How to: stay motivated at work

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The first few weeks back at work after the festive period can often leave us down in the dumps; Christmas and New Year celebrations are well and truly over, the weather is gloomy and our bank balances have almost certainly taken a hit. Staying motivated at work is sometimes easier said than done; the January Blues can make us feel unenthusiastic, lethargic and unfocused. What’s more, New Year’s resolutions that we've made with the best of intentions can be all too easy to break.

Sound familiar? Here are some of our top tips to help boost your motivation levels, achieve your personal goals, both inside and outside the workplace and get the year off to a great start...

1) Create to-do lists

Writing a list every morning can help you to clearly outline what you want to accomplish throughout that day. As well as including tasks you're aiming to complete during working hours, consider small goals that you would like to achieve outside of work; evenings and weekends are a perfect opportunity to kick-start those New Year’s resolutions.

Make sure your to-do list is clear, and if possible, prioritised. This can help you to plan your time effectively, and can even act as a tool to measure productivity that day. To avoid feeling stressed or disappointed that you have not achieved everything you set out to do, ensure that your list is achievable and realistic!

2) Take breaks throughout the day

Making time for short breaks at work can make a huge difference to your day. Though you might find that you have a heavy workload and tight deadlines to meet after returning from the Christmas holidays, you can burn out easily when you don’t stop and take a breather. Taking time out can really improve your concentration, increase your productivity and contribute to a more positive mindset.

3) Strike a healthy work-life balance

When work is hectic, it can be difficult juggling the demands of your job and your personal life. Despite this, maintaining a clear work-life balance is vital for your general wellbeing. Planning things to look forward to in the evenings and weekends can really help to motivate and relax you, so ensure that you make plenty of time for your hobbies outside of work, whether it is spending time with friends and family, or getting involved in a local sports team.

4) Exercise regularly

Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind during these cold winter months. Plus, with a busy schedule, finding the time to work out can often be challenging. But by taking care of yourself physically, it’ll help you feel better mentally, enabling you need to stay on track, de-stress and increase your overall happiness. Build in physical activity a few times a week into your schedule when it is convenient for you; while some prefer to exercise before work to provide them with an energy boost, others would rather pencil in a workout after working hours to unwind after a long day.

5) Ask for feedback

It’s easy to lose drive and determination at work when you are unsure about how well you are performing. However, asking for regular feedback from managers and colleagues is a great way of pushing you to improve your performance. Constructive criticism can help you see things from a different perspective, and can give you an incentive to work even harder and develop your skills further. Additionally, positive feedback allows to recognise your successes at work, and can help you to see the difference your work is making, which can do wonders for your motivation levels.

What helps you get through the winter months? Tweet us @nbs_careers with your ideas and own tips!