What Is My Motivation, Mr. Demille? Motivating Yourself at Work

During an interview with David Letterman a few years back, Mr. Letterman was asked how much he loved his job and the interviewer remarked how great it must be to be the host of such a popular late night TV show. Mr. Letterman replied, in paraphrase, that “after a while it is a job just like any other job.”

If you love your job yet you find that over time it becomes more difficult to motivate yourself and be as productive as you were back when you first started, then you are perfectly normal. All of us have moments when even the most exciting of jobs becomes “just a job” and we wish to be elsewhere. Eventually, new challenges come our way or we see that we are pretty fortunate to have the job or career that we do, but what do you do when things do become tiresome at work? How can you motivate yourself to complete the tedious tasks that often vex you?

Socialize – While socializing can be a huge “time drag” at work, you can turn this around and use it as a motivational force at work. Use five or ten minutes a couple of times a day to socialize with your friends at work as a treat for getting a task completed that you really dislike. Play “Let’s Make A Deal” with yourself and focus on that most horrible task that to completion and then treat yourself to spending a few minutes chatting with a friend or a cup of coffee and some light conversation once the task is complete.

Denying yourself that treat of socializing with your friends at work until a task is complete means no email, no instant messenger chats and no idle chit chat. If someone stops by your desk, just be honest with them and tell them that they are your “treat” and that you will talk to them once you have your work done but that you made a deal with yourself not to socialize until you have completed this task.

Time Blocks – If you find it difficult to remain motivated for long lengths of time, chop up your day into one hour blocks. It has been proven that employees are more effective and happier when they work and focus on one hour blocks of time. Work for one hour, get up and walk around for a few minutes and then get back to work. Soon you will find that another hour has passed as you have been working away diligently and it is time for you to stop what you are doing to take a breather and refresh yourself.

Using this technique of blocking off your day into one hour increments will make you more effective and you will find that you are not so burnt out at the end of the day. You will also probably see that you are more productive even though you are stopping for a few minutes every hour to recharge your batteries.

You Be You, Even at Work – Personalize your workspace only if your employer allows personal items in the workspace. Pictures that make you happy or quotes that you find inspirational can have a tremendous effect on your personal motivation throughout your day. A splash of color, pictures of family, or photos from a vacation can improve your mood during stressful or difficult moments. Another trick that can keep you motivated throughout your workday is to have pictures or reminders of why you work so hard around you. It could be pictures of your children or your family pet(s) or even a brochure from a vacation spot that you are planning on visiting someday.

No matter what it is that motivates you to work, keep a visual reminder close at hand and keep your eyes on the prize as you toil away! Little tricks such as these to help motivate yourself and treat yourself for doing even the tasks that you truly hate will make your job more enjoyable and provide more value to the company that you work for. You will find that your stress level decreases as you address the issue of how to properly motivate yourself and your coworkers may also notice that you are more pleasant and easier to work with.

Try some of these motivational techniques and see if you can make your days more productive and less stressful. Share these tips with your friends and let them know what you are trying to do. You very well might be the one that brings motivation and team spirit to your workplace.

By: Erica D.

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