6 tips to staying motivated at work
If you’re currently sitting at work staring out the window while tasks build up in front of you, it might be time to read this. Staying motivated at work can be one of the biggest challenges you’ll face in your career, but there are simple things you can do to re-ignite your enthusiasm. Lysn psychologist Michelle Pal explains the small hacks that can turn you into a driving force of motivation at work.
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TURN BIG TASKS INTO SMALLER ONES
It can sometimes be difficult to keep your eyes on the prize when you’re dealing with mammoth tasks, especially at work. Large tasks that might take a lot of time and effort can seem overwhelming and out of reach. Michelle Pal suggests breaking down the big tasks into smaller ones and ticking them off as you achieve them.
“By creating smaller and achievable goals, you can push yourself to be more motivated by rewarding yourself when you achieve them. Even if it’s the simple satisfaction of crossing it off your task list, those small accomplishments achieved on a daily basis are better than going days without feeling like you haven’t made any achievements.”
SET VISUAL CUES
If you’ve been procrastinating at work and leaving tasks unfinished, this can be detrimental to your mental health. Procrastination over long periods of time can lead to anxiety and sometimes even depression, which can in turn affect other areas of your life, not just work. If you have tasks that must be achieved in certain timeframes, set visual cues around your desk as a prompt.
“When your brain is filled up with words and analytical thoughts, visual cues can be the things that cut through all the chatter. Consider using post it notes with tasks outlined, or creating a mind map to clarify your thinking,” Michelle Pal explains.
Visual cues can be a great driver for motivation in all areas of your life. From starting small with coloured post it notes through to creating larger mind maps and mood boards, this can be just the visual stimulation your mind needs to stay motivated.
CHANGE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
For those that work from home or in the same office on a daily basis, this can be a big one. Changing your surroundings can reignite your motivation and improve your productivity. If working remotely or from a café isn’t something you can do, try moving desks in the office or facing a different wall – all these things can provide a new perspective. Michelle Pal explains:
“Sometimes a small shift in scenery can mean a big shift in motivation. Different surroundings provide a new perspective whilst enabling you to interact with different people and which can also spark your creativity.”
CHANGE YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE
Similar to changing your surroundings, making a change in your regular routine can turn what often feels like ground hog day into a whole new experience. Consider walking a different way to work, buying your coffee at a different coffee shop, or even working different hours if it’s possible to do so.
“As humans we are all creatures of habit, but it is important to break your regular routine. This hits the refresh button if you’re feeling like work is a little too mundane. It is important to note however that having a routine to start with is key, but breaking it every now and then is just as important.”
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
You can’t expect to stay motivated if you’re already feeling tired, stressed or overworked. However, when you’re busy, taking time out of work can feel like the last thing you want to do. As counter productive as it might seem, taking regular breaks actually increases productivity and motivation levels.
“Stepping out and taking a moment to refresh will help you stay motivated, whilst having a positive effect on your mind and body. It’s not healthy to sit for too long, and neither is it healthy to work nonstop.”
Hitting the break and refresh button regularly will help you stay on track with tasks, keep your energy levels boosted, change your work dynamic and in turn, increase your motivation.
KNOW WHEN TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
Chronic procrastination can be a sign of underlying issues, such as excessive worry or perfectionism. Perfectionism is can lead to crippling fear that your work will never be good enough and this anxiety can hold you back from starting or completing projects. If procrastination is an ongoing problem for you seek out a professional to help you work through any underlying issues.