How do you get your motivation back at work?

A feeling of dread washes over you when you wake up every morning to go to work. The days when you jumped out of bed, energised to climb the corporate ladder are long gone. Now, you just look forward to Fridays.

Where’s your motivation gone?

When you lack the enthusiasm to work, being at the office for eight hours can feel like a year. According to research, approximately 48% of people around the world don’t enjoy their jobs. Only 30% feel engaged and inspired while working, and 18% are disengaged, saying that they don’t like their jobs at all.

This lack of drive, if left unchecked, can result in a long-lasting slump, stress and pessimism.

Find your motivation

Psychologists have identified three sources of resistance that stops you from getting things done. Once you know these stumbling blocks, you can change how you think about them to help yourself find your drive again!

  1. “I have to…”
    Some people struggle with being delegated to, and to do tasks they don’t enjoy. This could lead to producing a poor quality of work or missing deadlines, as you’re not invested in doing the best job.
  2. “I don’t feel right about this…”
    For your motivation to last, you need to cater to your values and beliefs. If you’re doing something you don’t believe in, you’re less likely to enjoy it. For example, if your company forces you to work overtime but you value family time, your motivation to work will take strain because it clashes with something important to you.
  3. “I can’t do this…”
    Sitting with a difficult task can be daunting and make you struggle to even start. What’s more; if you believe you aren’t capable of doing something, the thought of failing may lead you to avoid doing your work altogether, and find a distraction instead. YouTube videos, anyone?
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Get back your motivation

1. Count your blessings

One of the main causes of unhappiness at work is not realising and appreciating what you do have. For example, you may be unhappy at your job because it’s taking so long for you to reach your goals. Why not rather focus on the privilege of having a job, especially in a country where unemployment is so common? Next, focus on your goal to move up the ladder. What will get you there? Do you need to upskill? Hone in on practical solutions that will move you to your main objective.

2. Stick to bite-sized goals

Big goals or tasks can be daunting, so breaking up a big chore can help. For example, if you have a looming presentation, start with research first, then move on to the slideshow, etc. Create smaller tasks within the big one, so you consistently make progress. As you meet your smaller goals, you’ll feel more encouraged to continue.

3. Clock in, clock out

Most of us are guilty of packing up at the office, just to go home and work. Doing this consistently will leave you burnt out and demotivated as your job starts to seem all-consuming. It’s important to realise when enough is enough. Set work and rest times for yourself and stick to these deadlines! For example, don’t answer emails after 5pm or open your laptop on weekends.

4. Celebrate small wins

A pat on the back goes a long way, so reward yourself for your personal wins. For example, after you’ve finished a difficult project or met a hectic deadline, treat yourself to your favourite lunch or leave work early that day. Celebrating small victories will encourage and motivate you to tackle bigger ones.

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