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Staying Motivated

Every job loses its charm after some time. To make things worse, there are too many distractions around us. We end up thinking that this is not the job that I wanted to be doing. And when we realize that we will be doing this same job probably till the end of our lives, we will want to scream.

It is a human tendency to get bored with something after some time. When we get a new job, every thing is new and interesting and our interest is completely captured. We try to learn things as quickly as possible and are eager to impress and prove to the world that we are perfect for the job. But after a few months we get used to everything and slowly everything begins to lose the charm. We get bored and start looking for greener pastures.

It is at this stage that procrastination starts raising its villainous head. If the tasks that we are doing are repetitive ad monotonous, the picture becomes bleaker. Along with this, if the job requires that we remain on toes all day long, then the future is sealed. It is in such situations that we need to keep ourselves motivated.

Speaking from the Organizational Behavior point of view let us take a look at what motivation is all about. The human brain as I mentioned earlier is a virtual store house of energy. There is nothing that we cannot do once we put our mind to it. Along with it comes a string attached. The same brain is easily distracted. In fact our imagination is probably the one thing that can travel faster than light. So it is no easy task to keep the brain occupied in the same task for an extended period of time. If the job is monotonous the task becomes more difficult to keep going.

Motivation can be thought of as the process of channeling the surplus energy of the brain towards a definite goal or purpose. So how long can the human mind focus on the same thing. Studies have shown that the maximum attention span of an average human being is just 45 minutes. 45 minutes?

So much for those meetings and discussions that lasted for three or four hours! No wonder nothing much comes out of such meetings. In all likelihood most of the audience conked out after the first 45 minutes and after that focused their attention on staying awake.

Here are a few tips on how to ward boredom away and keep you motivated.

  • Never keep doing the same task for two long.
  • Try to take breaks every half an hour. Get up and walk or do some stretching exercises.
  • Try to alternate between two boring tasks. This will reduce the boredom in both tasks by 50%.
  • If you have someone else with you who is doing a similar job, try exchanging jobs with the person.
  • Talk about your job to a sympathetic listener who can give you. encouragement and maybe some ideas on making the job more interesting.
  • Reward yourself once you have done a job well.
  • If you have an uninteresting job left to do, write it down and pin it somewhere in your work station so that you can see it and get constantly reminded about it till you do it.
  • Try to make your work environment more attractive by pinning up some motivating words or some pleasant wall posters, preferably something that can make you smile.
  • If you are allowed to, try playing some motivating music while you work.
  • Make a copy of you to-do list and cross off the completed jobs in red. Tack it up where you can see your progress.
  • If possible keep a small potted plant near your work station; watching it grow is a wonderful source of inspiration. But take care to look after it properly. If you are going to watch it wilt and die, then it is going to have the opposite effect.
  • Take time to relax, just sit back and close your eyes and hum a favorite tune for a minute or two. But do not fall asleep!

Most of the points mentioned above are self explanatory but I would like to elaborate on one point that is rewarding your self. This is one tactic that I have found to work wonders with me. If you have finished doing a job, you have every right and reason to reward your self. All the more if the task was a boring one or one that involved a deadline. The reward does not have to be any thing great. It can be something like treating yourself to a good dinner in a favorite restaurant or it could be a simple chocolate bar if you have a sweet tooth.


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