How To Work Hard: 10 Tips and Strategies for Success

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 12 September 2022 | Published 30 August 2021

Updated 12 September 2022

Published 30 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In every profession, the ability to work hard is a vital attribute of successful people. Motivation matters when you wish to achieve your goals through hard work. Knowing how to find your source of motivation and the strategies for attaining your objectives can improve your success rate and help you achieve your career goals. In this article, we provide tips to help you understand how to work hard and offer strategies to motivate yourself to meet work-related objectives.

What is motivation?

Motivation is an internal or external force that influences a person to direct their efforts toward a specific goal or activity. Internal or intrinsic motivation can be a result of psychological or emotional stimuli. External or extrinsic motivation occurs when an external factor pushes someone towards an objective. Staying motivated can drive you to put in the efforts needed to achieve your tasks. You may be working hard to win a bonus, impress your supervisor or achieve mastery of a skill. Regardless of your source of motivation, it's important to know how to direct this energy towards realising your goals.

Read more: What Is Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation? (With Examples)

Top 10 tips on how to work hard

Here are 10 tips to help you motivate yourself to work harder:

1. View the task as part of your professional development

One way to motivate yourself to work harder is to view your tasks or activities as part of your professional development. It can be difficult to energise yourself to start and finish tasks if you see them as boring or lacking any contribution to your career. If you can link the work with your progress in the field, a promotion at work, reduced delays for your team, a positive performance review from your supervisor or even a generous bonus, it becomes easier to motivate yourself to finishing it on time.

Related: Tips on How To Be Motivated at Work

2. Remove distractions from your environment

Working hard requires being able to focus fully on the task at hand. It can be difficult to achieve total focus if there are sources of distraction in your work area. By removing things that can prevent you from focusing, you can dedicate your energy to the activity at hand, thus achieving more in less time. When you're about to work, try to get away from music, social media, other people who might derail your thought process and any other potential sources of distraction. Doing this can help you get optimal value and efficiency for your time.

Related: How To Stay Focused When You Work from Home

3. Prioritise the most important tasks

To make your hard work count, start your day with the most important activities. That way, you spend your most productive work hours on high-priority tasks. After completing critical work, you can then spend the rest of the day on lower priority activities. One way to achieve this is to list your tasks for the day the night before. That way, you have all your tasks planned in order of relevance and achieving the most valuable projects can boost your productivity, even if you didn't complete everything on your list.

4. Tie your work to a specific goal

It's often easier to maintain a higher level of motivation if you tie your work to a specific goal. That goal can be financial independence, a new home, a family holiday at the end of the year, a promotion or free time. By putting your goal for working hard top-of-mind, you can motivate yourself to continue your tasks, knowing that there is a reward waiting for you. Whenever you feel like quitting, remember your reason for dedicating so much effort to work in the first place.

Related: Career Goals: How To Set, Examples and Tips for Achieving

5. Use the chunking method

The chunking method involves breaking big tasks into smaller, more manageable activities. Sometimes, the sheer commitment required to achieve large tasks can make you lose motivation. By breaking big tasks into smaller units, it becomes easier to complete them and sustain your energy. Achieving smaller tasks can also lead to higher job satisfaction and a feeling of achievement that can further lead to a motivation boost.

6. Work on overcoming procrastination

Procrastination and laziness are two of the biggest factors preventing people from working hard, but you can overcome them by planning your days and thoughts carefully. Creating a to-do list, blocking sources of distraction, and surrounding yourself with highly motivated people are strategies for defeating these habits. Avoiding overthinking and daydreaming, and focusing on work for specific periods, such as 40-minute tranches, can also help you achieve your daily tasks and increase your productivity.

7. Be physically fit

As much as you need motivation to work hard, it's important for you to be physically fit to achieve your tasks. Take care of your body by eating a healthy, well-rounded diet, exercising and having a pleasant sound sleep every night. Having a deep rest each night can help your body stay energised and alert, so you can maintain higher levels of productivity at work.

8. Take short breaks

Taking brief breaks after a bout of continuous activity can help boost your productivity, prevent drudgery and keep you motivated throughout the day. One way to do this is to focus on work for about 45 minutes to one hour and then take a short 10 to 15-minute break. The breaks allow you to replenish your energy, regather your thoughts and assess your progress. Concentrating on work for a fixed period can also help you eliminate distraction and achieve more in less time.

9. Be a self-starter

Sometimes, the most important step towards achieving your tasks and motivating yourself is to start, even if you feel lethargic. Being a self-starter can help you beat laziness and procrastination, and it can also help you boost your productivity. Rather than think about all the reasons for not doing your work, start anyway and you may find the impetus you needed to accomplish the day's tasks.

10. Reward small wins

If you can put in the effort to achieve your tasks, find time to reward yourself for your accomplishments. Regardless of the magnitude of your progress, it's important to remember that each completed task brings you closer to your goals. Rewarding yourself for these feats can ensure that you don't suffer from burnout and get to enjoy consistent levels of motivation.

How do I train myself to work hard to be successful?

Here are strategies you can use to train yourself to work hard to be successful:

Create a weekly schedule

Having a weekly timetable can help you identify your work and non-work activities and allocate time for each one. This exercise allows you to prioritise your most important tasks, better manage your time and track any goal-oriented activity. With a timetable, you can start each week with a clear sense of purpose and tie your time to specific objectives.

Challenge yourself to be productive

Challenging yourself to achieve as much as you can each day can help you become a hard worker with improved levels of productivity. You can increase the success of this strategy by creating a priority list and doing the most important tasks of the day before less vital activities. It's also essential to have a high level of self-motivation and to link the completion of work duties to tangible benefits.

Related: Everything You Should Know About Working From Home

Complete daily tasks before leisure

One way to train yourself to work hard is to always achieve your daily tasks before taking any leisure breaks. For example, you can decide not to check your phone or chat with friends until after 1 p.m. or after making 20 sales calls in a day. To use this strategy successfully, you need accountability. You can ask a friend or colleague to help remind you whenever you are about to break this rule.

Remember the results of procrastination and laziness

Laziness and procrastination can lead to bad habits that can lower the quality and quantity of your work. By reminding yourself of the consequences of being lazy and not doing your work on time, you can generate the motivation required to accomplish your tasks. Whenever you lack the motivation to achieve your tasks, remember that hard work can help you achieve your career goals, lead to financial independence and improve your personal life.

Strive to be an inspiration to others

Striving to be a source of inspiration to others can motivate you to work hard and become a top performer in your organisation and profession. To become a role model to others, you can first be an accomplished person in your field. As a successful person, other people can learn from your work ethic, professionalism and personality traits to increase their chances of success.

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