Shifting The January Work Blues

by Jan 11, 2016

It’s hard to be driven when it comes to worklife in January. We give you some tips to shift the post-holiday blues and stay motivated this month:

January is tough… the Christmas break is over, it’s cold, it’s wet, the mornings are dark and after two or three weeks of sticking to your resolutions you can start to lack motivation especially at at work. So when you are struggling the most rely on every resource you have to rebuild that drive. Here are my tips to shake off your blues and boost your motivation:

1. Make Someone Laugh
Enticing a laugh from a friend is one of my favourite energy boosters. I’m not a comedian, but I do like to be goofy and let go of my serious side. A little silliness at the office can make most people laugh. If you’re not a silly person then just strike up a light hearted conversation about family, sports, or movies.

2. Drink Coffee/Tea
I like to drink coffee and tea as a pick-me-up. Whatever your drink of choice may be, sometimes you just need an extra boost to bring your energy levels back up. Pop to the kitchen and get a few minutes rest from your computer.

3. Ask for Positive Feedback
Many of us are too shy to encourage a compliment out of someone. It’s a shame because even a compliment that we fish for can boost our mood. So give this a try: Don’t ask a boss or co-worker for an outright compliment, but instead talk about how you see yourself and ask them how they see you. 99.99% of people will start listing your strengths. If they start listing your weaknesses don’t cut them off – just listen with an open mind and know that you can focus on the positive aspects after the conversation is over.

4. Apply an Eight Hour Habit Fix
Do you procrastinate? Most of us do! But today, just for today, don’t procrastinate. No matter what the tasks are that you need to do, you will just do them without looking at Facebook or shopping online. You need to stop letting habits get in the way of accomplishing your goals. Take one work day to focus on breaking a habit that you think is holding you back. Every time your attention slips away and you fall back into old habits, gently remind yourself to stay focused. After your 8 hours is up, check in to see how you feel. Did you get more accomplished? Do you feel more relaxed, or are you more stressed? If it felt good then try a 30 day habit fix and see if you can make this positive change a regular weekly fixture.

5. Clean Your Work Space
A clean workplace helps clear the mind. It’s hard to focus when you’re surrounded by clutter as there are more distractions to get lost in. Try cleaning up your desk. Put away any extraneous papers, dust off your monitor, and clean up the files. Once you have a clear external work area, it’s easier to deal with your internal decision making process.

6. Make a Short and Easy “To Do” List
Too many of us try to make a list that we can’t accomplish, then at the end of the day we feel down and unproductive. The reality is that we still got a lot done. Yes, we probably could have been 10% more efficient, but that doesn’t mean we should beat ourselves up. We need a little day dreaming to keep our creative juices flowing. Try making a short and easy priority list that you know you will be able to accomplish. I know those of you who are “go getters” will push yourself to get more done, but try with all your might to refrain from doing this. A short and easy list makes work some more achievable.

7. Reward Yourself for a Completed Task
You need to take time to feel good about the work that you do. If you are too busy rushing to the next thing then you aren’t soaking up the feelings that keep you motivated. If you are reading this post and you got this far, I bet that you are a self-motivated person – this rule means double the amount for you! You need to reward yourself for all your hard work because you can’t always rely on someone else to. Bearing this in mind:
– Take five minutes and look back on your good work
– Go for a short walk (out in nature… It’s the best place to rejuvenate yourself)
– Buy a healthy lunch that won’t weigh you down
You know the type of rewards you like best, so make sure to give yourself the time and attention that keeps you feeling good.

Hopefully following some of these rules will allow your motivation to flow and prepare for the year ahead.


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About Vanessa Toby

Vanessa is a keen traveller with no sense of direction. She has an insatiable love of fashion and a spare room full of shoes she has hoarded over the years. If Vanessa isn’t taking over the New Business world at work, you will find her trying out your new favourite exercise class. As a strong believer in the importance of a healthy work-life balance you will find her documenting mind and body advice and top tips.