If you are like most people, you have had days where you feel less than motivated. Maybe you feel like not leaving the bed for a day, or a week, or a month. Off days happen to everyone, which doesn’t make the struggle less frustrating when not going to work isn’t an option. When you lack fervor, a single day at the office can feel like a constant uphill battle – Instead of dominating your workflow, you’re staring at the clock.
Don’t throw in the towel, not even Beyoncé is motivated and productive 100% of the time. If you’re feeling lethargic and apathetic about your work more often than not, then you need to find a way to climb out of the slump. It begins with first identifying the reasons behind how you are feeling.
Maybe it has nothing to do with work; maybe it’s stress at home or exhaustion. Stress and lack of sleep comes with numerous side effects, including lowered immune function and a decrease in your ability to concentrate. Never underestimate the value of self-care, even if it means taking a mental health day to recharge your batteries.
If you feel like you’ve been sleepwalking through your workday, it’s likely you’re among the 70% of people who feel emotionally disconnected at the office.
Don’t discount your social needs when trying to pinpoint your motivational barrier. Feeling accepted and useful at work and at home are essential to sustaining the drive to stick with your duties day after day.
If you can’t muster up motivation when you sit down at your desk or greet your first customer of the day, it’s time to think about what does motivate you at work. It might be that you’ve been working for your company for a few years and your tasks aren’t bringing the same level of excitement they used to bring, or you might be stuck in a rut.
You might be wishing for something bigger and better; a promotion, a raise – even your dream job. Maybe, your dream job is right around the corner. Most likely it won’t fall into your lap, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t within reach. It’s something you’ll want to work for, and that starts by investing in your current job.
Fully applying yourself to your current position, demonstrating your value and work ethic, could lead to future rewards. Exhibiting attentiveness and aptitude in an existing job has the potential to use your stepping stone as a launching pad. You never know when your hard work could pay off, so all the more reason to keep your motivation consistent.
Perhaps a co-worker will recommend you for a job opening, or a future boss might know someone you’ve worked for in the past who vouches for you. If you’re seen as disengaged or as someone your colleagues can’t rely on, you may destroy future opportunities for which you’re qualified.
You should always think of your personal brand as an employee in everything you do. Never underestimate the value of a positive reputation, or the satisfaction that comes from giving your best. Establishing an admirable reputation as a colleague can have immediate benefits, such as a positive performance review or a salary bump, but it also creates trust and respect in the workplace. When we feel respected, trusted, and valued, we tend to rise to that recognition, it motivates us to be our best selves.
Trying to convince yourself to carry out a task can be challenging when you lack the motivation to even leave the house. One trick for getting motivated is to create small habits that help with productivity and make you feel good about the day.
Maybe that means getting up earlier and walking before work to get your blood flowing, creating a playlist filled with your favorite songs, pinning up pictures of future vacation spots or your next must-have can also help, or writing a to-do list while drinking a cup of coffee. Try going on a walk for about 30 minutes, not just because it’s great for the body, but for what it does for your brain. Recent studies have shown that walking boosts endorphins, which reduces stress hormones and can alleviate mild depression. You can also break it up into 10-minute chunks of time during the day. Walking with a friend has over twice the positive effects as walking alone, so bring along your favorite co-workers.
Have a reward system for every completed task, even if it is just a piece of candy or stepping outside to get some fresh air. Start with the easy stuff, giving yourself a couple of freebies to knock off the list just to get the momentum going. The bigger the task, the bigger the reward. Indulge, buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing or get a manicure. Eat a dessert you love. Grab a tea break with your favorite book or coffee with a friend. Life should be enjoyed.
It’s good to be serious and to do your best, just remember to also let go at the end of it and relax. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Positive Thinking
Lots of people get stuck in a cycle of negativity, focusing on the can’ts. The language you use every day, both in thought and in conversation, has a cumulative effect on how you view yourself and the world around you.
One simple example of positive thinking at work Is your perception of duties. It’s the difference between seeing your day as filled with tasks, or it being filled with opportunities. The former is tiring and arduous, making you feel trapped in a daily grind. The latter is exciting, with potential.
People engage in negative thinking more often than they want to admit. Whether it’s magnifying the unpleasant aspects of the day by re-hashing them to anyone who will listen or internalizing and obsessing until they’re stuck in a cycle of self-pity. Another great tip is to make sure that the people you confide in are positive and supportive, and that you can depend on them to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
Some people may not know that they are engaging in negative talk, for example, have you thought or said:
It’s too complicated.
I don’t have the resources.
I don’t know where to start.
I have never done this.
I can’t get this all done.
I’m just not getting this.
I don’t understand.
It’s too late.
If I don’t get this right…
What if I mess up?
Be vigilant in how you choose to think and speak at work. Find a positive way to view everything and everyone. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
Research has confirmed that positive thinking is more than just being happy or exhibiting a cheery attitude. Positive thoughts actually create real value in your life and aids you in building skills that will lay a foundation for success.
Sounds ridiculous, right?!
The language you use every day, both in thought and spoken word, has a cumulative effect on how you think about yourself, your work, and those around you.
Be vigilant in choosing how you think and speak at work. Try and look for the silver lining in everything you do, and in the people around you.
If you can’t muster up any warm fuzzies, just fake it until you make it. No, this is not a call to be a hypocrite. Sometimes waiting around for it to come upon us is a sure way to make certain it never comes. You often have to fake it until the real deal arrives.
Don’t feel happy? Don’t feel ecstatic about a presentation? Fake it. Most likely, the real emotion will show up. You’re not going to feel 100% and positive every day, but don’t let that stop you from the behavior that goes along with it, anyway.