How to motivate yourself at work when you are not in the zone

We have some practical guidance to put the fire back in your belly

We have all experienced days when we are bursting with motivation, seizing the day like a champion; at other times, turning on the computer screen can be a daunting enough task, never mind producing any sort of reputable work.

Have you identified that you feel uninspired but are unsure what steps to take to get back to feeling motivated and passionate again? No matter what industry you work in, and whether for a local establishment or a corporate company, we have some practical guidance to put the fire back in your belly.

1) Don’t think, do!

Don’t sit around waiting for motivation to strike before tackling a project; instead, take decisive action and start the work that needs doing. Don’t think about it, as this will lead to procrastination and overanalysing what you must do – just go for it! Starting can be the hardest part; however, once you do, you will be surprised how much your productivity increases.

2) Set small specific goals

There is nothing wrong with having a big goal at work; however, focusing on the overall project can be overwhelming and cause your motivational stock to plummet. Try breaking it down into smaller, more achievable goals. With each small step you take, you will feel a sense of achievement and your motivation will skyrocket.

3) Eliminate the idea of hard work

The phrase ‘hard work’ can have all sorts of negative connotations, such as struggle and crushing effort. Eliminate negative thoughts regarding your work and replace them with more empowering ones. Choose to see the positive outcomes of a project and how it will progress your career and develop your skill set.

4) Read something every day

The most successful people in the world, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, have one thing in common: they read every day. If you want to increase your motivation, you should do likewise. Start with 20 minutes daily and work your way up to an hour to improve your concentration and help you to tackle unrelated projects at work.

5) Priorities and let things go

Focusing your energy on meaningless tasks will drain your motivation. Run through your to-do list and eliminate any unnecessary items. This will help to turn your focus towards important projects that deserve your attention.

6) Celebrate accomplishments

Instead of waiting for others to acknowledge your accomplishments (they will in time), go ahead and celebrate the inspiring work you are doing. This is guaranteed to elevate your self-motivation and encourage you when you meet any challenges.

7) Allow time for rest

The workplace today can be a stressful one and sometimes it is hard to switch off; nevertheless, giving yourself time to rest is important for both your motivation and your productivity. Set yourself non-negotiable quitting times, such as leaving the office by a certain time and not checking emails after 8pm. Taking one full day off a week would not be a bad idea either!

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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