Easy Ways to Stay Motivated when Working Long Hours

Working long hours can be tough. You may feel as though you don’t have a social life, and that no matter how hard you work, you never have any time for yourself. At times, this can be completely normal, but if you don’t deal with these feelings of stress then you may find that it has a huge impact on your level of motivation.



Before you start making any changes, you have to make sure that you are completely committed to your career. If you don’t feel as though the job you are doing is providing you with satisfaction anymore or if you are unhappy in general then this signifies that it is time for a career change, rather than a personal one. If you are happy with the job that you are in, then you need to be ready to push yourself more than ever before. Only then can you begin to make the positive changes you need to make.


Set some Digital Goals

Goal setting is vital when it comes to motivation. If you don’t set goals, then you will never know when you are making progress. You don’t even have to set huge goals either. Sometimes smaller goals can work wonders for your level of motivation, and they can really help you to get the drive you need to push through the day. If you need some ideas, then consider setting a goal for calling 10 clients in one day. You might also want to try and reply to any emails within 5 minutes or complete a project ahead of its deadline.


The Next Level

When you have set your digital goals, you then need to take your plan to that next level. Start writing down how you are going to achieve those goals and also find out if there is anything that you can do to help yourself along the way. For example, if your goal is to reply to emails within 5 minutes then look into an app, as this can help you to reply on the go. You might also want to invest in an email organisation system, so you can prioritise the most important emails that you have. Setting goals is important when it comes to your level of motivation, but it is also important that you write down ways of achieving those goals as well.


Tick Items Off

The best thing about having a to-do list is that you can cross things off as you go along. This can work wonders for your motivation, and it also helps you to see how far you have come in that day as well. When you have ticked an item off for that day, move onto the next one and when the list is complete, take it easy. That way, you aren’t burning yourself out. If you managed to get a significant amount of work done that day, it may even be worth asking your boss if you can go home early.


Set some Breaks

If you are constantly under pressure from work or if you feel as though you just don’t have enough time in the day, then you need to take a break. Sure, this may sound counterproductive and you may even feel as though you are going to get less done as a result, but this is not the case at all. Taking breaks can help you to stay motivated and it also gives you the chance to come back to the task with a fresh perspective. If possible, you need to remove yourself from your working environment. In other words, don’t just go and have a coffee at your desk. Go out to the local coffee shop instead, take a walk, or even go down to the cafeteria. When you get back to your desk, you will feel way more energised and you will also feel more refreshed too.


Ask for Some Feedback

Feedback can be scary, of course. The main point that you have to remember is that it can also be incredibly motivating as well. If you have done everything right however, then it can really help you to boost your ego. If your work is lacking, then feedback can really help you to get that push you need to amp up your work. It will also push you to do better as well, which is always a good thing.


Create a Reward System

Bribing yourself can be a fantastic motivator. If you manage to complete a project on time, or if you end up working a 12-hour day then reward yourself as soon as you get home. Cook your favourite meal, have a beer or even make the time to watch a movie. When you do this, the work that you put in will feel much more rewarding and it will also help you to find incentives in everyday life.


Be Inspired

Sometimes it helps to be reminded of why you chose the job you have. If you are a teacher for example, you may have chosen to do this so that you can give children the support you never had. You might also want to teach them and watch them learn. Either way, sometimes you need to go back to a time when things were great so you can regain the motivation you once had. If you want to get a boost then check out these inspirational thank you letters to teachers.


Consider the Why

You may need to complete a certain task today, and that’s great, but it helps to think about the reason “why” it needs to be done as well. When you consider this, you will soon find that it is much easier to stay motivated and that you see the vision behind the work that you are putting in as well.


Your Wardrobe

Having new work clothes can really help with your level of motivation. Go to one of your favourite stores and try and pick out a couple of items. This will help you to stay focused on your work and it will also give you that boost you need. If you want to help yourself even more then you might want to use buying new things as an incentive.


Hang Out

Sometimes when you are with someone all day at work, the last thing that you want to do is spend time with them at night. Sometimes however, hanging out with your colleagues after work can be a fantastic motivator. It might help you to connect with the people who you work with and it might also make those long days seem a little less daunting.


Switch off your Emails

Believe it or not, emails are a constant distraction. Research has shown time and time again that a person spends more than 2 hours a day replying to emails. If you have a deadline looming, then this can really cause you to lose focus. If you want to stop all of this then try and turn off your email notifications. When you do this, you can then concentrate on the task-at-hand. If you want to check your emails then do it while you are on your break, or at the end of a project milestone. This way you can stop yourself from getting distracted.



A cluttered desk really stops you from working efficiently. It can also be a sign that you are disorganised as well, and this is the last thing that you need when you have so much going on in the day. If you want to help yourself here, then it is a good idea for you to give your entire desk a good spring-clean. You might want to recycle any paper that you have, or even throw away some rubbish. This will help you to streamline the overall organisation of your desk and it will also help you to work better as well.


Building your Network

Every single workplace has their own unique way of working. You need to find out who the key people are in your office and learn as much as you can from them. You also need to connect with people who are outside your workplace as well, as this can help you to be more motivated and it can also help you to expand your skills.  Sometimes a few encouraging words are all you need.

So, there are plenty of things that you can do to stay more motivated when you work long hours, and by utilising the above tips, you can be sure to not only increase your work performance, but also the level of pride you have in yourself as well. If the long hours are just getting too much for you then it may be an idea to start seeking out another position. When you do this, you can then feel much more assured knowing that you are working for a purpose, and you can also get that drive and boost you need to start taking back control of both your life and your career.


Friddy Hoegener


29 March 2019

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