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Staying Motivated in the Midst of Energy-Draining Challenges

During times of plenty, exciting work projects jumpstart you and your team, giving way to energetic and productive workdays. However, if the work balance shifts leaving too few or too many projects on your to-do list, it can be tough to stay motivated. In times of dulling momentum, use the following tips to stay sharp:

Determine the cause of your waning attitude: Ask yourself why you're losing your edge at work and come up with an honest conclusion. Determine if you and your team members are:
  • Bogged down with projects and working too hard

  • In need of more work or more challenging projects

  • Not satisfied with the type or level of projects to which you're assigned

If you're working too hard, implement stress coping strategies that will make the work day run more smoothly. What steps can you take to be more efficient on each project? It can be easy to make excuses for incomplete projects by telling yourself and your superiors that "there just aren't enough hours in the day." However, while you may be busy, you might also be sabotaging your workplace productivity by thinking negatively. Get the most out of your time at work by:
  • Developing a priority list and daily achievement goals

  • Logging your hours to determine whether or not you're using your time and resources efficiently

  • Asking for help from other team member or your superiors

  • Staying positive

If work has slowed, it can be tempting to develop habits of languor that will be tough to break when a project does come up. However, giving in to these behaviors also puts you at risk if slow business leads to cuts or layoffs. To stay motivated even during tough times:
  • Stay on top of your game within your industry by researching new methods or practicing techniques that have gotten rusty.

  • Get involved with industry-related activities outside of work to keep you excited about your job.

  • Go see your boss or consult the team to see if anyone could use a hand or would like another perspective.

  • Brainstorm ideas that might bring in new business or expand business opportunities with your current clients.

Even if you aren't the boss, the success of the business means your personal success, so, if appropriate, take the extra initiative to strengthen your business's competitive advantage.

If current projects leave you un-enthused, focus on the big picture. Sure, right now you might have gotten stuck with the bottom-of-the-barrel tasks, but if you enjoy your industry, things will likely look up soon. Until then:
  • Set goals and rewards. Sometimes simply giving yourself a reason to feel a sense of accomplishment is all the motivation you need.

  • Make it fun by turning mundane tasks into games or singing while you work - so long as you're still working efficiently and not bothering your coworkers.

  • Keep your spirits up. Aggravating tasks will seem much more intolerable if you're grumbling the entire time.

It's easy to shine when exciting projects are coming your way and you've got a host of upbeat teammates to back you up. But, the real test of your workplace chutzpa will arise when the business balance is off. Stay motivated now, and you'll reap the benefits when things are looking up!

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