5 Tips for Staying Motivated at Work
YOU CAN KEEP MOTIVATED
How do you stay motivated at work when you’d rather take a nap or curl up with a good book? These 5 tips can help get you in the right frame of mind to approach work with a positive attitude, a clear head, and plenty of motivation.
You might not use these motivation tips every day, but with the proper application, they can help you feel motivated no matter the work environment.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Momentum is a powerful force, not just for moving toward our goals but for our bodies. Research shows that exercise can reduce anxiety, lessen depressive symptoms, improve focus and energy, and increase confidence. Unfortunately, many photographers are stuck spending hours sitting in front of a computer several days a week.
The good news is that there are ways to increase your movement during the day and be more focused, effective, and productive. One thing you can do today is set a timer on your phone, watch, or computer that will remind you to get up and move your body every 30-45 minutes.
This could be as simple as completing some squats and pushups, taking a walk around the block, or doing jumping jacks. Before long you’ll find that those moments of energy that get your blood pumping help you be more energized and motivated to get things done.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and career and that is why I succeed."
— MICHAEL JORDAN
MAKE A CHECKLIST
Nothing feels quite so good as seeing all the tasks you’ve finished and the work you’ve accomplished. This is why making a checklist can be such a great way to stay motivated at work. When you have a list of things to accomplish that day and you consistently mark them off your list, it gives you a sense of forward motion and productivity.
Those small accomplishments build momentum and serve as proof you can get things done, which is encouraging.
REMEMBER YOUR GOALS
Why did you start your business or take your job? What are the goals that put you on this path, to begin with? Remembering your “why” is powerful because it takes you back to the passion and purpose that put a camera in your hands the first time. Keeping your goals in mind puts work in perspective and reminds you that everything you do today is in service of the vision you had for your life and your job.
Photograph by Rachel Claire
BREAK IT DOWN
Big tasks with lots of moving parts can be intimidating. It’s easy to look at the huge amount of work it will take to reach the goal and get overwhelmed with how much there is to do. That overwhelm can become paralyzing to the point we ask ourselves, “Where do I even start!?”
But the good news is that every task, no matter how big, can be broken down into smaller, more achievable steps. Rather than trying to tackle the whole project at once, break it down into pieces you can handle. This will get rid of the overwhelm and allow you to move forward with confidence.
What are some little ways you can reward yourself for a good day's work? While rewards aren’t the highest motivating factors in our lives, they serve as a bit of positive reinforcement that reminds us the things we’re doing are worthwhile.
Maybe you pick up some Starbucks on the way home, make yourself your favorite snack, spend some time reading a new book, or promise yourself that when the project is over you’ll have a movie night with your friends.
These kinds of rewards are affirming and they give us something to look forward to that makes the workday go just a little bit faster.
Staying motivated at work can be tricky, especially during a long day or in the busy season when there seems to be so much to do and never enough time. But motivation can be trained much the same way any other psychological discipline can. With enough practice and a few helpful tips, even the least intrepid photographer can stay on track and be productive.
Lead image by Prateek Katyal