How to Motivate Yourself at Work: 25 Simple Tips

i can motivate myself

Let’s face it, even the most positive of us occasionally hit a wall and find ourselves wondering off as the demotivation kicks in at work - no matter how much you love your job. It could be due to something as simple as the weather, or boredom. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, there are a few simple adjustments you can make in your day-to-day life that will make a huge difference.

To help you get your head back in the game, here are 25 tips that will keep you motivated at work:

1. Set goals

Many of us come into work, sit at our desks, and just begin working on the tasks that have been given to us, without knowing what our actual goal is. Without having a clear vision and knowledge of how your work impacts the bigger picture you may end up spending more time on unimportant tasks, rather than ones that will actually be beneficial to you and your organisation. Clarify what your objectives are and focus on them being your end result.

2. Focus

You can hear Jane behind you spilling some juicy gossip from the pub on Friday night, your phone then buzzes and you’ve got a text from your ‘love’, and before you know it you’ve lost concentration and motivation on the task that you were doing. Staying focused in a busy office is one of the hardest things, but try to find ways to block out your surroundings and be engrossed in your work. You could try listening to a motivational playlist you created, or keep personal distractions like your mobile in your pocket or bag.

3. Live a balanced life

Living a balanced life is vital to feeling motivated. When you eat unhealthy foods you will feel lethargic and will not want to accomplish any of your goals. Try to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise for 30 minutes (at least three times a week), it can increase levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which can help to reduce stress. Leave some of your to-do list for the following day if it can wait, rather than staying late to finish it. Working overtime will leave you frustrated as your mind will solely be focused on work, rather than giving yourself some time to wind-down in the evenings.

4. Don’t beat yourself up on your weak points

Of course, we all have weak points – none of us are perfect! So next time you feel like you could have done better, stop beating yourself up and focus on how you will improve next time. Every aspect of our life is a learning curve and the important thing is to take the knowledge to grow in the future. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

5. Use motivational quotes

Motivational quotes have become more popular in the last two years, flooding our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Instead of just scrolling past them, screen grab one that really relates to you and print it and keep it somewhere visible on your desk. It’s funny how a few words can really keep you going and remind you of your goal and how you can achieve it.

6. Set up a reward system for yourself

Do you have a really boring task like filling that you’ve been putting off for-like-ever? Stop procrastinating and set up a reward system for when you’ve completed the task. If you are a coffee-lover like me, treat yourself to a Starbucks once you’ve accomplished the job. Likewise, if you have a sweet-tooth, indulge in one of your favourite snacks.

7. Commit to doing your best

If you always strive to do your best, you’ll never feel disappointed. Giving 100% to any task will give you a real sense of satisfaction. The only way to expect good results is to make it your mission to achieve them. If you’re not scared of failing then you have nothing to lose!

8. Try a to-do list

An organized to-do list is literally life-changing. If you don’t have one, make one now! Create a list of all the tasks you need to complete, whether they are for today or the end of the month. Once you have your list, number the tasks of urgency (one being the most urgent), plan the tasks that you must complete that day and tick them off as you go. At the end of the day create a new list for tomorrow and drag over any uncompleted tasks.

9. Take regular breaks

Many of us get sucked into our work and neglect taking a break, making us feel restless, tired, and discouraged. Getting away from your desk, even for 10 minutes is vital to get your creative juices flowing and to feel energised. If you have a long lunch break, try taking a walk to get some fresh air and to relax your mind.

10. Ask for feedback

We have this idea that feedback is frightening, but it can also be incredibly motivating. Think of babies, their constantly receiving pointers of what a good job they’ve done for eating their food, or taking their first step which encourages them to do more. As adults, we crave the same inspiration to boost our egos and to strive to do better.

11. Don’t stress about the things you can't control

If you’re guilty of stressing over the most insignificant things that you can’t change, then stop now. The more you worry about unnecessary things, the more you’re going to make yourself sick, so learn to let go.

12. Jazz up your work wardrobe

If you’ve hit a bit of a slump, go on a shopping spree and spruce up your working attire. This will instantly boost your confidence and will increase your enthusiasm at work as you’ll feel fighting fit in your new outfit.

13. Hang out with your colleagues

Building bonds with your colleagues are vital to having a good working relationship and environment. You’ll have lots to discuss and will stay motivated by offering each other new ideas and solutions to problems you may have encountered.

14. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Planning is essential to getting on at work. Whether it be planning the tasks you need to accomplish today, or where you want to be at this time next year. Make long term goals and work towards achieving to motivate yourself.

15. Learn from your mistakes

We are all human and we all make mistakes. You made a typo in the company newsletter, so what! Learn from it and be more careful when proofreading next time.

16. Congratulate yourself every evening

Nine times out of ten, we focus on what we’ve done wrong, instead of what we have accomplished. Over time, this constant negativity will lead to a loss of motivation. To change this, take two minutes before you go to bed to list your achievements of the day. You’ll be surprised with how many you come up with.

17. Plan a holiday

Going abroad, or to another city is one of the most exciting things of the year. So get planning, and book a date in the diary that you can look forward to. You’ll increase your drive to work, knowing that it’s paying for your exotic getaway.

18. Count your blessings

You’ve heard of the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”; this is ever so true in today’s working world. We all think we deserve a higher pay-check, more benefits, flexible working hours and a shorter commute. But, we never stop to think how lucky we are that we have a job we enjoy (most of the time) and which provides us with the funds to put a roof over our heads and food on the table.

19. Challenge yourself

If you’re feeling a bit fed up of your day-to-day tasks ask for a new project or an increased workload to challenge yourself. You can also take a course and learn a new skill that will benefit you and your company.  

20. Mentally prepare

Are you faced with a job that you don’t really want to do? Maybe you have a big presentation in front of the whole company. Prepare yourself mentally for the task ahead, picture yourself succeeding at it, and practice to boost your confidence.

21. Be present

In whatever you are doing, give it 100%. Don’t go to the after-work drinks because you ‘have-to’; instead go as you’re eager to get to know your colleagues better and want to form stronger relationships.

22. Cut your tasks down

If you have a big task that you really don’t want to start as it will be immensely challenging; cut it down into smaller bite-sized tasks, and tick them off as you go. When you get halfway you’ll be feeling enthused and driven to carry on.

23. Make hard look easy

A good way to motivate yourself is to think of the work you’re about to do as not being so hard. "Make hard look easy," Stein writes. "I like that challenge. I like being the kind of person who is capable of that."

24. Embrace discomfort

Stop letting a bit of unpleasantness kill your motivation and use it as a lesson to self-motivate. Mart Nijland said "for anything you want to work harder for, you have to go beyond that threshold…because you grow into a totally different, much stronger person" in INC.

25. What’s the bigger picture?

Oprah Winfrey once said: "Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." Think about why you are doing this job and what you are working towards. If it’s a promotion, show why you deserve it and trust that you can triumph.

Often inspiration is lacking at work. However, by following these motivational techniques you can begin each day with the enthusiasm as if it were your first.

Have you tried any other methods to get motivated in the workplace? If so, drop us a comment in the box below…