5 Ways to Stay Motivated … Even When Those Around You Aren’t

Use these steps to put your career in overdrive

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During the first few months of that new job, everything was exciting: new clothes, new coworkers and new cubicle. You made it to work before your boss and had no problem staying late. However, after you’ve learned everyone’s names and conquered your first big project, the new job smell starts to wear off. The days of getting up before the alarm are now replaced with dreaded mornings and the snooze button.

The excitement begins to dwindle and procrastination starts to sink in. Chances are you are suffering from a work slump and are not alone.

Here are some tips from Christopher Lopez, regional vice president of East Coast operations at the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, on how to beat the boring work blues and to return to the motivated employee that you used to be.

1. Start Your Day Off Right: Whether you like to begin your day with prayer or you need to have a Pandora jam session while getting ready, it’s best to find something that will start you off in a positive mood. A positive attitude can work wonders on your work day. “Another way to start the day off right is to eat a healthy breakfast,” Lopez explains. “Eating a good breakfast and a healthy lunch can help keep your energy up and help you to stay motivated.” On a side note, it can also prevent you from being known as the person in the office with the loud stomach growls.

2. Customize Your Work Space: Heighten your motivation at work by creating a comfortable work space. You don’t want to make it comfortable enough to fall asleep but just enough to make you smile when you sit down at your desk. Decorate your work space with neat knick knacks and photos of friends and family. “Family plays a huge part in my work day,” Lopez says. “They’ve played such an integral part of my professional growth.”

3. Take Breaks During the Day: Ever felt as if your butt was glued to the chair? Ever stared at your computer screen so long that you got a headache? If so, it’s probably time to take a break. Breaks can be very beneficial to your workday. “Some jobs are very stressful,” Lopez says. “In order to meet your quotas or deadlines, you need to make sure that you have a clear mind and body.” Lopez suggests taking a quick walk outside or chatting with a friend or coworker to re-energize.

4. Alternate Project: Eight hours of a repetitive workload can make even the most motivated person lose focus. To keep things exciting, take time to switch up assignments. After completing one assignment, it will motivate you to complete the first one. “We’re actually in a generation full of multi-taskers and sometimes it may take working on a different project to stay motivated,” Lopez says.

5. Reward Yourself: Ever heard of the saying, “Work hard, Play hard?” Spending extra time on a hobby, going out to dinner or even taking a vacation are all great ways of rewarding yourself after meeting your goals. This will also give you something to look forward too during the dog days at work.

“It takes that stress off your back,” Lopez says. “You need to reward yourself, either time with family, friends or by yourself.”

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