Megan Hageman is a Columbus-based freelance writer specializing in social media and content marketing.
What gets you out of bed for work in the morning? If the answer is similar to so I won’t get fired or my paycheck, it may be time to rediscover your motivation.
Forty-three percent of office employees in the U.S. report being bored at work, which in turn make them two times as likely to leave their current position. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t start sending out resumes just yet. Boredom doesn’t always equate to burnout.
There is no shortage of resources out there telling businesses how to keep their employees motivated and engaged. But it is just as important, if not more so, to find your own personal motivation.
Here are a couple of methods to try to get you back in the game and excited about your contributions at all steps in your career journey.
Pick your motivational approach
1. Find ways to challenge yourself
A recent Gallup poll reported that people who make use of their personal strengths and capabilities are six times more likely to be engaged at work and are less likely to leave their jobs.
If your day-to-day routine is getting mundane, look for new opportunities that fit into your skill set. Offer to help with the new client’s website rebuild or ask your boss to sit in on a team meeting you wouldn’t usually attend. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you to grow professionally and can even help you to discover new talents.
2. Stick to a daily plan
Everybody loves that feeling of crossing or checking an item off their to-do list, and studies have shown that even the simple act of writing out the tasks you need to complete helps eliminate stress.
Start each day with a list of achievable, short-term tasks. Check off—don’t erase—completed responsibilities as you go so you can look back and feel that sense of accomplishment (you can even add tasks you’ve already done just to check them off…your secret is safe with us!)
3. Find a dream
Everyone should have a dream about what the future will look like, and that perfect vision of what they want to achieve—whether personally or professionally.
Maybe your dream is to start your own company, climb the ladder in your industry, or travel the world. Maybe you work so you can fund your hobbies, pay off your student loans (and then have all that extra cash—hey, oh!), or buy a home.
Choose something to look forward to—plan a vacation, make a dinner reservation at that great restaurant, that next raise or promotion, or even just the chance to spend time with your family at the end of the day.
Find the good to look forward to.
4. Be your own biggest fan
Who’s better to motivate you than yourself? Print and cut out some of your favorite motivational quotes to hang up or start a Pinterest board of things that inspire you. It sounds cheesy but it just may work, and if not, it may be good for at least a smile in the middle of a hectic day.
You can also try creating a playlist of your favorite tunes to pump yourself up during everyday tasks. Studies have shown that music provides many benefits such as a reduction in mental fatigue, increased stimulation, and stress relief. Why not transfer that energy you feel in the gym into the workplace?
5. Treat yourself
We’re not talking about a retail therapy here. Try treating yourself to some new work clothes, a small addition to your desk, or some new supplies.
This could be just enough to spark your motivation and get you excited to get up in the morning. Since your morning mood almost always reflects how the rest of your day will play out, a sharp new shirt may be worth a try. Plus what’s better than a couple of compliments to boost confidence and motivation?
6. Find time to unplug
Extended periods of focus on a single task can actually hurt overall performance. Taking a break every 50 to 90 minutes can help you stay motivated at work.
While on your break, give yourself a reward. Recharge by taking a walk, taking a lunch break with colleagues or friends, calling a friend, or reading a book for 15 minutes. If you work at a computer, step away from it and your phone. If your job requires that you stand for extended periods of time, sit down. Use a meditation app and take five minutes to refocus.
Read More: Why Working Women Struggle With Burnout
7. Get to know your coworkers
A recent report found that 78 percent of employees who work 30 to 50 hour weeks spend more time with coworkers than they do with their own families. It’s no wonder that coworkers can make or break a work experience and have a strong effect on your motivation.
Take a coworker out to lunch, invite them to drinks after work, ask them to go for a walk or grab a coffee to beat the 2 p.m. slump. Forming camaraderie with coworkers can give you a venue to both vent frustrations and generate some mutual motivation.
Motivate others while you’re at it
Allow your motivation and excitement to become contagious. Whether it’s your coworkers or the team you manage, make use of these tips to help everyone stay engaged:
Thank your colleagues for their contributions, publicly acknowledge good work, and celebrate success.
Offer encouragement after failure. When things don’t go to plan, motivate the team by contributing to a solution.
Take responsibility when it’s yours to take. Don’t place blame—just help solve the problem.
Make it a competition, but keep it healthy.
Radiate good vibes and set an example. Simply wishing everyone a good morning, keeping gossip and complaints to a minimum, and staying positive can be contagious.
Encourage a work hard, play hard atmosphere. Especially if you’re a manager, set an example by taking your vacation time or leaving work early on a Friday—just because.
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