Motivation is defined as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” It’s also “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.”
Most entrepreneurs and business-minded professionals launch their career with ample motivation, but many also reach a rough patch when they lose much of their drive to perform. If you’ve found yourself in such as situation – unmotivated to perform at the office – it’s crucial to do something about it as soon as possible.
Here are a few suggestions for turning things around and reclaiming your on-the-job drive:
- Know Your Why
What’s the “why” behind your job? What gets you out of bed in the morning and inspires you to renounce every other desire to show up at the office?
When most people are asked such a question, they answer “money.” But in all honesty, you probably go to work for a deeper reason.
Perhaps it’s to send your daughter to college, save up enough money to buy some land and build your own house, or get out of debt. The answer involves money, certainly, but more likely it’s an indirect tool.
If you’re clear about your real “why,” you’ll find it easier to stay motivated.
- Make Work More Interesting
“If we are hungry, and someone offers us a plain baked potato, we might well turn our noses up at it, in spite of the fact that a plain potato is perfectly good nutrition. And part of the reason we find that potato unappetizing is because tastier modern foods have raised our reward thresholds,” psychologist Jim Stone says. “Old, normal rewards just don’t cut it anymore.”
If you find yourself struggling to get your work done, one possible explanation is that you find your work less compelling than it once was. A potential reason is that your leisure activities have raised your reward threshold.
If that’s the case, you either need to locate a new job, or devise a way to incorporate a stronger reward system into your work. Another way to make work more interesting is through gamification. By gamifying work tasks and processes, you can reorient your brain toward more appealing rewards.
- Get More Sleep
Research from an Amerisleep study of more than 2,000 professionals has shown what most people instinctively know: job performance and sleep are directly correlated. But one of the most interesting lessons from the research is that employees who report good sleep quality are 4.9 times more likely to find it easy to get motivated at work.
In other words, you can increase your ability to become motivated at work by five times, simply by getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Don’t neglect your need for quality shut-eye.
- Create Bite-Sized Goals
You’re aware that goals play a role in motivation, but could you be setting the wrong goals? More specifically, are you setting goals that could be too far out into the future?
To motivate yourself today, you could probably use attainable goals: objectives that are only a few hours and days away. If you create bite-sized goals that lead toward your big-picture objectives, you can ensure you’ll always have something to reach for.
- Deal With Emotional Exhaustion
You may find yourself emotionally exhausted, which could lead to helplessness (and even depression). To overcome emotional exhaustion, make a deliberate effort to structure social opportunities into your workflow.
“An easy way to start is by showing up five minutes early to meetings,” human behavior coach Melody Wilding writes. “Use the unstructured time for light conversation. This informal small talk is not just meaningless chitchat, and it goes a long way to building stronger relationships with colleagues.”
Adding It All Up
Nobody has an unlimited supply of motivation … especially when he or she feels like they’re just going through the motions. Whether you own your company, work for someone else, or have pieced together a career as a freelancer or entrepreneur, discovering and maintaining motivation is one of the key drivers of long-term success.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.