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Image / Editorial

Feeling stuck in a rut? Six simple ways to stay motivated in work


By Jennifer McShane
28th Mar 2019
Feeling stuck in a rut? Six simple ways to stay motivated in work

It’s Thursday and almost the weekend, but we know that if you’re struggling to feel motivated at this early hour, it will be even tougher to show enthusiasm when you’re physically in the office.  Assuming you’re experiencing a normal ebb in the energy you have for work and not a more serious issue, here are some simple things you can do to stay motivated throughout the day:

A nice incentive is a good idea

Treat yourself to your favourite coffee or tea on your way to work. Make lunch plans. Schedule something nice after work, like a (fun) workout, a get-together with friends, or a cosy night at home with a good movie (because these are the best). Remind yourself these things are better than the guilt of calling in sick, and that you’ve more than earned them after a hard day at the office. Incentives give us all a boost, and they are needed, so make sure to plan at least one treat in the coming days.

Take it one step at a time

Baby steps. It isn’t a race (unless you wake up late, that is). Get out of bed, shower, get dressed, have something to eat, make your way out the door, at your own pace. You’ll find that once you get moving, you’ll have a clear head and start focusing on the day ahead and your momentum will build. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it most certainly didn’t happen on before 9 am in the morning.

Related: Tips to reduce work-related stress

Make things easier for yourself

Treat yourself to a taxi and avoid the rush-hour traffic on the bus. Skip the trip to buy groceries after work. Wear something comfy. Cross off a couple of things on your to-do list to lighten the load. Get some support from your co-workers because we can pretty much guarantee they feel the same way. We’re all guilty of beating ourselves up when it comes to work but take comfort in the fact that you’re trying your hardest, regardless of the outcome.

Vary your skillset

Feel like you’re doing the same old repetitive work, day after day? It’s not the most stimulating of environments, but when you’re engaging lots of different skill sets it’s a fantastic motivation boost. Try to structure your days so that you’re working on different tasks (and thus, making use of different skills) throughout. For example, instead of prepping for meetings all day on Monday and doing all your writing on Tuesday, try to do both in smaller three-hour chunks each day. When you stimulate different parts of the brain, your motivation will be recharged, and you won’t feel your day is monotonous.

Related: Should you work for free?

Remember to enjoy banter with your work colleagues

One of the best ways to stay motivated on the job is through building meaningful friendships with your co-workers. They’ve been where you are; they feel your pain and celebrate your successes and are generally great to be around (would after-work drinks be the same without them?). Being around like-minded individuals will always help motivate you at work so take the time to build those relationships.

Celebrate your wins

People often dwell on tasks they didn’t complete or didn’t do well. We’re all guilty of this to some degree but focusing on this negativity can kill our motivation. Although it’s important to recognise our failures so that we learn from them, we should also celebrate the things we do right to promote positive reinforcement. Every little victory counts for something. When you’re having the day from hell at work, celebrating a win, no matter how small it may be, can give you the motivation you need to keep pushing through.

Main photograph: Pexels


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  • Ever wanted to take a career break to do a dream job? This Irish woman did… here
  • How to use LinkedIn to boost your career… here