6 Ways to Stay Motivated and Productive on the Night Shift

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals | 6 Ways to Stay Motivated and Productive on the Night ShiftMany Americans are snug in their beds once the clock strikes the witching hour. This, of course, doesn’t apply to employees who are required to work at night. Some remote workers, security guards, health care professionals and call center agents of companies that offer 24/7 customer support have to work the graveyard shift.

A lot of people wince at the idea of working at night. After all, staying energetic when the city is dark and quiet is difficult to do. If your job or employer requires you to work on a graveyard schedule, don’t fret. You can take steps to make your nights on the job relatively enjoyable.

Here are a few strategies to stay positive, energized throughout the graveyard shift and maintain optimal performance at the workplace:

1. Stay Hydrated, But Moderate Your Caffeine Intake

Coffee is the best friend of night shift workers. The caffeine in this popular beverage can help you stay alert during your shift.

Just make sure that you don’t drink too much coffee. Too much caffeine in your body could prevent you from getting some shuteye once your shift is over. So make sure you drink your coffee at the start of your shift.

If you’re looking for other options, consider drinking fresh juice (or sugar-free, fruit-flavored sparkling water if you’re not a fan of sugary beverages). Staying hydrated will help keep you awake and reduce the risk of dehydration.

2. Commit to a Solid Routine

If you see yourself working the graveyard shift for quite some time, you’ll need to create and stick to a nighttime routine. Switching between nights and days will only make things hard for you and prevent you from being productive.

Here’s an example: let’s say you wake up at seven in the evening to prep for your graveyard shift. Then, you go to sleep on or before 11 a.m. During your days off, follow that routine. Avoid the additional stress of altering your sleeping patterns on weekends.

3. Make Friends with People at Work

As the saying goes, best friends make the difficult times easier and the good times better. If you’re going to work a long, graveyard shift, you’ll want to spend it with people who can make you happy and motivate you to succeed. Great work friends offer an outlet for healthy social interaction. What’s more, connecting with friends helps relieve work-related stress and makes going to work fun.

4. Get Quality Sleep

Staying productive at work is next to impossible when you lack sleep. If you’re having trouble obtaining quality rest time after your shift, try out these suggestions:

  • Minimize the Noise – Although nights are generally peaceful, you can’t say the same during the day. If you live in a busy neighborhood, you’ll likely be distracted by children playing outside, construction work and honking car horns. If these noises are driving you crazy, use a sound machine to minimize or drown out the unpleasant sounds. Alternatively, wear earplugs or wireless comfortable headphones with a noise-canceling feature.
  • Set the Ideal Sleeping Temperature – The temp usually dips at night, making you crave for your favorite blanket. The opposite, however, can happen during the day. You can prevent waking up in a messy sweat by regulating the temperature in your bedroom. Your goal is to replicate nighttime conditions, so that you can sleep soundly and comfortably.
  • Implement Light Control – Sleeping is difficult when you have bright, morning sunshine entering your windows. Regulate the amount of light in your room by installing blinds or curtains that effectively block the sun. If you’re on the budget, put on a sleeping eye mask.

5. Adhere to a Healthy Diet

Fueling your body with the right food can keep you energized and motivated throughout a long graveyard shift. Unhealthy sweet snacks, such as donuts and cookies, won’t do much to get you through the night.

Although sugary treats provide an energy spike, they’re temporary. You’re likely to experience a serious sugar crash hours after eating. This could sap your motivation and make you feel miserable for the rest of the night.

Instead, munch down on small, healthy snacks throughout the night. Foods, such as nuts, raw veggies and fresh fruit, can provide your brain with the nutrients and energy it needs to keep you going.

6. Work Out Regularly

Staying active outside of your work shift helps prevent fatigue at work and keeps you physically and mentally fit. Before your shift, do some light exercises and stretching to get your blood pumping and prepare your mind for work. Also, make sure to work out regularly on weekends.

These suggestions will help you stay pumped and energized during the graveyard shift. Although working at night is hard, it does come with a few benefits, such as higher pay and a shorter commute time.

Think like an athlete – self-motivate with goal-setting

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Self-motivate|Think like an athlete – self-motivate with goal-settingSteve Redgrave, CBE, DL is arguably the greatest British Olympian. As a rower, Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games. When asked to explain his success, Redgrave explained: “Self-belief is probably the most crucial factor in sporting success. The bodies are roughly equal, the training is similar, the techniques can be copied. What separates the achievers is… the iron in the mind.”

This principle is incredibly pertinent for sales. Those salespeople who continuously win and close are those who have learnt to stay motivated and connected to their goals. However, maintaining effective and consistent motivation at all times is hard. Many salespeople are stuck in a comfort zone or in a pattern of behaviour they find difficult to break. Equally, some people have goals and clearly defined actions, but procrastinate when the time comes to take action.

Change is critical to developing, growing, and attaining goals. Change means moving through one’s comfort zones. While comfort zones might have their own drawbacks and people might be bored and frustrated by them, when push comes to shove and action is required to move out of them, most people choose the easy option to remain – not changing at all.

Goals should be SMART, defined as specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time driven. They should also be written down. To set goals effectively, we always advise following a set process. The exercise can be done alone, but often it is productive to do it with other people—family, friends, or anyone who plays a supportive role in your life.

  • One: Gather eight pieces of paper and label each page with one of the eight life goal areas (social, physical, financial, mental, professional, family, personal, spiritual). On each page write a brief summary of where you currently are in relation to this life goal.
  • Two: Place a circle in the middle of each page and draw lines that point outwards from the circle. Then allow yourself to feel what you would like to accomplish in the future. Write these goals on the lines.
  • Three: For each piece of paper with a different life goal area, prioritise and pick the three most important goals.
  • Four: On a new piece of paper, create a master list of the top three goals in all of the eight areas.
  • Five: Check for any conflicts. If you can, try to make sure the goals are not too heavily weighted in one or two areas. The more holistic your goals are, the more likely you are to achieve them.
  • Six: Write a detailed description of how you are going to achieve these goals. This is your action plan. It’s important to decide what you are going to do now and what you are going to do in the future. Take care not to overload yourself with too many actions in the present. However, it is good to stretch yourself by having bold and audacious goals.
  • Seven: Breaking down the goals and actions into short-term goals and actions can be a very powerful way of building the goal-setting and attainment “muscle.” Three months (12 weeks) can be a very effective time frame for establishing a life-long pattern of generating and sustaining the fire of internal motivation.
  • Eight: Share your goals with others, especially those who will be impacted by the goals: friends, family, colleagues, or people you like and respect and who like and respect you. This creates a powerful statement of intent from yourself that you are deeply committed and connected to your goals.
  • Nine: Review your goals and try to fine-tune them on a weekly basis. Obtaining valued accountability from others provides support and encouragement, as well as objective sanity checks.
  • Ten: Be courageous, tenacious, and persistent. Goal setting can be challenging since it pushes you through your comfort zones. Remember that it is important to keep going, even when the going gets tough. The ROI of goal setting will reward the effort and courage of sticking to the process.

Sales success is often more about perspiration than inspiration. The gold medal salesperson understands that a high level of motivation is required to sustain consistently high performance. This person understands that optimum motivation is maintained by having a strong emotional connection to their goals.

About the Author

Anneli Thomson is a Managing Director of Sandler Training UK as well as a world champion triathlete. For more information, please visit

The BIG Secrets of Enthusiastic Emotional Engagement.

What is engagement?

Better stated, how can you engage other people to become interested in you and your product or service? Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) says by becoming interested in them. And he’s partially right.

The reality, and the secret of engagement is that BOTH people must be mutually engaged and mutually interested, and BOTH people must be intellectually stimulated and emotionally connected. Otherwise it’s just a conversation that will be forgotten, unless the salesperson is taking notes. #notlikely.

What is the secret ingredient of engagement?

The key to deepening a sales conversation, or any conversation for that matter, is to connect emotionally. Favorite teams, kids, college create emotion when spoken about, and the feelings and or situations are mutual.

The secret ingredient of engagement is emotion. Emotion is a key link to rapport, relaxation, and response. Emotion takes conversations deeper and becomes more open. The desire to talk and reveal becomes more intense. It pushes you to trade stories and discover similarities.

To help you get the picture of why engagement and emotional engagement are so important, and how to start the process, I am offering two examples and scenarios:

1. FIND THE LINK! What do you have in common with your prospect? That will build rapport and lead you to a sale faster than anything.

Contrary to popular belief, ‘Customer types’ don’t matter. That’s right, take your amiable, driver, tightwad analytic types and toss them in the trash. My favorite type of customer is one that has a wallet with a credit card in it. Oh wait, that’s everybody.

Here’s the challenge… If you spend 30 minutes trying to figure out what type of person you’re dealing with, and then all of a sudden discover you both like model trains – or your kids both play soccer in the same league – or you both went to the same college – or you both grew up in the same town – or you both like the same sports teams – you will most likely make the sale no matter what type of person he or she is.

Personal things ‘in common’ lead to a friendship, a relationship, and lots of sales.

2. FIND THE MEMORY! If you can find one thing about the other person, and do something creative and memorable about it – you can earn the appointment, build friendship, create smiles, and make a sale.

I was courting a big client in Milwaukee. Found out the guy liked chocolate and was a Green Bay Packer fan. The next day I sent him a Packer hat full of chocolate covered footballs. The next day I was hired. Coincidence or luck? I have no idea. I just continue to do the same type of thing as often as I can, and continue to make sales.

I was courting a big client in Seattle. Found out the guy liked baseball. Sent him a Louisville Slugger baseball bat with his name engraved on it. Needless to say I hit a home run (sorry for that).

INSIGHT: To establish the ultimate long-term relationship and to be memorable in the service you perform, you need personal information about your prospect or customer. Information that provides you with insight, understanding, and possible links. (And, oh yes, lots of sales.) The difference between making one sale and building a long-term relationship lies in your ability to get this information.

BIGGER INSIGHT: The more information you have, the better (and easier) it is to establish rapport, follow-up and have something to say, build the relationship, and gain enough comfort to make the first sale, and with consistent follow-through, many more.

BIGGEST INSIGHT: If given a choice, people will buy from those they can relate to. People they like. People they trust. This stems from things-in-common. If you have the right information, and use it to be memorable, you have a decided advantage. Or you can decide “It’s too much work, I can make the sale without it.”

This philosophy gives the advantage to someone else – your competitor.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Want to Start Making an Attitude Change? Take Attitude Actions.

I define attitude as, “The way you dedicate yourself to the way you think.” Think negative or think positive is a choice and a process. Negative is (unfortunately) an instinctive process. Positive is a learned self-discipline that must be studied and practiced every day.

To achieve a POSITIVE attitude, or as I have named it, a “YES! Attitude,” you must take physical, verbal, and mental ACTIONS. Here are a few short chunks of attitude “awareness and actions” that will help put you (or keep you) on the positive path.

1. Admit that attitude is no one’s fault but yours. The more you blame others, the less chance you have to think positive thoughts, see a positive solution, or take positive action towards solution. The opposite of blame is responsibility. Your first responsibility is to control your inner thoughts and thought directions.

2. Understand you always have (had) a choice. Attitude is a choice, and most people select from the negative column. Reason? Negative is more pervasive in society and media. It’s more natural to blame and defend than it is to admit and take responsibility. Ask any politician.

3. If you think it’s ok, it is…if you think it’s not ok, it’s not. Your thoughts direct your attitude to a path. If you think “this is crappy, why does this always happen to me?” You have chosen a negative path. If you think “WOW, this may not be the greatest, but look what I’m learning. And learning what NOT to do again.” You have chosen a positive path.

4. Invest time, don’t spend it. Ignore the media you cannot control – find a project, or make a plan to sell something, or meet with someone who buys (or teaches) instead. You will become a world-class expert in five years – the only question is: at what? Spend (invest) an hour a day working at or studying anything, and in five years you will be a world-class expert. Most people will become world-class experts at some kind of local TV news program and some kind of TV rerun. Me? I read and write while you watch TV. Business news is IMPORTANT. Who got killed or what burned down, unimportant.

5. Study the thoughts and writings of positive people. Read Napoleon Hill classic Think and Grow Rich, TWICE. Read The Power of Positive Thinking. They are priceless, timeless gems of wisdom that you can convert to your own success thoughts. The secret is to read a little each morning.

6. Attend seminars and take courses. The hardest part of taking an attitude course is FINDING one. Look at any school or university in the world and try to find ONE course in ANY of them. I’ll save you the time. The answer is (and has always been) ZERO. Find a Gitomer Certified Advisor in your city (call my friendly office for recommendations – (704) 333-1112) and take YOUR attitude course TODAY.

7. Check your language. It’s just words, but they are a reflection of how your mind sees things, and an indication of how you process thoughts.

8. Avoid confrontational and negative words. The worst ones are ‘why,’ ‘can’t,’ and ‘won’t.’

9. Say why you LIKE things and people, not why you don’t. I like my job because… I love my family because… Say things from the positive side enough and it becomes a habit you will revel in for life.

10. Help others without expectation or measuring. If you think someone ‘owes you one,’ you are counting or measuring. If you give it away freely, you don’t ever have to worry about the measurement. The world will reward you ten times over.

11. Think about your winning and losing words. Be aware of ‘loser’ phrases and expressions. Lose with: “They don’t pay me enough to…” or “That’s not my job.” If you say, “I’m not ’cause he’s not,” who loses? If you say, “Why should I…” who loses? Think ‘learn,’ ‘lessons,’ ‘experience,’ ‘help,’ and ‘solutions’ before you make a statement.

12. Think about your mood, and your mood swings. How long do you stay in a bad mood? If it’s more than 5 minutes, something’s wrong. And your attitude (and your relationships, and your results, and your success) will suffer.

13. Are you the head of the complaint department, AND the chief complainer? Many people slip into cynicism day-by-day. They become bitter because of their jealousy or envy of other people or their own misfortune. BIG MISTAKE. List the lessons you can learn from those you have bitterness for and the results will turn your thinking towards your own success and away from theirs.

14. Celebrate victory AND defeat. In my early days of selling I would go to a department store and buy myself something every time I made a sale. It made me feel GREAT! When someone told me to celebrate victory AND defeat, I started to buy myself something after I lost a sale, too. It felt GREAT. After a while I was feeling GREAT all the time. Winning and losing are part of life and apart from attitude.

15. Visit a children’s hospital. Get comfortable with the plight of others, and feel good about the minuteness of your problems compared to theirs.

15.5 Count your blessings every day. Make the list as long as you can. Start with health if you are fortunate enough to have it. Add the love of children and family. From there it’s easy to build the list.

Oh, and then there are the ‘Attitude Aha’s.’ Many (many) years ago I was riding down the road listening to a tape by Earl Nightingale (one of the founding fathers of personal development). On tape four of his legendary, but unavailable, series “Direct Line,” the topic was enthusiasm. “Enthusiasm” Earl said, “Comes from the Greek “entheos” meaning the God within.” AHA! All of a sudden all the other quotes and advice made sense. The strength of self-belief is within your own spirit, if you hunger for the feeling.

And these words are food for yours. In the words of the Jefferson Airplane rock anthem White Rabbit, “Feed your head.”

Want an instant lesson? Go out and buy a copy of “The Little Engine That Could.” Or go to your kid’s room and get the copy full of crayon marks. Read it regularly. It’s not a book for kids, it’s a philosophy for a lifetime.

Positive attitude is a self-imposed blessing. And it is my greatest hope that you discover that truth and bless yourself forever.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Motivation Is An Inside Job

Why do we do what we do? What causes us to succeed, fail, procrastinate? Is it our environment? Our biology? Our New Year’s resolutions? There’s much debate why our motivation goals fail and how to resolve them. I believe we’re addressing the wrong issues.

Why Promoting Behavior Change Causes Resistance

Everything I’ve read on resolving ‘motivation’ issues focus on behaviors: why, how, when. Courses, keynote speakers, books, attempts to pump up, stimulate, and otherwise inspire. All trying to cause the ineffective behaviors to change to effective ones. But change doesn’t happen this way. Motivation involoves both shifting beliefs, and creating new habitual behaviours, that our unconscious status-quo will accept and adopt over time.

Here’s why: A behavior is the action – the representation – of a (largely unconscious) belief. Lasting behavior change occurs only when there is first a shift in the beliefs responsible for the behavior (Complex, due to the habitual and systemic nature of our belief?behavior connection).

So: a belief change will trigger a new behavior to match the new belief.

Trying to change a behavior, without changing the underlying beliefs first, causes pushback because our status quo is being disrupted and threatened. So new behaviors to respond to Commit! Achieve! will create resistance without the necessary buy-in from the foundational beliefs that caused the problem.

To effectively motivate ourselves and others, we must facilitate an unconscious shift from the ineffective beliefs to successful ones, and then introduce new commensurate behaviors. While there are certainly helpful training and coaching approaches to accomplish this, one way to get there is by listening to our Internal Dialogue.

A Case Study in Motivation

I’m going to use myself as a case study, as I have had a continual issue motivating myself to get to the gym. Basically, I trigger my healthy beliefs whenever I hear my Internal Dialogue rationalizing why I don’t need to go. Motivation is an inside job.

Here’s how I do it. I deeply believe I’m a healthy person, and that the gym is a necessary evil to maintain my identity. Whenever I hear my inner voice making excuses [“It’s so cold outside. You really would be better off staying inside where it’s warm.”] I have a trigger that pings me to shift me over to my higher-level beliefs Self, Health, Excellence – who I am. “No, you idiot. You’re a healthy person because you work out, so shut up and bundle up and get out the door.”
Indeed, by listening to my Internal Dialogue in many situations, I’ve trained myself to automatically counter non-motivating behavior with my higher-level beliefs that will then motivate me. (I have written a chapter on how to shift from behaviors to beliefs in my new book What? Did you really say what I think I heard? that’s offered free at

Motivating Our Teams to Excellence

We can adapt this for our teams. Right now, we tell them ‘how’ and ‘why’ to succeed. We are hiring keynote speakers to ‘Motivate’ our sales forces and leaders, bringing in consultants to ‘Motivate’ more success. But all this is accomplishing is pushing new activities into the habitual status quo and merely getting some meager shifts that last a brief time. Then we blame the failure on our staff or the training.

Let’s motivate by teaching folks to listen to their own Internal Voices. Here are a few pointers (and again, my new free book has an entire chapter on how to accomplish this):

  1. Listen to your Internal Dialogue when you hear yourself making excuses. Behind every resistance is a belief that is holding the ineffective behavior in place.
  2. Notice the underlying beliefs that keep your current ineffective behavior in place and see if you have other beliefs that might be reweighted to take over for the ineffective ones (In my case, I move ‘health’ up on top of ‘comfort’ when it comes to the gym).
  3. Shift/reweight beliefs to put the effective ones on top.
  4. Add new behavioral choices that match the reweighted belief.

It’s more complicated than merely attempting to add some new behaviors, of course. But the change will be permanent. And you can use the skill any time change is required.

Begin the process of listening to yourself more closely and more often. If you want to learn more about bridging the gap between what’s said and what’s heard ( I’m offering the digital book for free to make sure everyone has the capability to communicate, change, and motivate by truly listening. Or go to to learn more about facilitating change in sales.

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. ( She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

To contact Sharon Drew at [email protected] or go to to choose your favorite digital site to download your free book.