Sometimes finding motivation to work is hard.

When we’re lacking motivation to get going we find ourselves doing nearly anything to stall and prevent ourselves from completing the task at hand. We check our social media accounts, get coffee, visit work friends, get more coffee, and then finally we set down to start work and… oh wait did someone just mention a new cat video that’s gone viral?

If you are finding it difficult to muster the motivation and it is cutting into your productivity and performance, maybe it’s time to change things up.

Small changes to your current work pattern, such as developing a routine, taking breaks, and renewing a focus on your health, can make a monumental difference in jump starting your workplace motivation.

1. Develop a New Routine

One of the best ways to make a breakthrough in feeling more motivated at work is to literally make a change in how you are doing things. This can be something simple such as setting a goal of finishing a task before going to get another cup of coffee, or a complete restructuring of the order in which you complete your goals.

For instance, rather than starting your day by doing all the small things first, prioritize the big tasks right when you arrive and tackle the small ones in the afternoon.

As you are working through your tasks, try to remember the purpose of the work you do. Finding purpose in your work can build resolve for what you’re doing and help to give you a direction. Not only that, but having a purpose that you believe in and care about is key to feeling motivated to do work in the long run.

2. Reward Yourself with Breaks

One of the biggest mistakes that many employees make is failing to take much needed breaks. Studies have indicated that breaks are valuable ways to reenergize your work day. Breaks provide a powerful way to step away from work for a moment and think about other things – or nothing at all!

When you come back to work after a break you may be able to look at problems in a different light, or feel ready to dive into a new task.

One great way to incorporate breaks into your new routine is to reward yourself with breaks for completing certain tasks.

Finish a big report? Take a 15 minute walk to celebrate.

Waded through boat loads of emails? You earned that few minutes of face to face chat with your co-worker in the breakroom.

Within reason, breaks are a phenomenal way to divvy up the day into smaller bite-sized chunks that don’t seem to drag on.

3. Focus on Your Health

Finally, although it may seem unrelated, there is quite a lot of evidence suggesting our health plays a substantial role in our ability to remain motivated and productive throughout the day.

For instance, even mild dehydration has been implicated as an influencer of mood and energy levels in a negative way. Trying to avoid the morning doughnuts and eating healthy have also been shown to have profound impacts on the amount of energy we have and on the way our brain processes information.

Beyond physical health, taking care of yourself mentally can also have a big impact on your motivation at work. Social workers have found that those people that focus on self-care tend to have more positive outlooks on life, sleep better, and have fewer health issues among other things. All of these things can make going into work and feeling more motivated to accomplish tasks a reality.

Reigniting your motivation and enthusiasm for the work you are doing is an important thing to do if you are feeling sluggish. Perhaps the most significant way to do so is to bring about a change in your schedule and to reevaluate the purpose you find in your work.

Additional changes to be made include taking consistent work breaks and making sure you are attending to both your mental and physical health.

Good luck!

Written By
Brittni Brown is a current graduate student at the University of Idaho. In her free time she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping.