Increase Productivity and Stay Motivated at Work

Are you feeling a little lethargic or slightly bored at the office? Is it becoming harder to plow through your to-do list? Do you feel like you are falling behind in your daily tasks? Are you only doing the bare minimum that is required of you? Yes? Well, you might need to change your “spark” plugs. We all need some fine tuning and overhauling from time to time to get our motivation engines operating at full speed.


“Nothing will work unless you do.” —Maya Angelou


Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try. (Yoda)


Everyone has a different approach to self-motivation but we can often be energized by the good habits we form. For Sarah Robb O’ Hagan, President of Equinox, it’s exercising first thing in the morning to be in the right mindset before you actually walk into the office.  For Deepak Chopra it’s engaging in meditation practice. If you’re Warren Buffett you’re reading 500 pages a day. Jack Dorsey (CEO of twitter) spends Sundays in self-reflection and reviews the past week and if you’re a Marc Zuckerberg type –you’re learning new things that are not necessarily related to your job.


“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” —Vincent van Gogh


Serious Self-Audit


When you are coming up with your own motivational habit forming actions, you need to self-analyze and look at what has worked for you in the past and what is currently not serving you. For example, you must get enough hours of sleep to be able to function optimally at work. If you are constantly tired, no amount of motivational self-talk is going to get you through the demands of the day. While you want to aim for a great work/life balance, you might need to curb an ongoing penchant for late night socializing or you need to seriously tackle a stress related insomnia issue.


Basically, ask the question, “Am I operating optimally on a mental, physical, emotional and inspirational level?” By doing a self-audit you can look at what blocks or challenges are draining energy away from your commitments at work. Your attitude is key to the way your day is going to turn out.


“If you wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.” Elon Musk


Ingredients for a Motivational Sandwich


Here is a possible workplace motivational TO DO List:

  • Decide to adopt the most positive attitude you can muster. Spread your joy. Emotions are contagious and will energize those around you as well.
  • Set habit forming goals. When you take the time to put energy into deciding on your goals, they automatically set off a Rube Goldberg Machine of possible knock-on actions. Repeat the action every day until it is a habit that serves your highest goals and keeps you motivated.
  • Spend more time with motivated, go-getter, courageous career warriors. You’ve heard the famous quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
  • Put yourself first. Not in an arrogant, self-obsessed way but keeping yourself healthy by ensuring your needs are met and that you are taking enough time for self-development. i.e. don’t live your job 24/7 –when you go home, switch off and refuel.
  • Remember to congratulate yourself for a job well done. When you achieve something wonderful at work take a moment to praise yourself. Just pause, and take a mental moment to honor your hard work and excellent results.
  • Connect with colleagues. Actively engage with your co-workers over coffee or lunch. When your energy level is flagging you can draw on these relationships to keep you motivated. You will be doing the same for them.
  • Break through a barrier. You can push yourself to go a little further. We have incredible reserves of stamina and inspiration, we just need to ignite them. When we get complacent and veg out in our comfort zones, we can end up losing our motivational momentum. There is nothing like giving yourself a challenge to push your professional limits, to get you out of your lazy, lethargic abyss.
  • Create your end of the day “I am a total rock star” list. When the end of the work day approaches, take a moment to look at what you managed to do during the day. Make a list of the completed tasks you aced and leave the office feeling like a legend. You’ve got enough motivation to bring you back the next day ready to continue your legendary efforts.
  • Remind yourself that you make a difference. Sometimes we can feel like we’re on a treadmill of never-ending tasks. But allow yourself the opportunity to look at how what you do makes a massive difference to the organization. Recognize the impact you are making and how you fit into the bigger picture. You are part of a beautiful mosaic.
  • Unclutter your workspace. Get organized and create a calm, clean, uncluttered environment –your actions will follow suit. Your lack of motivation could be tied to feeling overwhelmed by “stuff.”
  • Arm wrestle your procrastination. Don’t let putting things off get the better of you. Face this self-discipline failure head on and just begin already.
  • Embrace deadlines. Set them. Meet them. Stay in the zone and banish distractions.
  • Choose the best outcome for yourself. Choose to be successful. See yourself excelling at your highest potential and go there. Visualize the best for yourself!


“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” —Leonardo da Vinci


Yes, sometimes the workplace culture could be contributing to the sense of stagnation and if that is the case, make some suggestions for how to reinvigorate the environment for the benefit of all. Make sure you are bringing a bit of fun into your workplace. It keeps everyone happy. Remind yourself daily of your strong characteristics and excellent skill set. Personal excellence beats flagging motivation every day of the week! And if all else fails, try  Amy Cuddy’s power posing option.


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