Monday, January 9, 2012


If you are like me in any way, the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year fly by at an alarming rate and there is an enormous mountain of work you have to get through before you can take some time off and enjoy the holidays. Then, when you finally reach the point of enjoying a few days away from work with family and friends, being merry, eating holiday treats, opening presents, and are beginning to relax, break time is over and it’s time to snap back to reality and head back to work.

The first few days back are enjoyable. You catch up with your colleagues, eat holiday leftovers, and begin to prepare for the year to come. Then once the excitement of the New Year dies down, you become a bit sad that you have to wait an entire year for the next holiday season, are back to five day work weeks, and have to face the new mountain of work, voicemails, and emails that have piled up over the holidays. Faced with this mountain of work, your professional plans and goals for the year don’t seem nearly as important as they did a week ago, and your productivity and motivation levels take a nosedive. 

Now, while personally, I feel like I am off to a great start in meeting my 30 goals for the year, professionally, it has been difficult for me to stay focused after sitting at my desk for a few hours in the past week. So, I have decided to hit the work “reset” button and implement a few strategies to stay motivated at work. If you are anything like me, I hope the rest of this post serves you well. If you are one of those people who was able to avoid sweets over the holidays, workout every day, and jump back into the swing of things easily, first, you are not normal, and second, this post is probably useless to you.

Steps to Greater Productivity and Motivation at Work

  • Eliminate multitasking – although it may seem counterproductive, by eliminating multitasking productivity and focus levels actually increase.
  • Tame and organize email inbox and desk – turn off the alert every time an email comes in to your inbox, set specific times and time limits for checking email. Also, spend the last 15 minutes of every workday clearing off your desk.
  • Clear the mind – several times a day, take time to take deep breaths, walk around, and step away from your computer
  • Make to-do lists – keep multiple lists for both short-term and long-term projects
  • Eliminate social networking – if you don’t need it for your job, wait until you get home to check your Facebook and, in my case, blog account.
  • Come up with a system that works for you – whether it’s color-coded file folders, a calendar, or something else, set up a system to help you manage a clear and complete inventory of your commitments to result in increased clarity, focus, and control.
  • Set clear professional goals for the year – always a good idea to set some goals you can aim for
  • Update your resume – it will help you realize all you have accomplished throughout your career

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