Never underestimate the power of a good to-do list. Whether you want to do this digitally through the use of apps like Wunderlist or Clear, or just use the classic pen and paper, outlining your goals for a working day can help you make a commitment to getting a finite amount of tasks done. This often works better than having a vague idea of deadlines that are far away enough for you to ignore them and waste your time. Once you’re done with a task, cross it off your list - behavioural psychologists say that the satisfaction derived from successfully completing a task keeps your motivation high - this is known as the ‘Zeigarnik Effect’.
Research has long shown links between regular exercise and success, but now more than ever before the reasons behind these are pretty clear. Exercising regularly is key to healthy brain chemistry, which keeps your stamina high and your stress levels low. What this does is ensure that any feelings of fatigue don’t prevent you from being able to perform at your maximum capacity. Not only does exercise help you keep your stamina high, but it also ensures that you don’t get distracted easily, with studies that have proven links between working out and a higher rate of focus and retention. Eating well also directly impacts our motivation - though sugary foods may give you an initial rush of energy, they don’t do as well in the long run - so trade in your chocolate bar for some apples during your midday snack and feel the impact on your energy first hand. Chocolate bars on the weekend on the other hand are a whole other issue…
It’s easy to lose heart if you don’t have an end point to work towards, and so if you find yourself in sudden need for motivation, it may be time to rustle up a personal development plan. Talk to your manager if you want to reassess your workload or would like to be considered for a new project that you feel passionate about, especially if you’re feel as though you’re not being challenged. Equally, if you feel as though it may be the job and not the type of work you’re being given, it may be time to look back to the job market and see if there’s a more suitable setting to keep you inspired. Though everyone feels a slump in motivation now and again, staying on top of how you’re feeling at work and deciding it isn’t for you is better than underperforming and potentially losing good relationships over a job that just isn’t a good fit.
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