As you move through your workday, you may find it challenging to stay motivated and driven. That loss of focus can turn a potentially productive day into an average or even unproductive one. To keep your motivation throughout the day, take small breaks, address tasks right away, design smart goals and always remind yourself of the bigger picture.
Do Tasks Right Away
When you receive a new task or assignment, it’s easy to push it to the side. Soon, these tasks can pile up and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, get into the habit of facing tasks right away. Whenever you think of something that needs to be accomplished, tackle it immediately. This will stop you from overthinking or allowing yourself to get caught up in the issues of that task. Once completed, you can check it off your list and free yourself from the feeling of something hanging over your head.
Design Smart Goals
You may have heard the acronym for a ‘SMART’ goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Related. When setting goals, these are great to use as a guide. But you should also set a goal with your career objectives at the forefront of your mind. Ask yourself: Are these meaningful? Will they help me achieve my career milestones?
Goals should also produce intrinsic motivation. According to Harvard Business Review, “An activity is intrinsically motivated when it’s seen as its own end; it’s extrinsically motivated when it’s seen as serving a separate, ulterior purpose—earning you a reward or allowing you to avoid punishment.” To set a smart goal, make sure it is intrinsic and relevant to your overall career path.
Take Small Breaks
While you are caught up in the activities of your workday, you might find yourself forgetting to take small breaks. Breaks should be taken at regular intervals, both in the morning and in the afternoon. Without these short rests, you could end up hitting a productivity wall. To prevent this, stand up and leave your workspace for five minutes at least three times a day. Grab a snack, do a quick exercise, and avoid looking at any screens. This healthy habit will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your next work task.
Remind Yourself of the Bigger Picture
Many of us are driven to work hard every day by focusing on the bigger picture, rather than short-term goals. Visualize those big aspirations and achievements that you hope to accomplish. See it in your mind and let it become your reality as you imagine it. This visualization process can remind you what you are working towards and help you re-align yourself so that you know what to do, right in that moment, to move closer to those achievements.
Although motivation is sometimes difficult to come by, it is the key to productivity. By implementing a few of these tips, such as designing smart goals and accomplishing tasks as soon as they fall on your desk, you will stay more focused and motivated throughout the workday.