Get Motivated at Work after the Summer Break: 5 Top Tips
How do you get motivated when the summer draws a lull?
This blog post is something a little bit different from our normal wheelhouse.
The reason for this will become clear toward the end, but for now…
It’s time for some real talk.
Businesses in summer time slow down, and with half of your email contacts on holiday the momentum to get stuff done can often grind to a halt.
Of course, there’s plenty that can be done in the quieter months (namely all of the work we find ourselves placing on the “back-burner” for the rest of the year).
So with the above in mind, here are 6 ways to get motivated at work after the summer break.
1. Just Get Started
There’s nothing worse than the feeling of “blank page syndrome” when it comes to starting a task.
You sit there looking at the page trying to somehow mentally extract your entire business plan, or marketing outline in a fully formed perfect version straight off the bat. In this situation it keeps getting harder and harder to get motivated.
But, of course, you continue to hit brick walls, time and again.
This can be very frustrating and to a certain degree demoralising.
In cases like this the trick is not to *force* progress towards a perfect version. But simply put pen to paper.
The act of putting pen to paper (often better than typing up on your computer) helps your brain begin to process information and draw out the most important pieces of information to the surface.
Simply getting started, and taking the pressure off helps you sketch out the broad contours of what you’re trying to write and quickly you’ll find the pieces fall into place.
2. Avoid the Busy Work
Oftentimes when we’re not 100% on task, the focus can be on everything but what actually needs to be done.
Whether it’s siphoning through your email inbox to respond to low priority missives from all and sundry.
All the while, the iceberg that is the big juicy task you should be navigating looms ever closer…
In cases such as this (and we’ve all been here) you have to address the elephant in the room and assertively approach your key task with a shark-like single-mindedness.
Take time to set boundaries on busy work – limiting email hygiene to 30 minutes first thing in the morning.
Then give yourself the time you actually need to make a good dent on the important work you need to complete.
(Note: people have the habit of massively underestimating the time it takes to complete work, especially larger tasks that they’re not particularly enthusiastic to approach).
3. Celebrate your Wins (However Small)
Good behaviours are more likely to occur when we receive positive reinforcement.
Oftentimes we might rely on others to recognise our efforts in the workplace – but this is not something that we should rely on. Simply put, the ideal workplace where everyone recognises each others’ hard efforts does not really exist.
And it’s likely if you look externally for your encouragement that you will find yourself wanting at times when you need it most.
So what is to be done?
Work out a way in which you can celebrate and reinforce your own victories.
Whether it’s giving yourself a treat as soon as you complete an awkward task – or making note of each “win” you’ve accumulated and rewarding yourself according to how many you’ve collected!
This can take some discipline (after all sometimes we’ll just grant ourselves a nice bottle of wine at the weekend regardless of whether we think we deserve it or now – simply because we can)…
But, being accountable to ourselves for better or worse – and rewarding ourselves when it’s most appropriate is a great way to establish winning habits (and enjoy the fruits of your labours!)
4. Want to Get Motivated? Give Yourself a Break
Burnout is a *real* thing.
Sometimes hammering away at the same thing for hours and hours will simply always generate diminishing returns.
If all of the other tips in this post do not work for you – then it’s time to STOP.
This can seem counter-intuitive – after all you want to complete what it is that is in front of you.
But if you’re running on fumes, this will be like trying to drive up a steep hill in 6th gear.
In cases such as this, it’s better to simply get yourself to the bottom of the hill, take a break and take a fresh approach after a short break.
So if you find yourself in this position with a piece of work, take 15 minutes and completely extricate your mind from the situation at hand.
This means no thinking about it, no distracting yourself with something else, simply sitting away from the problem entirely for a short amount of time. (If the problem is much bigger, then, if you have the time, park it for a couple of days before approaching it with an entirely fresh perspective.)
Then before getting back into the task – take a short amount of time to look at how you were approaching it before – and think about different in routes to the problem which you hadn’t considered before.
Then with a “full tank of gas” and a new angle to approach the problem – you will be able to get over the hump much easier.
5. Connect with Your Purpose
Sometimes, when we find ourselves losing motivation for something – it’s because we begin to fail to see the woods for the trees.
Simply put, we get stuck in the weeds looking at the task straight in the face and forget how it connects to the greater sense of purpose in our work.
By connecting with the “why” in our work we are able to psychologically re-position ourselves to work – transforming a problem task into a key activity the underpins why we do what we do.
And that’s it! Now get motivated!
You might ask why I have written about motivation today, as opposed to our usual topics of note.
Well, there is a slightly sneaky reason…
Namely, motivation is on the tip of everyone’s tongues at Virtuoso Legal this month, as we prepare for a couple of unique events in September!
Virtuoso Legal are delighted to present two “Tell it How it Is” events with guest speaker Brad Burton.
At these events, the UK’s #1 motivational business speaker will deliver two of his blistering speeches.
Brad has keynoted at an enviable list of global organisations such as the NHS, JCB, Snap-on and many more. Renowned for his straight-talking non-nonsense approach – he is the author of 4 best-selling business books and a highly sought business mentor.
For those looking to get up close and personal with the uncomfortable truths about their motivation to succeed – this is not one to be missed!
Want to get motivated? Here’s your chance.
For more information about these events, or to reserve your ticket click the button below.
5 Ways to Get Motivated at Work after Summer was written by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry