Having to work for a living is a fact of life, unfortunately. If you’re lucky enough to have a job that you enjoy, there’ll be lots of days when you can breeze through, getting a buzz from plowing through your to-do list and chatting with your work colleagues. However, not every day is like that. There are days when you’re a bit under the weather, days when you might have stayed out a bit later than you planned or days when you just don’t feel like it. Especially at this time of year – it’s difficult to stay motivated over Christmas!
And that’s if you actually like your job.
Luckily for your boss, there’s ways you can get that motivation back even on the worst days, and they’re all backed by science. For a start, you could approach your working day like it’s an exciting new project, reflecting on why you’re doing it and rethinking the best ways to tackle it, as this ‘new mental accounting period’ can change your perspective on what you’re doing.
Or – and this one will certainly be a more popular option – you could reward yourself before starting a particularly onerous task that you’re dreading. Whether it’s a slice of cake or watching a short YouTube video that you like, you can boost your dopamine levels and that will help you regain the motivation to get it done.
Charlie Chaplin used to sing about the power of a smile, even though your heart is breaking, and while that might be a bit of a dramatic way to look at feeling under-motivated at work, there’s still something in his idea. Smiling helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels, so even if you need to force a smile, give it a try. Just be careful not to stare at a work colleague while grinning, as this might be rather unnerving for them.
When it comes to organising your work, if you’re not feeling motivated to do it, quite often this can be because it seems daunting and unachievable, so why not try breaking it down into smaller chunks and starting with the easiest task to get yourself going? Alternatively, perhaps remembering the bigger picture could be the way to motivate yourself, as individual jobs can seem meaningless, but if they are for the greater good, that can be enough to change your mindset.
Which of these tips will you try the next time you’re having one of those days at work?
How else can you stay motivated over Christmas? Let us know by tweeting us over at @CareerCamel.