environment don’t be afraid to make friends with people in other departments as well. Who knows maybe one of them would be willing to do a skills trade with you.
Feedback Is Needed
The worst thing for motivation is to work on a project or task and think that it has no effect what so ever on the company or on your team. You need to know that what you do is important, that you aren’t just being given menial tasks to pacify you. Talk to your supervisor or a fellow co-worker and ask for honest feedback every week or so on things you’ve been working on. Not only will this let you know where your projects stand in the greater scheme of things but good feedback gives you an opportunity to hone your skills. Being given the chance to up your game is always an easy way to get motivated at work. Take it as a challenge to be better everyday then you were the day before.
Hopefully you didn’t spend the whole work day just sitting at your desk twiddling your thumbs and starring off into space. If you did you might want to pay closure attention to this post, if not then you had to have accomplished tasks. It doesn’t matter how small or how many you accomplished. But you did do something today. Take a moment at the end of your day to reflect on all the great work you get done. Make a list of everything that you completed, no matter how small, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly that list grows. You do matter. Look at what you have accomplished. Without you those tasks may have been pushed off or never completed. Think about that as you make your way home and let that feeling of euphoria that comes from a successful day at work wash over you.
Who doesn’t like to have fun? But how do you pull off fun at work while you are trying to dig yourself out from under a pile of tasks? Really it just all comes down to perspective. 99% of your tasks can be enjoyable, dare I say it, bordering on fun if you come at them with the right mindset. As with everything in life hating or loving a task is all mental. Get inside your own head to flip the script on how you see certain tasks. I’m not saying doing this will be immediately easy, but once you train yourself to do this you will quickly find enjoyment in any task. To start training yourself you should use three simple questions from LifeHack:
- How can I enjoy this task?
- What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
- How can I make this work the best part of my day?
This is probably mine, and everybody else’s, favorite part. Reward yourself for the work you do. You work hard, you roll up your sleeves and do tasks you don’t always like or that might not even have been yours. Going to work and giving it your all every day to be better then the day before deserves a reward. You are a great worker and give it your all. So now its time to remind yourself of that as you get more then just the proverbial pat on the back. Take a trip somewhere, buy that dress you’ve been eyeballing, grab that new game you’ve been wanting to play. Pick something you love doing and do it. Go out to dinner at a new restaurant or relax at a day spa. Rewarding yourself is important to keeping your morale up and in turn to keeping your motivation up.