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14 Motivations to Help You Go to Work

14 Motivations to Help You Go to Work

We all have to do it, but that doesn’t mean that it comes easy… going to work that is!

Some days, we hop in the car and go out of habit and we’re at our destination before we know it. And the day has begun. Other days, we dread to put one foot in front of the other because we know with each step we take, it takes us a little closer to where we’re going to be spending the next eight hours. Those eight hours when your head isn’t “in the game” can be excruciatingly long, extremely dull, and leave you yearning to see the clock’s hands move just one iota.
For those days where you think you just can’t face going in one more time, I offer you 14 motivations to help you answer the question “What’s in it for me?”

1. Make your work-space an inviting space

Who wants to drive in to work knowing there’s a monotone-colored cubicle and matching desk accessories waiting for you? Create a space that is “you!” If you have an agreeable supervisor who doesn’t mind a few touches from home, dress up your space with plants or a few pictures of the people you love most. Put up motivating quotes on colorful backgrounds or print some out and frame them. Not only will you make a space you feel comfortable in, but your co-workers will see how you took ownership of an area and the things you chose to surround yourself with… you can motivate others in this subtle way!

2. Reward yourself for perfect attendance

Why not? We were rewarded as children. When we were attending elementary and high school, our job WAS school and we were rewarded for showing up. Make a point of being at work ten to fifteen minutes before you are required to and track whether or not you’re successful. “X” off every day you made it in early and give yourself a treat for five days in a row or whatever time frame you designate. I advise keeping this one to yourself though, sometimes there are clock-Nazis watching and taking their own notes too!

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3. You get to mentally challenge yourself

When we go to work, we get the opportunity to be challenged both creatively and intellectually. Problems are present every day. Being present in body as well as in mind gives us a chance to stretch our thinking and personally challenge ourselves to strive for success. Track these times when you feel excited by new approaches to performing your job – being able to reflect on these times will aid you in your ability to have an air of gratitude.

4. You spark your own creativity

Going to work allows us to think outside of the proverbial “box.” Each day you get in your car to go to work, try thinking: What will I learn today? Maybe it’s the chance and the training ground you need to learn how to be creative. Why not keep a little notebook and jot down when your idea was used or a portion of it? Tracking these things and bringing them up during performance evaluations could further your position within the company.

5. You experience positive interaction with others

Whether you view yourself as being a private person or not, interaction with co-workers cannot be underestimated. When we go to work and engage in conversation, work-related or about life in general, we are engaging in social behavior that gives us a sense of being connected with the human race.

6. You can help others

Our willingness to go to work earns us the financial capability to touch the lives of others through charitable activities. Because we show up at work, we are afforded the opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone not capable of changing their circumstances on their own. We are able to “give back” because we work.

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7. You are able to provide for your family and yourself

Whether you are a member of a family or it may be just you, the cold hard truth is that you need to be motivated by financial responsibilities, the mortgage or rent, electricity, insurances, phone, and food. Your job enables you to afford the things in life that you not only want but you at the basic level need.

8. You gain self-respect

Going to work and obtaining a reputation for not only being dependable, but someone who people can trust boosts your self-respect. Knowing that someone relies on your talents and knowledge gives you value and makes you feel confident in the work you are called to do.

9. You enjoy a sense of completion

Whether you work at a fast-food chain or an executive office, there is a mission for that day. There is always something that needs to be accomplished. Participating in that work gives you a sense of completion because you know you were involved in the process to make the end result or product come about.

10. You establish a career path

Any job you hold should be viewed as a stepping stone to the next phase in your life. Look at your current position as a “testing ground” for the next big thing that will come along in life!

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11. You can afford a certain lifestyle

A powerful motivation to go to work is knowing that the money you earn can potentially afford you a lifestyle you want to enjoy. Do you long to travel? Own your own business? What dreams do you have that you long to fulfill? Showing up at work and planning for the things you want puts you on that path to that desired lifestyle – it all has to start somewhere, why not the motivation to go to work?

12. Go to bed earlier

I think by now we’re all pretty aware that we rarely get the correct amount of sleep that our body needs to restore itself for the next day. This results in multiple snooze-alarm-slaps in the morning hours and scrambling to get ready for the workday ahead. Eliminate this unnecessary stress and turn in early. It may take some getting used to, but you’ll feel better in the long run.

13. Prepare your lunch the night before

This very simple step can shave time off of your get-ready time in the morning! How nice would it be to just walk to the refrigerator and pull out the bag you prepared the night before?

14. Select and prepare your outfit the night before

Take time out to go to the closet and pick out what you intend to wear for the next day. If it needs ironing, do it before you go to bed! Again, a huge time saver in the morning! Once you’re done with showering and grooming, simply walk to your closet and take out what you got ready the night before. This eliminates the stress of picking something, ironing, and possibly running late especially if you discover at the last minute there’s a missing button or worse yet, a hole in your favorite shirt or blouse.

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The bottom line is: work is what we choose to make it. If you want to continue to dread it and find ways to escape being there, that’s a personal choice. But if you’d like to have peace of mind, grow as a person, and feel excitement about the role you play at your workplace then turn your thinking around and consider what you gain from being there besides just the paycheck!

Featured photo credit: epSos.de via flickr.com

More by this author

Cathy Robinson

Cathy blogs about mental strength, motivation and happiness at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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