From Slump to Soar: 7 Strategies for Staying Motivated at Work

November 12, 2018

[Updated September 2023] We’ve all been there. You wake up feeling like you’ve already hit a wall and you haven’t even opened your computer. And yet, you’ve got a hunch that there’s no amount of caffeine or number of naps that will pull you out of your slump.

Listen, we’re not here to shame you away from naps at your desk or wearing yoga pants all day (because who are we kidding, yoga pants are 🤌).

Dog napping gif

However, we are here to give you some tips if you’re finding your motivation tank on E. After all, there’s important work to be done!  

1. Set Clear Goals   

Establishing clear and, most importantly, achievable goals can help you steer your ship with a confident sense of direction and purpose. Instead of identifying a big goal, break your goal down into smaller, more manageable tasks to help you get there. You’ll feel REALLY proud of yourself each time you strike a goal from your list. It’s always helpful to prioritize your tasks, too!   

‍💡 PRO TIP: I personally love to use one of the latest features of Slack, Canvases, to help me track my tasks and my goals. I keep one for daily to-do’s and one for my oh-so-achievable goals and their manageable tasks. For other tips on how to stay productive, check out this blog post on how to get $^&! done.  

2. Reconnect With Your Why 

If you’ve got the case of the ‘blahs’, it can be helpful to reconnect with the deeper purpose behind your work. Remind yourself of how your contributions are making an impact on your team and in your organization. And remind yourself of how they align with your own aspirations. Reconnecting with your “why” can give you the pep in your step to tackle your next project.  

Here's How To Define Your Purpose at Work

3. Celebrate Your Success  

Whether you’re celebrating the success of your intranet launch with a much-needed day off or the end of a string of calls with a mid-day treat (for me, that’s an ice-cold Diet Coke with one True Lime packet, to be exact), acknowledging and celebrating your accomplishments are crucial for staying motivated. Because at the end of the day, recognizing your wins (both big and small) boosts your confidence and motivates you to tackle new challenges. 💪 

 💡 PRO TIP: You know what they always say, success is sweeter when it’s shared with others. So don’t forget to give your teammates some kudos too! Who knows, a little recognition from you might help on their own motivation journey.   

4. Find New Ways to Grow  

Embracing a growth mindset and actively seeking out new opportunities to learn and grow can do wonders for your motivation. Don’t worry! That doesn’t mean you need to go out and get a new certification (but if you want to do that, we won’t stop you!).   

You could engage in training programs, watch a webinar, attend workshops or a conference or simply do some internet browsing related to your work. The pursuit of knowledge is key to keeping you engaged and motivated.    

‍⭐️ BONUS: Check out some of our favorite places to learn and grow:  

5. Lean on Your Relationships 

If none of the other tactics have pulled you out of your slump, it might be time to call in backup. Leaning on the positive relationships within your life is the secret sauce to feeling rejuvenated, even at work!  

Sometimes all it takes is tapping on your manager or a colleague and asking them if they have a “mindless” task you could work on to shift gears and use a different part of your brain. Once complete, you can hop back over to your work with a fresh perspective and a clean slate. Or give a friend a call and take a quick walk around the block.   

Collaborating, sharing ideas and making connections can help you foster a renewed sense of belonging and camaraderie.  

Here's how to build your network of women supporting women

6. Strike the Balance That Works for You  

A one-sized-fits-all approach to work-life balance is for the birds and striking the balance that works for you is crucial to avoiding burnout. So, whether you prefer to stick to your 9-5 or like to knock out a few emails over the weekend, find a balance that allows you to engage in the activities you enjoy outside of work and prioritize self-care, whatever that may look like. When you’re living your best, well-rounded life, you’re more likely to feel motivated and energized at work.      

💡 PRO TIP: If you’re having difficulty establishing or maintaining your boundaries, lean on your manager and trusted colleagues to help you. If you communicate your boundaries to them, they can support you by not only respecting them when working with you, but they can champion your boundaries with others.  

7. Treat Yo’ Self 

Remember those manageable tasks you outlined to help you achieve your goals? Assign personal rewards to different task milestones to keep you excited along the way.   

Treating yourself to something you enjoy, whether it’s a yummy treat, a few minutes of screen time (we see you, TikTok), or an at-home spa-like experience will help create a positive association with achieving your goals. And plus, you deserve it! Damn! You’re good!   

Here's why exercising and productivity go hand in hand

You’ve Got This!  

We all hit a motivation slump at one point or another. It’s how we pull ourselves out of it to reconnect and stay motivated that matters most. Remember, motivation can fluctuate over time so it’s essential to regularly revisit and adjust these strategies to help you as you evolve. Be kind to yourselves, folks!   

For more bite-sized brilliance, subscribe to our monthly employee engagement newsletter, the Inkwell, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest!

Claire Turk

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