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October 1, 2007

9 Workplace Motivation Tips

By Jennifer Towers

Statistics show that 60% of women in the United States who work outside the home earn $1 trillion each year in aggregate. Now that’s a whole lot of dough. But how many of them really enjoy their job?

Do you like your job? Most of us don’t, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make the best of it and adapt a workplace motivation mentality. And that’s where I come in. Workplace motivation is no easy task, I know, but with a little help and a whole lot of positivity, you can do it.

Here’s how you can make the best of your professional situation and leave work each day feeling good about yourself (and no, none of these tips include your boss and a noose).

Workplace motivation tip #1
Achieve something each day
I know I sound like Phoebe from Friends, but if you set a goal for yourself at work each day, you will eventually begin to work at peak performance and appreciate your own sense of clarity. Something as small as organizing your files can give you that sense of accomplishment.

Workplace motivation tip #2
Add some variety to your routine
Work doesn’t have to be about monotony all the time. If you work on a computer all day, take a few minutes to organize your desk or surf the Net to find out who Jessica Simpson is sleeping with now. It’s okay to have some down time and have a few minutes for yourself.

Workplace motivation tip #3
Get some autonomy on your tasks
Changes work best when you’re the one who comes up with and applies them. Maybe there’s a faster way to complete the weekly stationary purchases or perhaps you’d like to rearrange your deadlines for certain tasks. A little freedom goes a long way and it’s up to you to request it.

Workplace motivation tip #4
Ask for a more proactive role
If you’re really good at organizing events or putting together PowerPoint presentations, then ask your boss if you could take on the role and teach others how to optimize their presentations one day each week.

Workplace motivation tip #5
Get into some teamwork
Working on a project with colleagues may create a more social atmosphere and make you happier to come to work. You might make some friends and begin learning how to do certain monotonous tasks differently and in a more bearable fashion.

Workplace motivation tip #6
Mark your progress on major tasks
If you have a project that needs to get done but are avoiding it because you know it’s a big task, now’s the time to get started on it. Ask what’s expected of you, get a deadline and mark your progress as it occurs. That way, you’ll figure out how much you get done and how quickly, and it’ll help you appreciate what it is exactly that you bring to the table each day.

Workplace motivation tip #7
Pat yourself on the back
Whether you beat the deadline by two weeks or you closed a huge sale, you deserve to celebrate your accomplishments in order to stay motivated. That’s not to say that you should down a bottle of champagne and dance on the bar in your bra, but do send an email to your superior to let him know what you’ve accomplished.

Workplace motivation tip #8
Ask about incentives for extra tasks
When a dollar sign is attached to additional tasks, we tend to become better at and more motivated for the job at hand. Whenever you’re offered a new project, ask about the incentives that come with it and that will become your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (after the major storm, of course).

Workplace motivation tip #9
Use negativity as a motivator
We all have that one person at work who keeps jabbering on about how you can work smarter and not harder, and although you fantasize about doing a negative thing or two to this particular person, you can use this negative feedback as motivation to do more, do better and laugh in the face of adversity.

Do what needs to be done

Staying motivated at the same job for years on end is tough, but if you go in with the right attitude, it is very possible to be happy and feel good about your job.

But if there are outside circumstances that simply keep you from maintaining a positive and motivated outlook at the workplace, you may want to consider hunting for another one.

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