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5 ways to motivate yourself

By Ruth Tearle

When last did you have fun at work?
  • Do you dread going to work?
  • Do you hate Monday mornings?
  • Are you bored at work?
  • Does the thought of work make you feel stressed, or ill?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", you need to get the fun back in your working life.

Hating your job adversely affects your health, productivity, creativity, stress levels and your ability to achieve. Since work consumes up to half of your waking hours, it makes sense to develop a plan that will enable you to enjoy your time at work.

You might remember a time when you did have fun at work. A time when things felt easier. When you were able to motivate yourself. When you worked with a wonderful team. When you felt truly alive and powerful.

So what happened to change that?

Where did the fun go?

There are common three reasons why you may have lost your sense of fun at work:

  1. Office politics.

    You may be in a toxic environment where you are the victim of a political game. If so, get back your power by learning to play the political game - your own way.

  2. Organizational restructure.

  3. You may be the survivor of a organizational restructure. Many of your colleagues may have been retrenched. Not only do you have to take on their work as well as your own, but you also feel resentful of the way the company treated those who were retrenched. You are worried that you could be next. Prepare yourself for your worst fear, then turn your focus to enjoying what you have right now.

  4. Habit.

    You and your team may have forgotten how to have fun at work. After surviving a difficult period, you may have created a habit of 'stress at work', rather than a habit of having fun and enjoying work. If you don't reverse this habit soon, you may be heading for burnout.

How to get the fun back at work.

Here are 5 practical ways to motivate yourself and start enjoying your work again.

  1. Stop focusing on what is wrong.

    You can focus on what's wrong with your life,

    or you can focus on what's right.

    Marianne Williamson.

    You may be experiencing a lot wrong with your work. You may be working harder, with less support from the company. You may be angry with your organization for the way in which they treated you and those close to you. You may feel betrayed and want to lash out at the organization that caused you and your friends so much pain.

    Constantly focusing on how you have been hurt in the past,

    prevents you from enjoying the good you have right now in your life.

    While you have a right to feel the way you do, you need to ensure you don't get into a habit of only looking at what is wrong with your organization.

    Think about what is right with your job. There must be some good reasons why you have chosen not to resign. Perhaps you receive a monthly salary that allows you to maintain a lifestyle? Or your work provides you with a sense of structure. Maybe you enjoy the cameraderie of the people in your team.

    Write a list of the positive things that you work gives you. Change your habit to focus on the good side of your job.

  2. Stop doing too much.

"Often he who does too much

does too little."

Italian proverb.

Do you feel you're doing too much? Do you rush from one activity to another? Do you skip breakfast or eat lunch at your desk to fit in everything you need to do? Does your 'to do list' grow longer each day? Are you exhausted by the time you stop work?

don't pushBeing busy doesn't mean you are achieving any more than someone who is relaxed and focused. Sometimes doing too much simply causes you and those around you unneccesary stress. If your diary controls you, rather than the other way round, you need to get back in control of your life. You can do this by:

  • Doing a value for time analysis - to determine what time management habits you need to change.
  • Setting some personal boundaries.
  • Getting the focus back. Create a vision for your job and identify core focus areas. Then create a time budget to manage your diary better. One that puts you back in control of your job and your life.
Use the cloud tools in the member zone to help you get your focus back.

By focusing on the 20% of tasks that really matter, you will find that you achieve more than you did by simply being busy. You will also create more time for yourself and reduce both you stress and the stress of those around you.

Use the time you have saved by being focused on exercise, laughter, having fun or learning, and you will find yourself becoming more creative, more productive. You will have found a way to motivate yourself.

3. Ask for, and offer help.

Work smarter, not harder

by helping each other.

The wonderful thing about working with a team of people is that everyone is different. What you may find difficult to do - may be as natural as breathing to someone else. What you hate doing, may be someone else's passion. Someone else may have already been through the learning curve of something you are struggling to master.

Trade tasks with one another,

so you all do more of what you enjoy.

Try this in your team. Have a meeting where everyone makes a list of the tasks they like and hate doing in their jobs. Try to trade a task you hate, with someone who likes doing that type of work. In turn, take over a task that makes someone else feel sick to their stomach, but is something you don't mind doing.

4. Take time out.

Are you struggling to complete a task? Maybe you are wresting with compiling a report, writing a proposal or preparing a presentation.

When you are motivated and in the zone,

difficult tasks become easier.

When you have to force yourself to achieve something, it often has the opposite result. Your creative muse flies out the window. You will struggle to achieve anything at all. Writers call this 'writers block'. The best cure for unblocking your brain is to take a short break. Do something totally different. Play with some fun stuff. Move away from your desk. Walk. Talk to someone who will make you laugh. Listen to some music. Dance. Do something out of the ordinary. Tell people around you what you appreciate about them. Thank them for something they did for you in the past, and what their kind action may have meant to you.

This 10 minute investment in time will allow your creative muse to return, and when you go back to work, you will complete your task much faster.

5. Inspire yourself.

Many employee satisfaction surveys show that people enjoy their jobs more when they feel they are doing something meaningful, or they are learning new skills that relates to a passion or personal vision they have.

So the starting point is to get back in touch with your passion. Create new horizons for yourself. Look at what inspires you. Once you know what makes you feel happy, excited or inspired, you can think creatively about how to incorporate these elements into your existing job.

Positive energy can is infectious.

Which do you prefer to spread - a virus of stress or positive energy?

Get the fun back into your working world. You could make a big difference to those around you, if you and your team start having fun at work.

You may also like:


  • Fun stuffIf you want something to make you laugh, entertain or inspire you, enjoy epxloring our "fun stuff" zone.
  • Personal development resourcesA library of articles, tools and guides you can use to develop and motivate yourself.

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