3 Steps To Get Motivated & Started At Work

October 12, 2016

Get Motivated At Work With These Helpful Starters

Challenges with executive functions can keep one from initiating tasks.  Dr. Thomas Brown says that initiation is an important executive function. Some people can sit down at their desks and automatically go through a set of criteria that help them get going.  Others can waste time and get stuck before they even take the first step.  We all need some forethought when it comes to completing tasks successfully.  Here are 3 steps to help manage and schedule yourself at work.


Setting priorities is about deciding the order for dealing with tasks according to their importance.  We have many responsibilities at work, from managing deadlines, attending meetings, answering emails and the dreaded paperwork.  When we have multiple tasks, it is important to designate which are the most important and why. Steven Covey in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”,  says the essence of effective time and life management is to organize and execute around balanced priorities. This means that we have to set our intention around what we (and most importantly, our managers) deem to be important to succeed in our jobs.  Before setting your priorities, it is critical to ask yourself,  “what tasks are at the essence of managing myself to be most effective and efficient today?”

Organization and Planning

Each day brings a set of tasks to be tackled on the job. In order to even start a project, we need to put some thought into it.  Too often, we impulsively jump right in without thinking through a procedure, strategy or specific objective. Without a plan, we can spin our wheels.  It’s like driving cross country without a map or a GPS system.  It’s just too easy to get lost.  So what’s needed to create a plan and get organized?  We need clarity about what is expected, specific measurements for success, and a timeline.

Chunking out a task into small steps is a great way to feel more motivated. Creating templates and systems for repetitive tasks can keep you from reinventing the wheel.

Additionally, an organized workspace can be invaluable.  Many people, especially those with ADHD, like to see their stuff.  It’s like the old adage, out of sight, out of mind. When creating an orderly workspace, you need to think through a system that works for you. You can organize folders, notes and files that you may need with the help of organizational office supplies, such as colored labels, etc. A visually organized workspace can translate to your own tasks for the day.


After you have prioritized your tasks and have a plan, it’s time to get started.  Is procrastination a problem for you?  If so, what do you notice when you want to start?  What do you tell yourself about the how, when and where of getting the job done?  What is your mindset? Let go of the fear and frustration.  Strengthen your executive skills and learn to manage your thoughts, behaviors and emotions so that you can be more resilient.

If you are feeling blocked, take a break.  Clear your head with a short walk, a mindfulness exercise or watch a silly cat video.  Promising yourself a small reward for starting can be motivational. Being successful at work means managing thoughts and behaviors. Initiating is just one of the executive functions.

Life Coaching Can Help

If you are struggling to be organized and as productive as you’d like to be at work, check in with a coach who can help you create systems and strategies to initiate work.  Learn to make new positive habits and live up to your potential. Life Coaching is now being offered as part of AllOne Health’s Total Well-Being EAP solution.