The Office
Maintain Your Motivation 21 August 2008 | by Annemarie Cross
Hectic work schedule? Follow Career Management Specialist Annemarie Cross' tips on how to stay motivated in the office.
With the increasing demands our work schedules are placing on us, it’s easy to understand why at some time or another, we begin to experience low energy and lack of motivation. Experiencing this is quite normal.
While it is easy to let a never-ending ‘to do’ list deplete your energy, let’s look at some strategies that aim at keeping your motivation at an optimum level.

Tip 1: Stuck on a problem? Take a break or change activities.
If an issue is really weighing heavily on you and you just can’t seem to find a solution, separating yourself from that problem by taking a break or working on another activity can do wonders. Doing this allows you to revisit the issue with a fresh pair of eyes and renewed thinking which can open the possibility of coming up with a solution or at least steps that will get you closer to a solution.

Tip 2: Harness your strengths – outsource your weaknesses.
Make sure that the activities and work you are performing are what you are good at and what you enjoy. This will allow you to work at optimum levels. Outsource the tasks that seem to drain you of your energy, or start to train someone who can take over all the tasks so that you can concentrate on what you do best.

Tip 3: Recognise the best time of day for you.
Identify the time of day that you do your best work and schedule important tasks during that time. This will allow you to give you full attention to the task at hand performing at higher levels compared with working during a period where you are not at your best.
I work extremely well in the early morning hours (due to fewer interruptions) so I always schedule any work that requires my full attention during that time. Being able to cross off items on my ‘to do’ list is extremely motivating, and often prompts me to continue working steadily on my other action items.

Tip 4: Block similar activities together.
Working on similar activities by blocking them together is often a great way to complete the tasks, particularly if you don’t really enjoy performing these tasks.
For instance, one of my clients dreaded having to make prospect calls when she first began working in her new role. By grouping this activity together, once she finished with one or two calls, the other calls got far easier and she had completed this task in no time, with far greater results.

Tip 5: Enhance your self-awareness:
Recognise the things that distract you and try to eliminate or at least reduce them from your work environment. For instance, if you are tempted to check your email each time an envelope appears in your task bar, shut down your email program until you have finished the activity. In fact answering emails could be an activity that you block together.
Tip 6: Reward yourself:
Most important of all is to schedule some ‘you’ time (and of course your family) in your calendar so that you can continue enjoying activities outside of work, allowing you to rebuild your energy levels and your motivation.
(c) Annemarie Cross is a Career Management Specialist with Advanced Employment Concepts, supporting clients in accelerating their level of success in the job market and the workplace. How much success can YOU handle?
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