how to stay motivated at work


As we head toward the sunshine and fun of the summer, the hours spent trapped in the workplace can feel longer than you ever thought possible. This can be a distracting time of the year for most—especially for those of us who have been working in the same role for a while now.

As our minds wander to thoughts about vacations and cookouts, many people find themselves in a frequent state of indifference during the workday, just droning on and counting down the minutes until we can clock out.

Sometimes, we just don’t have it in us. It can be challenging to stay motivated and inspired in the workplace. So what can we do to get that pep in our step back?

Let’s look at 4 different ways to motivate ourselves at work!

1. Re-balance your workload.

If you have the luxury of deciding how you accomplish your daily tasks, reexamine what your daily timeline looks like. Do you have a few tasks that you dread each day? Try moving those to the front of the line. Mornings are hardly anybody’s favorite time of the workday anyway, so why not just knock out your least favorite tasks right away? You will thank yourself once they are completed, and those tasks won’t be looming over you all day, hindering your motivation.

2. Establish an overarching goal.

A big motivator can be the constant pursuit of a large-scale goal that you have in your role or your career. When is the last time you took a look at your long-term aspirations? This can be something that you would like to accomplish, a position that you would like to reach, or a benchmark you’ve been looking to hit.

Do you have something in mind? How did you progress toward that goal today? Sometimes, without taking a moment to lock in on a long-term goal or two, we can find ourselves just going through the motions week by week. Think about your goals. Why do you want to achieve that? How will that affect your career path or even life outside of work? Keeping those benefits in mind can help keep you inspired while progressing toward them.

3. Examine your environment.

Most of us have a lot less control of our environment at the workplace than we do at our homes, but there are plenty of small ideas that could make a big difference. Reorganizing your workspace (be it a cubicle, workbench, office, or even vehicle) can give you a fresh perspective on what you really need and don’t need to get through your day.

If you find yourself losing your motivation at work, a few changes to your environment can give you a bit of a reset. Our blog post on Avoiding Burnout has some great ideas for this!

4. Connect with your peers.

If you’ve been in a role for a while and really know the lay of the land at your workplace, you may find that you’re competent enough in your duties that you haven’t really felt the need to seek out a different opinion or perspective from your team. Check in with your supervisor to see if they have any feedback or ideas on how you can be doing something differently.

Sometimes feedback can open up our minds to a new way of accomplishing a task. Remember: feedback isn’t necessarily a criticism! If you have a few peers who have similar duties, ask them how they manage their workloads or what things they do to keep themselves inspired in their roles.

Not everyone is wired the same way. Some people truly do love working and love what they do, and you’ll find that their enthusiasm is contagious. Some people enjoy work just fine, but their main motivation is from factors outside of the office. Most people fall somewhere in the middle—but hearing different perspectives may help you realign yourself in your own role.