We’ve all had days where we really aren’t motivated to go to work, or we’re stressed, or unhappy. Unless there are deeper underlying issues, these negative feelings often stem from a poor work ethic. If you are ready to change your attitude about work, here are some simple steps you can take to turn things around and boost your work ethic. 

1. Practice self-care.

A healthy approach to work starts with having a healthy body. If you don’t exercise enough or have poor sleep habits, you’ll feel lethargic in the morning and not feel like going to work. Try eating fresh healthy foods, exercising regularly and going to bed early, and see what a big difference it makes in your feelings about going to work in the morning. 

2. Eliminate distractions.

Do you find yourself constantly looking at your email, checking your social media news feed, or visiting shopping websites during working hours? There are so many distractions at our fingertips that it may be hard to focus on work. Improve your willpower and get more work done by setting boundaries for yourself. Limit your email checks to a couple times a day, disable social media notifications on your phone, and restrict online shopping to your lunch hour.

3. Consider your colleagues’ work ethics.

Carl Fielding, an employee manager at 1 Day 2 Write and Next Coursework, suggests, “If you find that your colleagues have excellent work ethics, why don’t you compare your performance with theirs? Consider what their mindset is, their attitude towards work or their life, and see where you can improve your own. It can be difficult to do this, but you can learn a lot from this simple exercise.”

4. Set your own goals.

You need to have something to aim for, especially at work. Set some attainable goals for yourself that define a great and successful day at the office, and you’ll find it easier and more inspiring to achieve them. Make your goals personal, comparing you to you, and not to your colleagues. Try to exceed your performance day by day. You’ll be surprised what you are  capable of doing when you break tasks down into attainable steps.

5. Be dependable.

Be the person that others can depend on when needs arise. If you tell someone you will complete a task, do it well and on time, or earlier if possible. If you think you won’t meet the deadline, be honest with your colleagues. Being dependable will gain the respect of others, and you will feel better about yourself and your job.

6. Follow a flexible schedule.

If working 9 to 5 does not work for you, you might develop a better work ethic if you request more flexible hours. Discuss this possibility with your employer, letting them know that it may increase your productivity if you are able to work more flexible hours. 

7. Start your day well.

A good day at work always begins with a good start to your day. This could mean a quick workout in the morning, arriving to work with time to spare, enjoying a cup of coffee, or even taking care of some minor work-related tasks that you’ve been procrastinating on. Starting your day strong means setting yourself up for success, all day long.

8. Embrace your failures.

It’s normal to make mistakes – we all do. According to Jesse Philipps, an HR analyst at Write My X and Brit Student, “Having a good work ethic means that you can pick yourself up after a mistake, learn from it, and move on positively. If you allow mistakes to take over your thoughts, you’ll lose your desire to work hard and progress.”

9. Be professional.

Having a good work ethic also means working well with others, being professional, honest, and owning your mistakes. This shows maturity and a willingness to collaborate to complete a task. Develop qualities of consistency and reliability, and know that others will be grateful for your improved attitude at work.

10. Create a good work-life balance.

It is important to have a good work-life balance, so you get much-needed mental breaks and have time to do what makes you happy. Having a good work ethic actually depends on having a meaningful life outside of work. Disconnect from work when you’re not there, and limit your work talk with your friends and family.

Joel Syder, an HR specialist and writer for Origin Writings and PhD Kingdom, helps people achieve their objectives and improve their professional selves. He writes articles and business and lifestyle connections for Academic Brits