Top Ten Tips to stay motivated this summer
We’ve been enjoying some lovely warm weather recently, but for many people it seems too warm to work. Unless your work environment has air conditioning it can get very uncomfortable. It also seems unfair that the sun is shining and you are stuck inside instead of being able to get out and enjoy it. Whether it’s watching all the sport going on, participating in some yourself, going for a lovely walk or pub lunch or just lying in the garden with a book and a glass of wine …. there are many places we’d much rather be than at work!
Add into the mix the fact that many of your colleagues are off to faraway places so not only are you stuck in the office but you’re having to pick up some of their work too. Business doesn’t grind to a halt just because it is summer: as a digital marketing agency we understand that only too well. But in all these circumstances it can be really difficult to stay motivated.
So to help you we’ve put together our Top Ten Tips for staying motivated this summer:
- Think of the bigger picture
Yes right now you are stuck in the office whilst the sun is shining. But try to focus on the why not the what. How long do you plan to stay in this job and what do you want to do next? Try to put what you are doing now into some kind of context can really help. So, for example if you would like to get promoted or change company or perhaps even start your own business in a year’s time then it makes sense to work really hard now. That helps you to make a bit of sense of slogging it out this summer.
- Make a To Do list
At times work can seem totally overwhelming: you have so much to do that you don’t know where to start. So it is a great idea to make a To Do list of everything that you need to do and then try to put it in some order of priority. As you work through different things on the list and tick them off this can help you realise that you have actually achieved something which in itself can motivate you further.
- Take regular breaks
You can often feel that you are too busy to take a break, and feel really annoyed when you get interrupted. But interestingly we work more productively when we do take a break from time to time. A popular concept in the 1980’s was the Pomodoro technique. This required you to set a timer for 25 minutes and work flat out on one task for this time, then take a short break to let your mind drift completely away from work. The principle behind this is that most people work best in short intense bursts as it enables their attention and mental capacity to remain at a high level. You may find that you prefer a shorter or longer time than 25 minutes, but the principle is definitely worth a try.
- Treat yourself
Linked to the above is the concept of rewarding yourself. Start a task and decide how long you are going to spend on it. Then when you have either finished the task or that time is up allow yourself a reward. Whether this is having a coffee or stretching your legs or a few minutes on Facebook is up to you. But setting up some kind of meaningful reward system can really help.
- Use positive affirmations
It may sound a little corny but inspirational phrases can really help you to stay motivated. So either print some out and stick them around, or have them on your desktop or as reminders on your phone. Or even say them out loud if you feel yourself flagging. Every little helps!
- Give and seek feedback
If you are feeling in need of a boost you can bet that others are feeling exactly the same. So why not cheer someone up with some positive comments on what they have done. Or if they seem to be struggling with something then ask how you can help them and see how they can help you too. Moral and practical support and feedback can really help you get things moving again.
- Dress the part
Someone once said that you should dress for the job you want rather than the job you have now. Whether or not this is true, what you wear at work can make a huge difference to how you feel. You do need to wear clothes that express your personality and perhaps it actually is also worth sending out signals that you really do mean business and want to progress. So if you’re feeling a bit down at work then why not treat yourself to some new work clothes? You don’t have to spend a fortune: eBay clothes bundles can be incredible for this purpose.
- Stay in control
It can become very demotivating at work if you are trying to make something happen without any visible progress, or constantly seem to be waiting for decisions or actions from others. You feel like you have come to a dead end. But sometimes you just need to lay those tasks to one side for now and get on with the things that you know are under your control. If you can see progress happening in some other areas this can help to remotivate you.
- Build your tribe
We all probably work with a mix of weird and wonderful people. There will be some you get on with better than others, and some that are really annoying (and yes they probably think the same about you!). But it’s good to build up a circle of colleagues that you do get on with and like to spend time with, outside work as well as at work. A bit of peer pressure from colleagues who become friends can help to inspire you to do well at work, and can be a good sounding board for problem solving and new ideas.
- Welcome the weekend
In today’s digital age it can be increasingly difficult to separate work and home life. Many of us check work emails at the weekend, and view the weekend as extra time to finish work from the previous week or plan work for the next. How you prefer to work is up to you, but it is definitely a good thing to carve out some me time at the weekend: to completely compartmentalise work and home. So why not plan something fun for each weekend, something to look forward to and that makes it a bit easier to get through a difficult week.
We hope that these tips help you to keep motivated, and to bring some enjoyment and positivity back into your working life this summer.