In 2011, I partnered with another woman to create Women LEAD–a non-profit that gives young ladies in Nepal the opportunity to become leaders in their society through different programs that we offer. Even though I am based in Washington DC, and all of our programs are overseas, the girls keep me inspired with photos of them joking around at our office or when they’re discussing their career goals and dreams during my visits once a year.
The majority of my work occurs away from our girls. I could be writing a grant, responding to emails, or attending meetings. Many desk workers can relate that it’s difficult to stay motivated when you do the same thing every day.
Here are some tips to ensure you don’t get bored with your work routine:
1. Post a photo, quote, or word up in your workspace that reminds you of your ultimate goal or vision
Women LEAD’s goal is for women and girls to achieve leadership roles in every sector of society in Nepal. Although this is our endgame, it can become muddled by the continuous flow of work that must be completed daily. It’s essential to have a clear picture of your career goals and what you hope to achieve while working at your current position; seeing these reminders each day will help give you the motivation needed get through the workday successfully.
I have a photo of one of our Women LEAD graduates by my desk as a source of inspiration. Her optimistic outlook reminds me why my work is important and that there are countless others like her with boundless potential.
2. Challenge yourself to learn more about the tasks you have been assigned and to go above and beyond in every task
Although some aspects of your job may not be interesting to you, it is essential that you challenge yourself to learn more about the tools you are using. By teaching yourself how to use Salesforce or Photoshop proficiently, for example, even though it might be boring at first, will benefit you greatly in the future.
“How can I make this bigger, better and bolder?” is a question we should always ask ourselves for every project we work on, as noted by Kate White in her career book “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This.” It may be tough to make a report or memo interesting, but it’s necessary to show that you’re invested in your job duties and maintain high standards – no matter how small the task.
3. Keep a work journal to keep track of your accomplishments and professional growth
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work and lose sight of accomplishments, both big and small. But whether it’s a promotion or simply completing a long project, each success deserves to be celebrated! Write daily or weekly in a work journal detailing what made you feel passionate about your job that day, what brought you down, or any patterns you may have noticed. Not only will this help others on your team track their own progress more easily – it’ll also give everyone something fun (and motivating!) to read during lunch breaks. Whenever you have an “off” day and lack enthusiasm, remember a time at work when you felt particularly motivated to get yourself moving again.
4. Consume, Connect and Create
Scott Dinsmore, Live Your Legend’s creator, suggests a daily ritual that he calls “Consuming, Connecting and Creating.” To consume information about your wished-for industry, read blogs related to it, follow influential people in the field on Twitter, and set up a Google alert for terms associated with your work. Reading about news in your target industry will help you learn of opportunities for professional development. Staying motivated in your career can be hard, but connecting with others and pursuing creative endeavors can help. Networking events and groups are a great way to connect with people and hearing about their latest projects can be motivational. Similarly, journaling, photography or other creative pursuits can help you recharge by allowing you to reflect on your work.
How do you keep the motivation high and avoid creative blocks throughout your workday?