When you think of July, what do you think of?  When we think of July, the first thing that comes to mind is the fourth.  The Fourth of July brings barbeques, pool parties, and fireworks all in order to celebrate America’s independence.  Since Independence Day is a major staple in America’s history, this month we are focusing on you.  No, not your coworkers, or your work, but you!  We’ve assembled the best tips on how to keep yourself motivated in the office and how to leave any stress there when you decide to call it a day.  Check it out!

Say No! to Your Mental Slump

Motivation is a key factor in getting any work done effectively and efficiently.  As the summer months roll in and more desirable activities become available, it can be more challenging to stay motivated and productive in the office.  Check out some practical tips on how to stay motivated even in the most strenuous times.

Surround Yourself With Those on the Same Mission as You

When you’re struggling to stay motivated in the office, a simple trick is to surround yourself with people who are just as motivated as you know you should be.  By surrounding yourself with productive coworkers, it’ll put some form of pressure on you to keep up with them and complete your work as efficiently as they are.  You don’t want to be known as the lazy coworker who doesn’t get their work done, so surrounding yourself with motivated and successful coworkers pushes you and can bring out your competitive nature in order to keep up with them.

Be About Actions, Not Distractions

Eliminate distractions! In this day and age it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid technology use while at work so it’s important to know how to manage it accordingly.  With smartphones playing such a dominant role in society, you can’t eliminate them from your cubicle completely but you can minimize usage, which increases productivity.  A good approach to follow is the Pomodoro Technique.  The idea is to complete 25 minutes of work with no distractions, then check your phone or anything non-work related for three to five minutes as a reward, and then proceed to repeat the cycle.

The Real To Do List

Make a to-do list.  No, not a vague to-do list that contains everything you need to complete before a certain date, that can get overwhelming.  Create a to-do list that breaks down everything you need to do based on priority.  It’s also important to allocate specific periods of time for each task.  Doing this helps minimize stress and makes everything less staggered.  It also can give you a confidence boost whenever you can cross off an additional bullet on that to-do list.

Take a Break Before You Break

When you make your to-do list be sure to include a break.  Allot a certain amount of time to take a break so you have something to look forward to while getting your work done.  If you overflow yourself with work and no break, you won’t be able to concentrate as easily because you’re bored and tired.  On top of this, your work won’t be as good as it could be due to not giving your brain time to take a breather and recoup.

Setting a Goal is the First Step in Turning the Invisible to Visible

Set up a goal and reward system.  Set a goal you have to work towards but not one that’s too overwhelming.  These goals can include checkpoints in a major project to help break it up, multiple smaller projects or even simple everyday tasks.  The rewards should vary based on the goal you set.  If it is a smaller goal, make your reward something you’ve been craving like an ice cream cone.  If it’s a larger one, make the reward larger like going out to a restaurant you rarely go to or something along those lines that pushes you to complete what you need to.

The Ultimate Inspiration is the Deadline

Every day, set an end time.  If you have a solid time you plan on leaving every day, you won’t spend as much time deciding when you should leave the office. You’ll minimize time you would spend distracting yourself and stay focused on the work you should be doing.

Leave the Stress in the Cubicle

Don’t bring any work or stress home with you.  By bringing work or stress home, you’re not getting any kind of break from what you’ve been doing all day.  This can make you dread going back tomorrow and give you a shorter attention span.  It’ll take you that much longer to finish your work so if you really want to keep your motivation and work ethic up, leave it all in the office!

Storms Don’t Last Forever

We just mentioned how you should leave your stress in the office but of course that’s easier said than done.  Stress is temporary, so it’s all about how you can manage it. If your work, deadlines, and stress are eating you alive and keeping you up at night, we have just what you need!  We put together realistic tips to help keep your stress out of your home and left in the office.

The Ultimate Inspiration is the Deadline

We said this before and we’re going to say it again, set a solid time to leave the office every day.  If you’re stressed, leaving at a set time will keep you from working yourself up and increasing your level of anxiety even more.  It sets a definite cutoff time to stop the stress and bolt.  If there is minimal work left to be completed that would be pointless to leave for tomorrow, stay and finish it.  You can leave early another day.

A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish

Before you leave, write down the first thing you have to do in the morning.  We’re not saying you have to write out a full blown to-do list, but writing down the first thing you need to complete in the morning should give you a sense of direction and ease your nerves.  This helps you keep work in the office because you don’t have to bring home the concern of what you need to get done tomorrow.

Exercise in the Morning Before Your Brain Figures Out What You’re Doing

If your head is cluttered and you’re struggling to think straight, a short run can be just what you need. Since exercising releases endorphins, it’s proven to boost your mood right then and there. When you wake up in the morning, pull yourself out of bed and either bring yourself to the gym or outside for a good run and/or workout.  Focusing on what you’re trying to accomplish in your workout will help distract you from what may be going on in the office on top of putting you in a better mood!

If You Obey All the Rules You Miss All the Fun

No one said your life had to be strictly work all the time. When you get out of the office, find something fun and creative to do in order to detour your mind from any complications that may have happened in the office.  Some ideas for you include: yoga, painting, ceramics, reading and, of course, watching TV.

Don’t Let Your Email Dictate Your Priorities

Take your work email off your smartphone.  It’s taking up storage that you could be using for something more desirable.  It can also be causing you more stress because having it doesn’t allow you to disconnect from the office.  Some may have it on their phone because it is easily accessible when waiting for an anticipated email or response.  Removing it from your phone eliminates the urgency to check for updates every five minutes and allows you to live your life outside the office.