Career

How To Stay Motivated At Work When You’d Rather Be Doing Anything Else

Whether it’s 4pm on a Friday and freedom is so close you can almost taste it, or it’s 9am on Monday and you’re still nursing a hangover, sometimes we lack a little lot of motivation, and it can be hard to (in the words of Troy Bolton) get’cha head in the game.

When your brain is dead it can be hard to conjure up the energy to actually get yourself motivated. Before hiding in the bathrooms to take a cheeky nap, hear us out. Try these tips for staying motivated at work, when you’d rather be doing, well, anything else.

#1 Blast some pump up tunes

The best way to get in the mood is to get your groove on. You know those iconic, blood-pumping playlists that an athlete might blast before a big game? Find one of those bad boys and watch your day go from 0 to 100 real quick.

A study by Teresa Lesiuk at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami found IT specialists who listened to music completed tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t.

Bus as you’d expect, results may vary.

#2 Surround yourself with motivated people

Now if you’re at work, we’d hope the people you’re sitting next to are motivated. But if that’s not the case, go find the place where people are getting shit done.

If you’re in a hot-desking situation, this should be easy. If it’s not, surely there’s a quiet place in your office people go when they’ve got loads on. Go sit with them.

#3 Get some air

Sometimes going out and getting some fresh air is all it takes for those ideas to start flowing again and get you back into the mood of smashing through your tasks. Alternatively, while you’re having a wander outside, you can make your escape – just make a run for it – totally your call.

#4 Make a to-do list

While wallowing in your haze of feeling uninspired, it’s easy to forget the tasks that need to get done. The best way to combat this is to make yourself a to-do list.

The power of a good to-do list is unmatched IMO.

Start with small and less demanding tasks. That way once you’ve cross them off your list the feeling of accomplishment might spark some inspiration inside you and give you the energy to keep crossing them off.

This way, you also feel like you’re making progress, crossing things off your list as you go.

#5 Do it now, not later

Your workload doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of how motivated you’re feeling, it’s still your responsibility to get all your tasks done before knock off because if you don’t, who will?

If you don’t do it today, it’s likely just going to add to your list of jobs to do tomorrow, which is pretty much an endless cycle. And it may just mean you’ll have to do some work on the weekend or in your free time. And let’s be real – ain’t nobody got time for that.

Lacking motivation and feeling uninspired is totally normal, it happens to the best of us. But it pays to make an effort to get yourself out of your slump as soon as possible.

If these don’t work, try these other ways to reignite your motivation.


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.