As we all know, motivation is like a muscle. We need to practice in order to strengthen it. You can have the best of intentions but as anyone who has woken up on a Monday morning to grimace at their already-packed gym kit and then hit the snooze button can attest, being prepared can only get you so far.
Friday is a great time to review the week’s workload plus look ahead to the next, so if it seems daunting or some tasks look better than others, we have our top 5 tips to keep you going.
Set short, time-sensitive goals
Have a lengthy report to start or drafting a communications plan for the next 12 months? Rather than planning to spend all day on it and realising you haven’t made a dent, set for yourself a short-term goal with a timeframe to complete it. For example, ‘by 2.30pm, I’ll have written x amount of words’ – whatever is best achievable for you.
Anyone training for a marathon doesn’t start off by running the whole 26 miles but by starting from a small base and gradually building up with measurable goals each week.
- Let your goals be known publicly
Sharing what you intend to do brings your work out of yourself. By externalising your goals, it focuses the mind more, plus it’s been proven that group support makes your intentions stronger – and encourages you to make a start. Plus, if others know of what you plan to do, it helps spur you into action!
- Plan a reward for when you finish
If there’s something you keep putting off and you’re feeling that familiar rising panic, plan something fun to reward yourself after you finish. That could be a coffee, or a quick catch up with a favourite colleague or a walk outside. Or ice cream!
- Give yourself breaks (but not too many)
We can only work intensively for an hour or so – and even that is stretching it – so don’t sit at your desk for hours, staring helplessly at the screen. If concentration isn’t coming your way, stretch your legs and come back to it. Or set a timer to get up every half an hour to give your eyes and brain a break.
Either way, physically leave your desk as watching cat videos on YouTube doesn’t count.
- Realise you’re only human
We all have natural ebbs and flows of energy which vary throughout the day. If you know you’re a morning person, tackle the biggest job first as you’ll be too tired come the afternoon. If you get going after lunch, then get into your groove at 2pm.
Find your path and stick to it, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything ticked off your to-do list – maybe it wasn’t manageable from the beginning.
Picture a day when you were satisfied with what you achieved at work and remember roughly how much you did. If your to-do list is longer than that then consider cutting it down!
And with that, all of us at Prospect wish you a productive Friday and a fabulous weekend!