Known as ‘Twelfth Night’, today officially marks the end of the festive period. For most people, this means that the lights and decorations will have been packed away, the chocolate box will be reduced to a few strawberry creams and normal working/ school days will have resumed.

While the return to a normal routine can feel like a natural comfort zone, for many people the prospect of the cold, dark winter months ahead can bring a dose of the blues and a lack of motivation that affects their personal and working lives.

If that’s you right now, here are a few tips for how you can stay motivated at work this January.

Consider your impact

So not everyone gets to do a job that feels like it will have a world-changing impact. However, everyone’s work is important and has the potential to make a difference to someone out there. If you’re laying bricks or constructing the roof on an apartment block, that structure will soon be what many others call ‘home’. If you’re in an office handling the payroll, you’re making sure your company’s staff can pay their bills and support their families. If you’re managing health and safety inspections, you might literally be saving someone’s life. Keeping the bigger picture in mind is a great way to stay motivated so remind yourself now and then of what you’re really achieving.

Prioritise and break down your tasks

When we return to work after the holiday period, many of us are faced with a ‘to do’ list that fills us with dread. Not knowing where to start is a demotivating feeling so the key here is to begin by prioritising that list – separating out tasks according to how important or time-sensitive they are. If a particular project seems overwhelming, the next step is to break it down into a list of smaller tasks that you (and other members of your team) can handle. As you start ticking off items from that list, you’ll be more aware of the progress you’re making and start to feel more motivated.

Set (and stick to) deadlines

In construction, we often work on projects that have real deadlines, the schedule or works that our clients expect us to achieve. While deadlines can appear stressful, weirdly it can actually be quite motivating to set more of them for ourselves and this can be particularly helpful in situations where you’re relying on the completion of one person’s work before the next step of a project can begin. By aligning deadlines to the component parts of any project, this helps everyone to know  what is expected of them and to feel like they’re working as part of a well-organised team.

Give and accept constructive advice

Wherever you work, there will be times when either you feel more knowledgeable/ skilled than your co-workers and or they will be ahead of you. Such relationships could result in feelings of insecurity or bitterness but, taking a more positive approach, they can also result in great co-worker support, learning opportunities and improved practices. We all like to feel like (and hear that) we’re doing a great job but being more motivated might also mean having to give or accept a critique of the work if that will lead to improvements.

Reward yourself (and others)

Rewards are probably the number one motivating factor for most people and, at work, this goes well beyond the pay packet. The treats that motivate us will vary from person to person but it could be something small like telling yourself you’ll make a fresh brew of coffee as soon as the email inbox has been dealt with or perhaps something bigger like a night out with the team when a project comes to completion. Remember, if you want to reward co-workers, showing some gratitude is a great way to start – a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ can work wonders!

Here at Sheriff Construction, we’ve got a busy year ahead of us with some exciting new contracts and developments on the cards. We’ll tell you more about those in future blogs. Meanwhile we need all our teams to stay well-motivated and hope these little tips might help.

Let us know if you’ve got other ideas for how to stay motivated at work this month. Comment on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.


Feature image: robert_s/