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October 16, 2015

Staying Motivated Before Weekends and Holidays

Business

Jeff Cochran

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Most employees know about the midweek slump. After all, there’s a reason Wednesday is called “hump day” – it often feels like jumping over a big hump. Yet motivation doesn’t automatically pick up on Thursday or Friday. If anything, workers often feel less motivated than ever on Fridays or the days before long holiday breaks. If this describes you, there are ways to stay motivated and turn in quality work during this time.

Keep Yourself Interested 

If you feel bogged down with difficult or boring assignments, your energy and enthusiasm will flag. When possible, do difficult Friday or pre-holiday assignments as soon as you arrive. Many people feel more enthusiastic in the morning, and with the whole day ahead of you, you won’t feel like you’re racing to meet deadlines. In the afternoon, do the assignments that will be finished quickly or are the most fun. For instance, if you’re an elementary teacher who loves science, save a fun experiment until after lunch.

Chill Out 

The end of the week is stressful because people want to get out as early as possible, but deadlines and unfinished tasks still loom. This can overwhelm the most dedicated employee. If your brain feels cluttered, take a few minutes to meditate or do some deep breathing. Take a brisk walk at lunch to replenish energy. If you can, try to sneak in a 10-15 minute power nap, or simply close your eyes for short rest periods throughout the afternoon.

Bring Your Kids or a Pet

If the office allows it and if school schedules permit, Friday afternoon is a good time to bring your kids to work. You can look forward to doing something special with the kids when work is over, such as going to the park, out for ice cream, or to a favorite store. This can become a reward for everyone. Additionally, many offices are now allowing pets, everything from dogs and cats to fish and iguanas. Having something dynamic to watch or interact with can increase motivation.

Laugh More

Laughter increases morale, burns calories, and replenishes energy. People who laugh are also less likely to complain at work and more likely to thank coworkers for a job well-done. Some offices host “month-end laugh-a-thons” to facilitate more laughter. These can be as simple as watching funny (appropriate) YouTube videos, or as complex as inviting a local comedian to come in on Friday afternoon. If you’re an employee, bring your favorite jokes and funny stories to work and share them.

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