Five tips for those days when time is dragging and you need some motivation on the fly.
We’ve all had those days… you know the ones. The days where the minute hand of the clock seems to drag on forever and an entire pot of coffee isn’t enough to give you the energy to tackle your to-do list.
Don’t worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your inspiration is somewhere deep inside you just waiting to burst out.
But, in case you wanted to speed up that process a little, here are five tips to help you snap out of it and find the inspiration to get you going:
1. Decorate your work space
One of my first orders of business after starting at my job last year was to decorate my cube. I knew that without adding some color and personality to my space, I’d never make it. Immediately, I headed to a craft store and picked up a few pieces of calming blue scrapbook papers. I hung them and then brought in postcards of Rome and Greece (where I studied abroad in college) to remind me of the amazing summer I spent abroad, and also to inspire me to work hard so that I can travel more. I also printed out the Holstee Manifesto, which reminds me every day to live my best life. If you’re a sucker for motivational quotes and sayings like I am, be sure to check out the Things We Forget blog for post-it sized nuggets of wisdom. Now that I’ve moved into an office, my next plan of attack is to print out my favorite Things We Forget reminders to post on a cork-board.
Jessica’s inspiration board at work (photo blurred to preserve the privacy of her colleagues).
2. Break out the warm-fuzzies
You know those emails that make you smile? That glowing email from the CEO praising your latest newsletter column, or the email from your boss thanking you for your dedication and hard work. When you get those emails, save them in a special folder. I picked up this little trick from author Jenny Blake, after reading and reviewing her book Life After College. Jenny refers to these emails and notes as “Keepers.” Somewhere along the way, I started calling my folder “warm-fuzzies.” When I’m having a particularly stressful or difficult day, I click open the warm-fuzzies file and am quickly reminded of why I love my job, and why I’m good at what I do. Enjoy your warm-fuzzies or keepers, but be sure to only read them when you need them most!
3. Create a killer play list
Music can be pretty powerful when it comes to inspiration. I suggest using the always reliable Pandora for a mix of music or create your own playlist on Grooveshark. And of course, now that Spotify has hit the U.S., many are turning to this tool to check out new music.
4. Turn to your social network
I’m addicted to Twitter and Facebook, and with the launch of Google+, social networking is an important part of my daily schedule. I always find that turning to my social network gets me inspired. So many of the people I follow are doing incredible things on a daily basis, and checking out their Twitter accounts or blogs is usually enough to get me motivated and ready to get working. (FYI: These are a few of my favorite blogs).
5. Take a walk
No seriously, take a walk. I know it’s the most basic advice and you’ve probably heard it a million times, but have you actually tried it? I didn’t until a few weeks ago on a day when my to-do list was a mile long and I was feeling particularly overwhelmed. I brushed off the idea of a walk, because HELLO?! I’m busy. I don’t have time to take a walk! But I decided to give it a try and took a ten-minute spin around the new walking trail behind my office building. That ten minutes of fresh air and Vitamin D definitely did me good. I came back to my desk refreshed and ready to bang out my to-do list the rest of the afternoon.
How do you find inspiration at work?
Jessica Lawlor is a public relations professional in Philadelphia. In her free time, she manages a book review and writing blog and is currently writing a novel.