Finding motivation in the workplace is not easy. Getting up early, traffic, unruly co-workers and confrontational bosses are enough to make you want to hit the snooze button and curl back up under the covers.
So how do you get the power to get up and go to work?
Find A Sense of Purpose
Finding a sense of purpose at work is very important. If you have no purpose, or do not feel fulfilled in what you are doing at work, then you will never be happy. Before you think about a career change or going back to school for something else, sit and figure out what you are truly not happy about at work. Do you feel bored? Is there something new that you could learn or a task you could talk about with your boss that you are interested in learning?
I found for myself, I was always most excited at work when learning new tasks and skills. As soon as I got complacent and bored I was lost. Learning new things adds excitement to your job. Offer to learn new skills or even head a new social department at work.
Find A Balance
Taking small breaks from your work load can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed. If you work in a rural setting, see if people want to go for a walk at lunch time, or even go for a walk on your coffee break. Getting up and changing the scenery is sometimes enough to change your mindset and recharge your battery.
Some work places make finding a balance between work and life hard. As much as work is work, there is an important social component to the job. Do not isolate yourself from your co-workers or from opportunities to be social. Social interaction is what makes us human. If your department does not hold a monthly get together, see about organizing a monthly birthday celebration party for all co-workers who’s birthdays fall in a certain month. You can have cake, ice cream, whatever. It only has to be 30 minutes.
Decorate Your Space
You are going to be at work for 40 hours of your week, you might as well make it cozy. Now you might not be an action figure fan like myself, but I always had toys around my desk. Ninja Turtle Actions figures, Legos, stuffed animals. My workplace was fun and I didn’t mind being at my desk as much.
Doesn’t that make me look unprofessional?
If you are looking for motivation in the workplace, nothing is more motivational than feeling like you belong there. I was well respected at my job and nobody judged me for my decorations, I was actually remembered and recognized throughout the company for it. How’s that for public relations?
Use Your Vacation Time
I worked with so many people that NEVER used their vacation time. Even if you do not have the money to go away, take a week off and do stuff around the house or yard. Getting away from work helps to recharge your batteries and, again, gives us a change or scenery. Feeling like a slave to your job does not promote motivation in the workplace.
Try and Have Fun
Now, if you do not get along with your co-workers, this is tough. But try to find someone you connect with. Go to lunch with them, joke around. I am a bit of a jokster myself and everyone was sad when I left my job. Forget that, people where sad when I would call in sick.
Because I had so much positive energy and I wasn’t afraid to show it.
Having fun at work helps others have fun too. When you have more than one person building positive energy, you can completely change your mental state of mind and the feel of your workplace.
I remember one time, my boss went away for a conference. I had just gotten my hair cut and people kept mistaking me for my boss from behind. So while she was away, with the help of a co-worker we created a Powerpoint presentation with photos of me in her office pretending to be her and doing various comedic things. Granted my boss had a good sense of humor so I knew I could get away with this.
At the weekly lab meeting, I asked if I could have a minute at the end for an important announcement. Instead, I showed the Powerpoint and it was the highlight of everyone’s week and they talked about it for months.
Finding motivation in the workplace is hard, but if you are true to who you are and try and enjoy the process, you can make the workplace better for yourself and those around you.