The 40-hour work week is quickly becoming a 45-50 hour work week, which in itself can cause a lack of motivation. Procrastination has a snowball effect, and very quickly one discombobulated day, turns into several days and then into weeks.
To try and avoid feeling aimless during your work day try these tips to keep you focused and energized.
1. Before your work day begins, set a few attainable goals so that you feel a sense of achievement throughout the day by being able to tick off tasks on your to-do list. Ensure the list is realistic so that there is no reason to feel defeated if you can’t complete all tasks.
2. Take a break from your desk at least every 90 minutes. Leave your work space and have a snack, something to drink or take a quick 5-minute walk outside to get the blood flowing back to your legs and fresh air in your lungs. Do something that takes you away from your job for a few minutes. You would be surprised how a regular break can re-energize you.
3. Listen to music that pumps you up. If you have an MP3 player, listening to one of your favorite songs could change your mindset and motivate you to get things done. In order to clean my house without it feeling like a chore, I have to listen to upbeat music, as it puts me in a proactive mood, and what was a mindless necessity, somehow doesn’t seem so bad with a little GaGa in the background! (Of course you need to be mindful of colleagues in close proximity to you)
4. Tackle one task at a time. Feeling overwhelmed is a major reason that people procrastinate. They put tasks into the “too hard basket” and hope that they will just go away. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, and the consequences are that time is wasted and you end up putting more pressure on yourself. If there is a task that confuses you, you need to speak up and ask for clarification. There is no point in producing work that is inaccurate because you didn’t take the initiative to ask for further instruction. Get clear, and get moving.
5. Allocate a certain amount of time to a task and stick to it. For example, if you have 3 tasks that you want to achieve in one day, give yourself 30 uninterrupted minutes to work on one of them and then take a little breather. Get clear on the status of that task and then give it another 15-minutes and take another 5-minute breather from it. By breaking up a task into uninterrupted chunks of time versus hours of non-stop attention will keep you focused and clear on the outcome.
You may find that one or all of these ideas will work for you. Keeping motivated and fighting off procrastination can be difficult at times and it can greatly depend on what is going on both in your personal and professional life. Once you acknowledge it, you need to work at adjusting your attitude so that you can re-focus and get the job done to the best of your ability.