itting at your desk and gazing out of your window aimlessly? Tired lethargic and bored of your role in the office? Feel that, despite the time spent there, you achieve little with your time? Diagnosis: you’ve lost your motivation.
Before you start to panic however, try to relax, your motivation isn’t gone forever – just temporarily misplaced. Like your door keys, travel card, and that one pen that somehow keeps eluding you; motivation is something that can easily slip away without you knowing, only to turn up again three weeks later in the last place you’d expect.
Unfortunately, this is where the similarity ends, as in a demanding job you can’t afford to just sit at your work desk waiting for motivation to just show up. Staying motivated can be an uphill struggle; unlike a ‘bobby on the beat’, a corporate career can often limit you to the same people, the same desk and the same environment, making it easy for the lustre of your routine to slowly fade away.
What most of us don’t realise, however, is that there are many ways for your routine to be refreshed. The smallest of changes can be enough to reignite the enthusiasm for your work, and the application of some subtle mental strategies can completely transform your office life.
But how do we go about this? With our 9 simple motivating mind hacks, you can easily put theory into practise and maintain your motivation throughout your working week. Here are some easy tips to get you started.
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Remind Yourself Of Your Strengths
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, with the good often outweighing the bad. Business mentor Simon Reynolds reminds us that as an ego boost, it is great to keep your strengths in your mind. Think about what colleagues have said to you in the past, what you have already achieved and how and which positive traits best describe you. By thinking this way you will bolster your self-worth and increase your confidence, so you feel reassured that you have the ability to carry out your job competently. By having a higher opinion of yourself, you will have more motivation to carry out your job to the best of your ability.
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The classic way to avoid boredom is to set yourself a goal to achieve. By setting goals you are continually moving forward and therefore always have something to work for, fuelling your motivation and provide work with a purpose you felt you may have lost before. Challenges are what keep us on our toes at work, so feelings of boredom and listlessness also indicate that you may not be reaching your full potential.
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Follow the 10 for 50 rule
Although it sometimes seems impossible, taking breaks is a necessary component of ensuring work is carried out competently. The 10 for 50 rule means taking a ten minute break for every fifty minutes of work, which has been proven to keep concentration levels high. A trick taken straight out of the student’s studying handbook, this works equally as well in the office, as it also prevents procrastination and is another way to improve productivity.
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Clear your desk, clear your mind
A messy space equals a messy mind. Working surrounded by a mountain of debris made up of paper, broken pens and the remnants of yesterday’s lunch will only sap your motivation to work and increase your sense of disappointment in the office. If you organise and clear your desk, you will inevitably feel better and more on top of things in the short term. A clear environment is conjoined with a clear mind, and a clear mind can lead to creative thoughts.
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Keep active outside work
Whether it’s running, cycling or simply going for walks, exercise is the key to a happy heart and healthy mind. 150 minutes of strenuous exercise per week is recommended by the NHS to keep our bodies fully functional. Whilst exercise keeps your body and immune system in ship shape form, it provides respite from the formalities, stresses, and monotonous routine at work. If you don’t do much now, or think of yourself as the ‘sporty’ type, get out there! There are so many ways to keep fit, there is bound to be something that suits you.
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The Goldilocks Rule
The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience high levels of motivation when working on tasks that moderately challenge their abilities. Not too hard, not too easy- just right. Psychologist Gilbert Brim claims that ‘One of the important sources of human happiness is working on tasks at a suitable level of difficulty’ due to the fact the participant has the option to effectively ‘win’ or ‘lose’ a task. To feel continually motivated we need to see and collect ‘wins’ to feel like we are progressing.
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Shake up your diet
Small changes in your daily routine can make a big impact on your life. Things as tiny as replacing your usual cereal choice with some fresh porridge oats and Greek yogurt can almost get you looking forward to having breakfast before work. Similarly, bored of the same old lunches? Try nipping out for some sushi, or even a freshly made sandwich and a coffee to give your day variety. Go simple and make healthy and quick changes to get you feeling ready for a days work.
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Ensure you get your sleep
Tired from a day in the office, it’s often tempting to come home and mindlessly binge on good dramas you’ve missed on TV. Suddenly, before you know it its 1am, and you have ploughed through an entire series on Netflix when you had intended to be in bed by 10:30. Although it’s great to have time to yourself, making time for sleep is more important. Research has also suggested that exposure to illuminated screens late at night can interfere with sleepiness and even disrupt the natural body clock. Even getting in an extra hour can make all the difference and transform your working day ahead, so make an effort to tune out and get those extra Z’s.
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There is nothing better than offloading your stresses and worries to those you are closest to. Having a good old chin wag after work about anything and everything is bound to cheer you up and stick a smile on your face. Even if you decide to meet for drinks once a week, or host weekend brunch, in the long run you will be feeling much happier feeling that work is not your whole life, which will boost your motivation come Monday.
Words by Emma Corr