Have you ever tried to motivate yourself at work but nothing works at all? You stare at your computer screen hoping to get some work done but you end up watching cat videos instead. Next thing you know, the day is over and you haven’t really done much. It is a vicious cycle that we all need to get out of.

It is not every day that we are 100% productive at work and there are just some days that we might want to cut ourselves some slack. Sometimes, all we need is a boost to get ourselves back into the groove of work.

feeling uninspired at work? here’s how you can motivate yourself to work hard.

1. motivate yourself with a reward

No matter how you feel at work, you should always think about the reward you want to gift to yourself once you’ve reached your work goal, and have a clear sense of how you are going to achieve that. This is different from your career goals, but these rewards will certainly help you attain them. With every task completed, you will learn new skills and knowledge on how you can do it better and faster the next time.

Depending on the scale of the task, the reward can be as small as a healthy afternoon snack or an overseas trip to one of your favourite destinations.

2. start a to-do list

You could be working on 10 different things at the same time when your colleague asks for another favour. It becomes difficult for you to keep track of your progress once tasks starts to pile up.

A simple to-do list is a great tool to help you keep track of your work. For a start, you may want to write the list out twice – first as a laundry list of tasks and the second to organise them in order of importance.

While it may seem counterproductive, consider starting a new to-do list every Monday so that you can have a clear sense of where you are going to spend your time and effort on throughout the week. You can use either a hard copy notepad or a mobile application to help you keep track of your progress.

3. surround yourself with positive vibes

You may think that your role model at work is your line manager or someone from your team because they understand the challenges you face at work. However, they might not necessarily be the people who understand you. In fact, it might be better to befriend someone else in the office who isn’t from your team so that you don’t feel the need to talk about work with them all the time. Look around the office and connect with the people who can inspire and encourage you in ways that help you thrive in your job and stay happy.

Take some time out of your day to read a chapter from a book or find an inspirational work quote and read about the story behind the quote. You can also pen your favourite motivational quote for work on a Post-It and put it up at your workspace to get you moving throughout the day.

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4. declutter your desk to clear your mind and increase productivity

A messy desk can throw you off your game. With papers, snacks and pens everywhere, it’s easy to forget what you are supposed to work on. A clean and organised workspace does not only look good but also creates a mental space so that you can focus on the task in front of you.

Taking 10 – 15 minutes out of your day to spring clean your desk can be a therapeutic exercise too. Think about the colour scheme that you like, how you work (are you a lefty or righty) and put up some photos or decorations. Remember to take this opportunity to recycle the papers and items that you no longer need.

5. start your work day with easier tasks

It is difficult to get out of bed when you know that there are daunting tasks and projects waiting for you in the office. What you need is a quick win.

Start your day at work with the easy tasks before you move on to others that will take more time and mental energy. Do not delay tasks that you know will take you less than two minutes to complete, such as sharing an attachment with a coworker or giving a quick update of what you have just done. Complete these tasks as soon as possible! This way, you’ll be able to feel more accomplished and have a shorter to-do list.

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