Different people give you different recipes for doing well professionally. But the one thing that most people agree on is that it’s necessary to work hard if you want to get anywhere. There’s no substitute for putting in the hours.
As Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, Outliers, you need to put in 10,000 hours if you want to be really great at anything. He gives the example of the Beatles and Bill Gates; both spent 10,000 hours or more in their fields to become extremely successful.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ways of Motivating Yourself
How do you keep on working hard when your energy starts flagging? What if you’re genuinely tired? Do you keep on guzzling cup after cup of coffee? Isn’t that eventually going to lead to a breakdown within your body?
Rather than espousing these unhealthy ways of continuing to work, you need to motivate yourself in healthy ways which will keep you going in the long run. There are many simple things you can do that will keep you going.
How do You “Goof Off” in a Structured Way?
Start with taking regular breaks. The human body isn’t meant to keep sitting in front of a computer hour after hour. So make sure that you get up every 45 minutes and move around a little. It’s fine to take a 15 minute break after every 45 minutes, if this is possible in your place of work.
You may not want people to see you walking around and “goofing off.” But the fact is that goofing off a bit, in a structured way, can help you to keep going for longer.
How do You Make Your Work Interesting?
A great way to motivate yourself is to figure out how to make your work interesting. Take the example of running. Running is not a very interesting sport per se. A lot of people find it boring. But the way that many of them make it interesting is by listening to music. Once you start listening to a song that you like, your legs automatically start moving faster. You get into the rhythm of the music.
There are many ways to make your work more interesting, such as listening to music, setting goals, choosing tasks or assignments that appeal to you more (if this is possible) etc.