Shape Up or Ship Out: How to Stay Motivated for Work

June 5, 2017 - Lacey Fair


Do you remember that exciting feeling when your job was brand new? Perhaps you’d get up early, get to work with a smile on, and even stay late without being asked. Then, months later, the shine has worn off and your motivation is gone. You wake up 20 minutes before your shift begins, rush out the door, and start working while still half asleep.


This is a common problem in the U.S., with 70% of workers saying they are not engaged at work. As the weather gets warmer, it can be even more difficult to muster the desire to go into work when you could be enjoying grilling, boating, or other outdoor hobbies. Luckily, taking several small steps can reverse this trend and keep you motivated about going to work.


Consider Your Mentality

If you’re doing tasks at work simply to get them over with and go home, it’s a strong sign that you are not invested in your job. To overcome this, it’s necessary to take pride in the things you create at work, whether it’s on an assembly line, at a construction site, or in a computer spreadsheet. After all, the work you do today will serve as an example for tomorrow.


Think of your current job as representing your overall career. By pushing yourself to do the best job you can now, you will set yourself up for future promotions. Each day ask yourself, “What can I do today that will impress people? What will make my supervisor and even my supervisor’s boss take notice?” Proving yourself at your current job is likely more important to your career than any degree, and realizing the impact each day can make on your future can rekindle any lost motivation.


In order to maintain this mentality, it’s necessary to stay positive. It’s why the military teaches new recruits to stay optimistic even when things get tough. Everyone will have a bad day at work once in a while, but it’s up to you if that bad day derails your whole week or month. By staying positive and knowing tomorrow is a new day to push your career forward, you can stay motivated about going to work each day.


Invest in Your Coworkers

Those that are happy in their jobs often point to coworkers as a huge reason why. You probably see your coworkers more than you see your own family, and bonding with them is a surefire way to stay excited about going into work. Not only do you rely on each other to accomplish tasks, but at the most basic level you have the ability to keep each other safe in dangerous workplace environments. They have your back, and you have theirs.


Make a concentrated effort to grow relationships with your coworkers. Talk to them to discover any mutual interests you have. Find the Netflix shows you both love and discuss the latest seasons. If you have time on your breaks, play a card game or start a fantasy sports league. It doesn’t matter what the conversation or activity is; as long as it’s something you both enjoy, you’ll become excited to get to work just to see your coworkers.


Start Your Day Off Right

It’s something you’ve likely heard before, but eating breakfast and starting your day off right really does make a big difference. Finding something that works for you is the key to success. For some, physical activity like yoga, jogging, and other exercise can provide more sustained energy throughout the day. For others, it may be listening to newly released music or catching up on a book. As long as it’s something you enjoy and can do regularly, it will help you to approach work positively knowing that you accomplished something already. Many of us feel we don’t have enough hours in the day, and setting the right tone in the morning can help maximize our time.


Reward Yourself

Whether or not managers give out prizes for reaching certain goals like going 100 days without an accident, it’s important to personally reward yourself for reaching your own goals. See how many days in a row you can get to work on time or early. If you hit a milestone like two whole months, treat yourself to something you normally wouldn’t like ordering an upgraded coffee or going to a special restaurant for lunch. Rewarding yourself is scientifically proven to increase motivation, and the process of marking days off on a calendar and watching a great streak continue can help by itself. Best of all, documented milestones make for great future interview material and can impress employers.


Staying Motivated About Going to Work

Once a new job becomes routine, it’s easy to slip into habits that make it harder to get through the day. The biggest thing one can do to stay motivated about going to work is to never forget what it was like in those first few weeks. Regularly remind yourself of that thankfulness and drive to prove that the person who hired you made an excellent decision. Take steps to strengthen the connection to your job, and you’ll wake up one day surprised to find you can’t wait to get back to work.


Need a job you can be excited to go to each day? View our open roles here.

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