Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

6 Ways to Reenergize Your Work This Year

Image via Galushko Sergey/

The beginning of the New Year is a great time to adopt a fresh workplace attitude and infuse your career and workplace attitude with new energy. Perhaps you resolved in 2013 to make more money, develop new business contacts, or get a promotion. Here are some tips for acquiring the motivated mindset you'll need.

Do an office makeover.
Rearrange your furniture, upgrade your computer, change your office artwork, or get a new desk lamp or ergonomic chair. 
What it does: Changing your environment can be very energizing. One study found that when bank employees improved the furniture, lighting, sound, temperature, and spacial arrangements in their workspace, it made them more motivated and productive.

Keep busy; fight boredom.
Keep a daily task list that chips away at big goals. If you can't find enough to do, create work for yourself that enhances your career in some way, such as updating your contact lists.
What it does: Did you ever notice that the busier you are, the more you accomplish? A Cambridge University researcher found that boredom and not having enough to do lower performance considerably.

Treat your "to-do hangover." 
If you have a to-do list that's left over from 2012, commit to working through it in the next couple of weeks. Or comb through it and resolve to do less. It's hard to do eight or nine things brilliantly. Sometimes by cutting back on your goals, you actually end up accomplishing more of them. 
What it does: Stale tasks left undone from the previous year can have a negative drag on one'smotivation, akin to a hangover. To prove this, all you have to do is read last year's undone to-do list and notice how it makes you feel: bummed out, stressed out, and maybe even sick and sleepy!

Stop ruminating. 
In the spirit of the New Year, resolve to stop obsessing, worrying, and living in the past. Looking forward and seizing opportunities is the way to go in 2013.
What it does: A study published by the American Psychological Association found that people who chew on their regrets, old problems, or resentments become low performers. You'll soon feel victimized--not a good way to gain forward momentum in your career.

Revisit your network. 
When you're feeling uninspired, revisit your professional network, whether it's on LinkedIn or in that stack of business cards you collected last year. Contact an intriguing person to find out what exciting plans he or she has for the coming year. You eat three meals a day--why should any of them be alone?
What it does: Your social network and contact database are living, changing entities that need TLC and maintenance. When you put energy into your network, you'll receive instant feedback and rewards in the form of new ideas, new relationships, invitations, and gratitude.

Take lots of breaks. 
Instead of jumping into the New Year at full speed, resolve to set alerts on your phone or computer that remind you to stand up, stretch, and take a walk around the office. 
What it does: A recent study found that workers who set such alerts were 13% more accurate in their work. Breaks increase, rather than decrease, our attention and productivity. 

Vicky Oliver is the author of five bestselling books on personal branding, etiquette, and career development, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions and her latest, The Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire Even If You're Not. She's a leading career adviser and image consultant in Manhattan.

Image via Galushko Sergey/

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.