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From time to time, we all need a day off from work to “re-charge” our batteries and get energized and motivated about returning to work with a new and refreshed attitude toward our jobs. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to take one of those “mental health” days when you really need one, due to ongoing projects, deadlines and other team members who beat you to it! What can you do to get a “mini” re-charge before heading to work on those days where it is so hard to even get up and get moving? Here are a few tips that might help:
Treat Yourself to a Reward - Stop by your favorite coffee shop on the way in to work. Make lunch plans with a friend. Plan to take yourself to a nice dinner and dessert after a long day.
Adopt a Phrase - Pick a phrase that you say to yourself each day in the mirror. For example, “Stop wishing and start doing." Use your personal phrase at the beginning of each day and during the day when things get frustrating.
Baby Steps - Do not think about everything on your “to do” list all at once. Start with small steps. 1) Get up. 2) Take a shower. 3) Eat breakfast…. As you check these items off your list, it can actually give your brain a sense of accomplishment that motivates you to move forward to the next step.
Lighten Your Load - There may be a few things on your list that do not have to be completed today. Move them to tomorrow or another day when the load may be lighter. By doing so, your list becomes shorter and immediately more manageable.
Think Slow - Sometimes when we rush, we tend to make mistakes. This can lead to a lot of rework and frustration. Slow down. Given the choice of one or the other, it is often better to do things well than to do them quickly. Think about the entire process before you start to rush through things.
Maintain a Low Profile - On days where you feel less motivated, avoid unnecessary interactions with others. Put on your headset, close your office door and put your phone on “Do Not Disturb." This will allow you to focus and keep you out of the line of fire for things that may frustrate you during the day or provide an excuse for an interruption.
Keep it Simple - A day of low energy and motivation may not be the best day to start a big project. This would be a good day to check off a lot of simple tasks and “clear your plate” before starting the big project tomorrow.
Help a Colleague - A lack of motivation can sometimes be brought on by low self-esteem. Everyone has good days and bad days when it comes to how we feel about ourselves. Reach out and help a fellow team member with something he/she is working on. Compliment an associate on a task they have done well. Doing something good for someone else can often have a very positive effect on how we feel about ourselves and raise our self-esteem.
Focus on the Positive - Glad to be alive today? Glad you are healthy? Are you happy to have a job? Sometimes we take things for granted. A good time to re-evaluate that is when we are less motivated and feeling a little sorry for ourselves. Redirect your negative thoughts by thinking about your day and identify at least one positive thing that happened, regardless of how small. Reflect on previous days and those events to come for the week. What are you looking forward to?
How do you re-charge your batteries? Please add a comment below about what energizes you to go to work!