Have you ever stumbled groggily into work at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning, with a pleasant weekend in the rear-view and five straight days of the office grind staring you in the face?
We’ve all been there before.
And in those moments, even people who love their jobs may have trouble pushing themselves to work at their highest capabilities.
On Quora, people discussed the question: “How can I motivate myself to work hard?” Here’s what they suggested:
1. Convince yourself you want to do it.
One of the easiest things you can do to motivate yourself is to think of the work you’re about to do as not being so hard, after all.
Quora user Marie Stein does this by focusing not on how difficult it will be to achieve her goals but on how good she will feel about her work once it is done.
“Make hard look easy,” Stein writes. “I like that challenge. I like being the kind of person who is capable of that.”
2. Take control.
While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by various personal and professional responsibilities, you can help yourself stay focused by keeping in mind that, at the very least, you are in control of your own actions.
Quora user Brian Roemmele encourages people to own every moment.
“You are in full control of this power,” Roemmele writes. “In your hands you, can build the tallest building and in your hands you can destroy the tallest buildings.”
3. Surround yourself with other people who are working hard.
No man (or woman!) is an island. In order to pursue your goals with everything you have, it’s helpful to be around other people who are working just as hard.
Whether it’s coworkers who inspire you on the job or a group of like-minded friends you meet up with afterwards, it’s important to have peers who push you to succeed.
“The saying goes, you’re the average of the 5 people you hang out with most — so surround yourself with HARD workers!” says Quora user Bud Hennekes. “Who do you know that is going places? Start hanging around them.”
4. Break up your tasks into smaller tasks.
“Break your hard work into component parts; it makes it easier to see where the obstacles are so you can be prepared to overcome them,” Marie Stein writes.
Indeed, it’s important not only to identify these small tasks, but to pat yourself on the back when you complete them.
“Small wins can appear incremental and rather trivial, but they can boost inner work life tremendously,” writes Quora user Gerard Danford. “Furthermore, small wins can accumulate into big breakthroughs.”
5. Stay focused.
It’s difficult to motivate yourself to keep working if you’re not able to concentrate on the task at hand.
Quora user MaRina Abaza recommends limiting your exposure to outside distractions by letting people know you won’t always be available to immediately respond to texts, emails, and instant messages.
“If you have trained others that your are always available to respond to requests, you need to retrain them to expect something else,” Abaza writes. “Make it clear to people when you will be available for ad hoc requests and when you aren’t.”
6. Remember your “why.”
Nothing is more motivating than reminding yourself why you’re doing the work in the first place. Whether you’re building a product you love or simply putting food on the table for your family, it’s crucial that you remain in touch with what inspires you.
“You hear a lot in business about connecting to a ‘vision’ — the ‘why’ of that company,” writes Quora user David J. Bradley. “The vision is how the company wants to be positioned. You can set the same standard for yourself as well.”
7. Stay positive.
As anyone will tell you, failure is inevitable, but it’s how you deal with failure that determines whether you will ultimately be successful.
Quora user Ravi Tandon recommends doing what you need to do accomplish your goals, regardless of what others might say about you. He also stresses the importance of making sure you don’t see the success of other people and get down on yourself.
Meanwhile, MaRina Abaza suggests focusing on your strengths, rather than dwelling on your weaknesses.
“Building self esteem is about finding out what your strengths are and then developing and building on them,” Abaza writes. “Your employer would not have given you a job if they did not recognise certain skills in you.”
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