No matter which profession you are in or how much you love your job, there are days when you can barely get yourself to work. It’s okay to feel this way once in a while, but if it happens for a prolonged period, it can affect your productivity at work.
This is why it’s crucial to train yourself to break out of this rut and get back on track. Here are some effective ways you can increase motivation at work.
1. Introspect and List Down What Drives You
Most times, you tend to lose motivation because of getting lost in the daily hustle. It’s understandably difficult to find meaning and purpose in everyday, routine tasks. This is when you need to remind yourself what drives you and the reasons why you started.
People are motivated by different things. It can be financial stability, social status, virtue, service of others, etc. A good way to gain perspective and focus is to list out the top five things that motivate you above all else. By doing so, you’re creating a mental toolbox for yourself that you can use when you feel down.
You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What made you take up this job?
- How does your work help people?
- What goals have you achieved so far?
- What challenges do you love overcoming?
- What do you like to do in your free time? Why?
2. Understand Your Value in the Company
Everyone feels insignificant from time to time. In a workplace, we feel that way because we’ve forgotten how our efforts are contributing, and to what purpose. This lack of clarity then demotivates us and makes it seem like our work is going in vain. To get rid of this feeling, you need to understand your value in the company.
Here are a few ways you can understand your value in the company:
- List down your top three skills and how often you use them at work.
- Ask the hiring manager why they hired you over other candidates.
- Note the nature of the projects your manager often asks you to do.
- Ask your co-workers what they think you are good at.
You can also ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your team able to work well in your absence, or do they often require your assistance?
- If you quit your job, how fast would your company be able to find a suitable replacement?
- Have you created anything, say a program, that your company is dependent on?
- How many workers in your company know how to do what you do? And how well?
- How often do you find yourself correcting your coworkers’ mistakes?
3. Take on More Responsibilities
When you’ve peaked your potential in your current role at your company, things tend to get boring. While this is a reason to rejoice, it’s also a reminder that you need to take on more responsibilities and set new targets to challenge yourself at work.
If that’s not something you can do immediately, you can leverage this opportunity to learn new skills to add to your resume. This will come in handy later when you decide to ask for a promotion or a pay raise. With these new skills, you might also be able to do your current job better.
4. Set Small Achievable Goals
If you are surrounded by endless files and months-long projects, it can get overwhelming, and you might even dread starting. The best advice, in this case, is to divide your project into bite-sized tasks using the SMART criteria to gain clarity and increase your productivity.
This will help you stop worrying about the entire project and focus on one thing at a time—reducing stress. And thanks to dopamine, you will feel motivated after completing each goal to complete another one. This way, you can stay focused and track your progress better.
5. Reward Yourself for Achieving a Goal
Everyone likes being appreciated for a job well done, but your manager might not always recognize your efforts. Waiting for someone else to reward you might result in you turning bitter if they don’t do so. Instead, it’s a good idea to learn how to reward yourself.
Rewards can be as simple as watching a couple of episodes of your favorite show and as extravagant as buying yourself a fancy dinner. The bigger a project you complete, the bigger a reward you can give yourself. For this, you can use these prioritization templates to rank the value of a project.
6. Befriend a Colleague
It’s no surprise that many friendships start at work. When you befriend a coworker, it gives you more of a reason to want to go to work just so you can meet them—fulfilling your need for belongingness and companionship.
It also reduces the stress of asking for help or feedback and improves how you feel about your workplace. Plus, having a friendly relationship with your colleagues reduces the chances of conflicts. This makes it much easier to collaborate on projects, which in turn increases your productivity.
7. Take a Moment to Be Grateful
Too often, we are so busy thinking of all the good things that can happen that we forget to think of all the good things that are already happening. It’s easy to lose sight of your accomplishments when you’re constantly and tirelessly aiming for the next goal.
Granted, being optimistic is an attractive trait, but it shouldn’t make you oblivious to your past and your present. A great way to practice gratitude is via gratitude journal apps that can help you get started.
Learn the Skill of Self-Motivation
It’s quite common to feel demotivated once in a while, but what separates a disciplined professional from an undisciplined one is their ability to work despite external motivation.
Simply put, you need to find ways to motivate yourself without depending on others to motivate you. Since different people are motivated by different things, some techniques work better than others. Find the ones that work best for you to learn the skill of self-motivation.
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