Sunday, August 15th, 2010
There are days when you will struggle to do even the easiest task. A short email can feel like an hour long torture session. These days can really test your will.
These rough days also give you a great opportunity to achieve significant personal growth at work. When you are struggling the most, you should rely on every resource you have.
I put together a list of 9 things you can do to shake off your blues and boost your motivation:
1. Make Someone Laugh
Enticing a laugh out of a friend is one of my favorite energy boosters. I’m not a comedian, but I do like to be goofy and let go of my serious side. A little silliness can make most people laugh. If you not a silly person then just strike up a light hearted conversation about family, sports, or movies. The laughs should come naturally and if they don’t, at least you got to know your co-worker a little better.
2. Drink Coffee/Tea
I’m not much of a coffee drinker; I like to drink iced or warm tea as a pick-me-up. However, when I’m at work and my energy is low there are times when I go for a cup of coffee.
Whatever your drink of choice may be, sometimes you just need an extra boost to bring that energy level up.
3. Find Purpose in Your Work
I’ve had plenty of terrible projects to work on at various jobs. One of my most dreaded was stuffing marketing bags by the 1,000s for an event. One year I had to stuff 3,000 bags with our newsletter, small flashlight, and a coupon. My neck, back and wrists were throbbing after it was all over. This tension caused a splitting headache for the drive home.
I vowed to find a mental hack so that this type of task did not feel so torturous.
I almost gave up after trying various techniques that didn’t work, but then I tried the most obvious hack of them all. I looked for the reason why I chose to stay with the work. Whether I thought about the fact that I was making my boss happy, keeping my job so I could pay my rent, and developing my internal happiness during tough situations. I realized that it kept coming back to purpose. By finding a reason to stay engaged with my work, I was able to relax and not wish that I was doing something else.
4. Picture a Positive Outcome
Your motivation may be low because you can’t envision the outcome. Or maybe you see a finished product that looks terrible.
I have a friend who loves to draw, but every time he is asked to do a drawing he hesitates. He told me that the first thing that pops in his head is a disappointed face when he hands over the drawing to his client.
My friend is an amazing artist and yet he can’t envision the value that other people see in his talents.
Next time your motivation is low, try picturing the person who receives the finished project as being so happy that s/he can’t help but give you a big bear hug.
5. Ask for Positive Feedback
Many of us are too shy to encourage a compliment out of someone. It’s a shame because even a compliment that we fish for can boost us.
So give this a try:
Don’t ask a boss or co-worker for an outright compliment, but talk about how you see yourself and ask them how they see you. 99.99% of people will start listing your strengths. If they start listing your weaknesses don’t cut them off. Just listen with an open mind and know that you can focus on the positive aspects after the conversation is over.
6. Apply an Eight Hour Habit Fix
Let’s say you procrastinate when it comes to writing certain emails. Today, just for today, you won’t procrastinate. No matter what type of email that you have to write, you will just do it.
You need to stop letting habits get in the way of accomplishing your goals. I would suggest a 30 day “habit fix” to make it permanent, but that requires a lot of work. Many of you don’t have time to focus 30 days on such a fix. So try 8 hours and see how you feel. Take one work day to focus on breaking a habit that you think is holding you back. Every time your attention slips away and you fall back into old habits, gently remind yourself to stay focused.
After your 8 hours is up, check in to see how you feel. Did you get more accomplished? Do you feel more relaxed, or are you more stressed? If it felt good then try a 30 day habit fix and see if you can’t make this positive habit a regular habit.
7. Clean Your Work Space
A clean workplace helps clear the mind. It’s hard to focus when you’re surrounded by clutter. There are more distractions to get lost in.
Try cleaning up your desk. Put away any extraneous papers, dust off your monitor, and clean up the files on your computer. Once you have a clear external area, it’s easier to deal with your internal decision making process.
8. Make a Short and Easy “To Do” List
Too many of us try to make a list that we can’t accomplish, then at the end of the day we feel depressed and unproductive. The reality is that we still got a lot done. Yes, we probably could have been 10% more efficient, but that doesn’t mean we should beat ourselves up. We need a little day dreaming to keep our creative juices flowing.
Try making a short and easy list that you know you will be able to accomplish. I know those of you who are “go getters” will try to push yourself to get more done, but try with all your might to refrain from doing this. A short and easy list makes the work seem possible
9. Reward Yourself for a Completed Task
You need to take time to feel good about the work that you do. If you are too busy rushing to the next thing then you aren’t soaking in the feelings that keep you motivated.
If you are reading this post and you got this far, I bet that you are a self motivated person. This goes double for you.
You need to thank yourself for all your hard work because it’s the only way you know you will get rewarded. You can’t always rely on someone else, so…
- Take five minutes and look back on your good work
- Go for a short walk (Out in nature. It’s the best place to rejuvenate yourself)
- Buy a healthy lunch that won’t weigh you down
You know the type of rewards you like best, so make sure to give yourself the time and attention that keeps you feeling good.
What about you?
What would your #10 be? How do you keep your motivation pumping along?
* Join over 1,000 people who have already subscribed to the FREE Happy at Work 10 Week eCourse. Learn how to discover and leverage your superpowers so you can do amazing work. (Sign up is in the top left corner)
* Doing work you love doesn’t always mean you will make more money. Over at Get Rich Slowly, Bon wrote a guest post about quitting his job and joining the Peace Core.
If you enjoyed this post then you will probably like these too:
> Life Without Passion is No Life at All (Great interview)