If you’ve ever found yourself drinking coffee straight from the pot on a Wednesday afternoon, you know how hard it is to stay motivated throughout the week. No matter how strong you start your Monday, mid-week rolls around, and you find yourself desperately searching for the weekend.
It can be frustrating to feel your motivation drift away as you get closer and closer to Friday, especially when your to-do list is miles long. While it may feel like the end of your work week is destined to be unproductive days of watching the clock, there are a few things you can do to regain momentum and get things done.
If you’re struggling to stay motivated throughout the week, here are a few tips you can implement right away.
1. Create a Morning Routine
The way you start your day is incredibly important for how motivated and productive you are. If you find yourself rolling out of bed minutes before you need to be in the office, you’re likely to spend the entire day feeling off and unable to focus on your tasks.
But, if you start your day each morning getting ready for the challenges you’ll need to tackle, you’ll be ready to take on whatever comes your way.
A morning routine is a great way to let your body know today is going to be a productive day. Whether your routine includes watching your favourite morning TV show, drinking a cup of coffee or reading the newspaper, having something you do each and every morning can prepare you for work-mode.
Creating a morning playlist is another great way to get motivated. Listening to music that gets you excited on your commute to work can get you pumped for the day. Create a list of your favorite songs or energetic music that will get the blood flowing.
2. Prioritize Your Tasks
There are few things worse than getting to Friday only to realize you’ve put off all your important projects. Not prioritizing your to-do lists will not only come back to bite you at the end of a long week, but you’ll also feel like you didn’t get anything done.
Taking a moment to prioritize your tasks can help you get the big projects out of the way. Not only will this relieve some pressure if you find yourself drifting off on a Thursday afternoon, but it can also help you feel more accomplished. This can keep you motivated to finish off your week on a productive note.
If you’re able, prioritize your tasks on Monday morning or even Sunday night. Get as many important or big tasks done early in the week and leave smaller items for later on. If you can’t plan your entire week, create a prioritized to-do list each morning. Do the big projects first and leave the smaller projects for later.
3. Take a Short Walking Break
Once you’ve checked out, it can be hard to check back in. Sometimes, you need a chance to clear your head before you can get motivated to tackle new projects or tasks. Taking a short break to get some fresh air and think about what you still need to accomplish can help you get a new burst of energy.
Exercising regularly will give you more energy and make you more focused. It can help you sleep better, which can also improve your energy and focus levels — and you don’t have to hit the gym hard to get these benefits. Walking to get your lunch or even taking a twenty-minute stroll around the outside of your office building can be enough exercise to keep you going.
Look for opportunities to get moving and away from your desk whenever you can, especially as you reach the end of the week. Offer to go on an office coffee run or even suggest a walking meeting with a team member to discuss your latest project.
4. Give Yourself a Challenge
If you’re starting to feel bored with your job, it may be why you’re feeling unmotivated. If you’re not interested in the work you’re doing or unable to focus on the task at hand, it’s easy to find your mind slipping to your weekend activities.
To stay productive, you need to stay interested.
Giving yourself a weekly challenge is a great way to push through your week until the very end. By pushing yourself to do something you enjoy or want to learn by the end of the week, your mind will stay focused and you’ll get more done. You’ll also find yourself looking forward to the end of the week.
If you’re not feeling challenged by your work, talk to your manager. See if they’re willing to provide you with additional tasks or even allow you to help on another project. Talk to them about any courses you might be interested in taking or other educational programs that would advance your career.
These are all great ways to challenge yourself and improve motivation.
5. Find an Accountability Buddy
If the rest of your office is starting to mentally check out before Friday at 5 o’clock, it’s a lot easier to let yourself check out as well. But when you still have tasks to complete, putting things off to hang out with your coworkers is going to leave you stressed and overwhelmed.
Try to find a solid balance between working and socializing, such as finding an accountability buddy. When you pair up with another employee in the office who is also struggling to stay motivated, you can hold each other accountable for staying focused. If you know someone else is counting on you to get all your tasks done, you will be more likely to push through.
Schedule time with your accountability buddy to get together and talk about your to-do lists and what you’d like to accomplish. This can be a quick chat over a morning cup of coffee or could even be a morning email. Then, at the end of the day, have a brief recap to cover what you got done and what you didn’t do.
Having small rewards for each other, like a chocolate bar or other treat, can make accountability fun.
6. Create a Career Dream Board
Visualizing your goals helps you stay motivated and working towards the things you’d like to accomplish. Creating a dream board gives you a place to refer to when you’re feeling unmotivated, reminding you what you’re working towards and what you’d like to accomplish.
Your dream board should include pictures or descriptions of anything that gets you excited. Things like houses, cars, cities or pets are all wonderful things to include. However, you can also include inspirational quotes or images you like.
Your dream board should be kept in a place that is easy to access. This may be your desk, your home office or you could even create a digital mood board you can check up on wherever you are. Having access to your dream board when you need an extra boost of motivation is crucial.
7. Get Dressed Up
When Friday morning rolls around, the last thing you probably want to do is put on the heels and dress pants. Instead, pull on your comfiest pair of jeans and a t-shirt that is a little more “casual” than “business casual.” But this lazy-outfit mindset can follow you around all day.
While you don’t need to dress up like you’re about to head into a meeting with a client, putting a bit of energy into your outfit can improve your mood and make you more motivated. Wearing something you feel comfortable in but you also love will make you excited about work through the end of the week.
Feel free to still wear jeans, but pair them with a top, shoes or accessories that gives you a confidence boost.
When you’re feeling confident about yourself, you’ll be more excited to head into the office. You’ll have more energy, be more social and feel prepared to take on your daily tasks. If a certain outfit or accessory can give you that confidence boost to keep you motivated, save it for later in the week.
Trying to find motivation at the end of a long work week can be difficult, but if you put off your tasks until the next week, you’ll only become more and more overwhelmed. It’s important to finish your week off just as strong as you started it.
If you find you’re drifting off about mid-week, try implementing one of these seven tips to give yourself an energy boost. Change some details around to better fit your needs or even come up with some motivational strategies of your own. Finding a routine that works for you is key to staying focused and productive all week long.
This article first appeared on Coffee Break.