This is a guest post by Peter Ames.

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Working in January can be a wholly depressing experience. Memories of Christmas and New
Year are fading fast, your body’s stuck in a holiday sleeping pattern and you can’t afford to
buy or do anything to cheer yourself up.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way (honestly). Here are a few things you could try to
motivate yourself to work better this new year.

Exercise (particularly at work)

A lot of people will attempt to exercise more in an attempt to live healthier in 2013.
However, there are further benefits to leading a more active lifestyle this year. Research
from the University of Bristol found people who exercise on work days are happier and less
stressed at work. Many workers also found their productivity increased if they exercised on
a workday.

You could potentially join a gym or a sports team, but your working day offers a whole host
of simple ways to get fitter. You could walk or cycle to work rather than drive, or hit the
gym or go for a jog in your lunch break. Whatever you do, it could really help you motivate
yourself to work better!

Ask for a change of scenery

If you are getting sick of the same old office routine, why not ask your boss if you can
work remotely occasionally? Working from home has many advantages; senior staff who
responded to a recent Ceridian survey said employees who were allowed to work from
home were actually happier and more productive. So there are plenty of reasons why your
boss should say yes!

This is becoming an option for an increasing number of companies, due to the growing
ubiquity of ‘cloud’ data storage; allowing employees to access documents and data
remotely when they previously would have had to come into the office. Microsoft last year
employed a ‘virtual summer’ in their offices and many of their employees found it to be a
refreshing change, and it could be for you too!

Keep on top of your emails

Few things at work can feel worse than beginning to lose control of your workload. With
most respondents to a recent poll saying they get more than 100 emails every day it is very
easy to fall into letting your unread messages build and build.

It takes many people a while to get going fully in the morning, so why not dedicate this time
to sorting out your inbox? This way you may avoid becoming one of the 6% of people who
have simply given up all hope of ever sorting their unread messages.

Escape work when you can

A good work/life balance can do wonders for your motivation, and a key step towards
achieving this could be getting away from the desk during your breaks. By doing so you can
build some clear boundaries between work and break time, and feel the beneficial effects of
doing so!

A study commissioned by Ryvita found 79% of people feel more energized when they have
been able to get out of the office at lunchtime. Furthermore, going for a bite to eat with
your workmates can be a great way to get to know them better and develop your working
relationships, which can only help motivation!

Peter Ames

Peter Ames writes on behalf of Office Genie, a UK-based online marketplace for desk and
office space.