OREANDA-NEWS. February 10, 2016. Weve talked a lot about work productivity increasing yours, increasing your employees, and tips for small businesses and sales reps. What is less discussed, but often at the root of productivity problems, is motivation. We all have down days where we just cant. Easy tasks become dull, monotonous time-sucks. We want to be busier and accomplish more, but its hard to get excited about the projects on the to-do list.

Theres nothing wrong with you or your job.  Stop going down the rabbit hole of self doubt. Instead of asking yourself am I just not cut out for this? ask yourself why youre not psyched about what youre working on this week. If you force yourself to sleepwalk through your next project, youll end up spending a large amount of time feeling like youve done very little and getting deeper into that rabbit hole.

Of course, our jobs arent the only thing we sometimes feel ho-hum about. Have you already forgotten about those New Years resolutions to meditate every day, or renew connections with old friends? Lack of motivation at work shares something with resolution failures. The problem is that we focus too much on external motivation (a promotion, wanting to look like someone else, reinforcement from your peers) and not enough on internal motivation. Working towards something because your boss expects it or because you want to project a certain image may push you in the short run, but it wont light your fire from within.

Inspired by our own desire for self motivation, we put together some tips to help you hit the reset button.

Talk to a friend

Musing about motivation alone at your desk will only get you so far. A long conversation with a friend, partner, or trusted colleague can help you get to the root of things, and you will discover a lot about yourself and your work style. Once you know the core things that are preventing you from feeling like a go-getter, you can start reframing your work to have more of an impact.

Think big and look for inspiration

Remember when you started your job, and your friends asked what the new role was? You probably said something like Ill be getting to do some pretty cool stuff, working on XYZ. Fast forward a year and the big ideas you talked about are still on the back burner because youre just getting by tackling the day-to-day stuff. If you didnt have to do [tedious code reviews/ endless email threads/hours of data entry], what are the things youd be going after?

Heres a strategy: Try doing those things for a day. Take a break from some of your everyday tasks and work on that fun project or creative idea you had. Take a walk, read some cool stuff about your industry, check out projects other people have been working on, take a coworker to coffee, and dream big. (You probably werent getting much done anyway, and its hugely worth it for future productivity.) Inspiration is the starting point for motivation.

Set some goals, then prioritize them

If you dont have a project management system, get one. You can use a system like Trello or create your own process to help with workflow. Find a way to segment your projects into categories like Recurring, Long-Term, and In Progress, or numbered from most to least important. The key is defining whats important: Put those big, inspirational ideas at the top of the list with a plan to carry them out. When you set your focus for the day or week, reference your priorities and dont let continuous email pings rule you.

Change up your physical space

Does the thought of sitting down at your desk dampen your spirits (not to mention remind you of that shoulder pain)? The space in which youre working can have a huge effect on your emotions and energy level, as can the amount of physical activity you get at work. Try switching it up and moving more. If you sit all day, hack together a standing desk or make sure to stretch a lot. Walk outside, even if its raining or snowing. Get your blood flowing and use your breaks doing something that will truly energize you.

Now that youre excited to get to work, try some productivity techniques to help maintain your newfound motivation. Many methods (for instance, the Pomodoro Technique) share common ingredients: Close digital distractions, set aside a short amount of time (20-30 minutes) to do a single task, and give yourself a break after that time elapses. Rinse and repeat. There are lots of people out there working to make productivity easier for you, making apps like Forest. Just dont forget that if youre not getting much done even with a technique to help you focus, the problem probably isnt that youre just not good at productivity. More likely, you need to take that step back to help find your motivation and set priorities in your life.