What’s your slack-to-productivity ratio looking like so far this Monday? If you’re finding yourself spending a lot of time catching up on your social media feeds and relatively little time tackling your to-do list, don’t beat yourself up. What you need is a reboot.
(Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)
Try one or more of these quick fixes for a bad attitude, low energy, or a good old-fashioned Case of the Mondays:
1. Procrastinate by doing something else.
“If you find motivation for a particular project lacking, try getting started on something else,” suggests Craig Childs at Lifehack. “Something trivial even, then you’ll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff.”
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, where you’re either heads-down on a project or drooling over Instagram. Procrastinate productively by using this time to get a few little things done. Return a phone call or email, or even reorganize your desk.
2. Change location.
Sometimes, changing where you work can change how you work. If you sit at a desk in an open office, try booking a small conference room for some dedicated work time, or take advantage of a flexible schedule by moving to a coffee shop for the afternoon. If your company doesn’t hold with that telecommuting business, and all the conference rooms are booked, even swapping desks with a colleague for the day might give you a fresh perspective.
3. Talk to someone with a good attitude.
Are all your friends and colleagues moaning about work today? It’s fine to sympathize, but don’t get too involved. Seek out some people who seem enthused about the work, and you might be surprised at how much easier it is to get excited about what you’re doing.
As Tim Ferriss says, “…you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
4. Broaden your perspective.
If motivation is a chronic problem, you might be dealing with burnout. If so, maybe more focus on work isn’t the answer.
“… as the result of a conversation with a friend, I realized that I was using self-motivation in the wrong way,” writes Geoffrey James at Inc. “I was using it to focus on one thing, rather than expanding it to encompass my entire life.”
By dialing back his hours and increasing his commitment to other aspects of his work life, such as blogging and working on other projects, James was able to get more done and re-engage with his career. The lesson? “Use self-motivation to make yourself successful at life rather than just at work,” he says.
How to do that in just a few minutes? Make a short list of all the things you want from your life as a whole, and think about what you need to do to get them. You might find it easier to tackle the mundane tasks on your list if you’re looking at a broader horizon.
5. Compare yourself … but only with yourself.
“Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation,” writes Henrik Edberg at The Positivity Blog. “There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.”
Tell Us What You Think
What’s your favorite self-motivational technique? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.