How To Motivate Yourself To Work Harder
Hard work is often the route to success. It can help us to achieve faster and more thorough results, which in turn can get us recognised and allow us to progress our career further.
Most of us are able to work harder, but many of us choose not to. This is because, generally speaking, hard work is not very fun. Even if the rewards are worth it in the long run, many of us would much rather avoid the short-term added stress.
Fortunately, with a few motivational tricks, hard work can be made less daunting. By getting organized, energizing yourself and thinking positive, you can spur yourself to put in that extra graft. Here are just a few motivational tricks to try.
Plan out your day
Scheduling out your day and creating a to-do list can help to motivate you to work hard by giving you a sense of direction. If you take work as it comes, you could find yourself ignoring all those small mundane but important tasks.
Unfortunately, not all jobs can be planned for – if you work in a bar or a call answering centre, you may not know what awaits you from day to day. You may however still be able to give yourself challenges for the day such as trying to serve each customer more quickly or trying to come across more enthusiastic.
Reduce interruptions and distractions
Interruptions and distractions can throw us of schedule and demotivate us. Where possible, take steps to reduce these interruptions and distractions.
If you find yourself getting side-tracked by texts or personal messages on your phone, consider turning off notifications whilst at work or turn off your phone completely. If other colleagues are distracting you, let them know that you need time to concentrate (if your job allows you to choose where you work from, you may find that working from home a day a week allows you to get more done when you need those periods of concentration).
Don’t be afraid to be assertive too when customers are wasting your time. If you’ve got a non-important phone call from somebody who wants an in-detail chat, reschedule the phone call for later so that you’re able to get your current task completed before focusing all your energy on them.
Take more breaks
Although it may sound counter-productive, taking more regular breaks could give you time to re-energise. Most of us aren’t able to work in full throttle for more than thirty minutes – after this we naturally slow down. Give yourself a five minute break every thirty minutes and it could allow you the rests you need to keep your energy at a maximum. Even though you’ll be working for shorter periods at a time, you could find yourself getting more done. This may not be possible in all forms of work.
Get a good night’s sleep
If you haven’t had enough sleep, you may not have the energy to work harder. The recommended amount of sleep is seven to eight hours per night. By feeling well rested, you’ll be able to start the day feeling less stressed and more enthusiastic.
This could mean going to bed earlier (as the saying goes ‘early to bed and early to wise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’). If you have trouble getting to sleep, you may also want to consider making healthy changes to your bedtime routine. Eating the right foods before bed, taking time to destress and avoiding bright screens could help you to fall asleep more easily.
Cut down on the coffee
Many people see coffee as work fuel – but coffee could be having a negative impact on your productivity. Whilst the caffeine in coffee does provide an energy boost, it also comes with an energy comedown. This is the biggest cause of the 3pm crash – as the caffeine wears off, many people lose motivation and can waste much of the end of their day. Coffee can also elevate stress, as it boosts cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
Downing a glass of water could give you a much healthier energy kick. Staying hydrated keeps every part of the body working at its peak condition (coffee can dehydrate you). This could allow you to concentrate for longer or take on physical work for longer periods.
Take a stand
Sitting down all day isn’t good for our productivity either. Too much physical inactivity causes fatigue to set in. If you’ve got a desk job, taking regular breaks to stand up and be active could help to prevent this fatigue.
Intense exercise can have particular work benefits. Exercise releases feelgood endorphins that can help to beat stress and improve positivity. It also gets fresh oxygen flowing to the brain, making us feel more alert and helping us to concentrate. Whilst you may not be able to carry out a HIIT workout at your desk, you may be able to take some time to exercise on your lunch break, as well as doing some exercise at the beginning of the day. You don’t have to take a trip to the gym – going for a brisk walk at lunch or cycling into work could be all you need.
Listen to music as you work
Many people find that music boosts productivity. This is because music can set a rhythm and a pace. It also releases endorphins much like exercise, helping us to destress and think more positive.
Different types of music may be better suited to different types of work. If you need to concentrate, you may benefit from slower largely instrumental music. If you’re doing physical or repetitive work, you may prefer something more rhythmic and catchier that can help you set a pace and mentally stimulate you.
Seek out motivational advice from other people
When it comes to pushing oneself out of one’s comfort zone and building self-confidence, the motivational advice of other people can be important. You should surround yourself with positive people whose advice you trust – this could include colleagues, friends or family members. Don’t be afraid to limit ties with negative influences who may demotivate you.
There may also be professional motivational advice that you can seek out. This could include attending an event led by a motivational speaker or booking a personal session with a motivational coach. You may even be able to seek out motivation simply by reading self-help books and blog posts, by listening to podcasts and by watching motivational YouTube videos.
Set yourself personal goals and rewards
You can also encourage yourself to work harder by setting yourself goals and rewards. Try to make these goals tangible such as securing a certain number of sales or learning a new skill relevant to your job. You can then reward yourself if you meet this goal – this could include treating yourself to a personal luxury such as a vacation or beauty treatment, or simply booking off a week’s holiday to relax and do nothing.
Goals can be long-term or short-term. You can even set yourself multiple goals to strive towards. Make it a habit of reminding yourself of these goals at the beginning of each day. Try not to move the goalposts once they’re set.
Work smarter, not harder
Sometimes the key to success isn’t to work harder, but to work smarter. By doing your own personal research, you may be able to learn tricks that allow you to get routine tasks done more efficiently, whilst exerting less energy.
For instance, there could be better ways or organising your inbox or small persuasive tricks to encourage sales. You can discover these tricks by taking courses, attending workshops, reading books/blogs and watching videos. Don’t forget to also ask advice from your colleagues and superiors – there are more likely to know skills and shortcuts relevant to your specific job.