The quest for motivation is a slippery slope. Often, it’s when you need it most that it seems the most elusive. Patterns of burnout, feelings of boredom, and a general lack of inspiration all create vicious cycles. It takes motivation to haul yourself out, but motivation can be hard to come by.
In truth, motivation is not a mystical power that the fortunate happen upon; it is manufactured through intentional practices, habit-forming, and mental reframing. Like a muscle, motivation must be built and trained.
Even if you find your workplace motivation levels waning, there’s still hope. Through a hardworking and successful career in the financial industry, business professional Joel Chery has learned key tips and tricks to staying motivated in the workplace. From his roots with the Worcester Young Businessmen’s association and studies at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute to his eventual success in the financial field, he’s learned how to cultivate and manifest motivation in order to increase his productivity levels and improve his life outlook.
Signs that you lack workplace motivation
Like a ship taking on water, the paradox of motivation is that its absence leads to a further lack of motivation. For many, this vicious cycle comes on slowly and is seemingly impossible to stop. Often, workplace motivation tapers with the passing of time. In many cases, a struggling individual will not realize his or her own lack of drive until the situation is feels hopeless and irreparable. For these reasons, it’s important to stay conscious in looking for signs that your workplace motivation may be suffering.
If you find yourself staring at your computer screen, compulsively checking the clock during work hours, or looking for every opportunity to get up for a bathroom break, your problem is likely a lack of motivation. An absence of drive can also translate to general feelings of dread regarding your day-to-day responsibilities. These, unfortunately, may be experienced both during and after work hours.
If left unaddressed, the results can be tragic. Severe burnout, feelings of deep hopelessness, and degrading of workplace productivity are all potential consequences. Thankfully, these downfalls are not inevitabilities. If you’re just going through the motions of completing your responsibilities with no real zeal, creativity, energy or passion, it’s time to bring these motivational tips into your life. With their help, you’ll be able to put the spark back into your life, both in the office and outside of it.
Rediscover Your Interest or Passion
Often, a lack of motivation requires the re-examination of your core values. In this case, finding motivation is often as simple as realigning yourself with your passion. Ask yourself again why you chose the field you’re in. What drove you to the industry? Why did you apply for your current job? What hopes and dreams did you have when you first set out to become the professional individual you are now?
Answering these questions will help a disengaged employee rediscover their interest in their career. Using this new mental framework, Joel Chery believes the day-to-day tasks of your previously monotonous responsibilities can be reignited once again with a sense of purpose, drive, and motivation.
Similarly, re-examining your decision for choosing your current work situation may reignite your initial interest in the field. Often, lack of motivation stems from the absence of engagement and challenges. Working to cultivate a new curiosity concerning your field of work, challenging yourself, and finding new ways to interest yourself in the work at hand will all serve to bring drive and purpose back into your professional life.
Re-examine Your Worth
A lack in motivation in the workplace may often be caused by the perceived absence of appreciation. Employees who feel unappreciated and/or poorly compensated for their efforts are more likely to find themselves with a scarcity of ambition and drive.
If you objectively consider your worth and the value of the responsibilities you perform daily and find that you’re under-compensated, asking for a raise (though intimidating) may be the solution you’re looking for.
After all, it’s shown that employees who are paid what they’re worth are better able to motivate themselves in the workplace, excel in productivity, and become higher achievers. If your request for a raise is poorly received, it might be time to consider pursuing other opportunities.
Capitalize on Unused Vacation Days
Taking a break and planning a getaway from your workplace responsibilities may feel like the opposite of productivity, but it may be the key to renewing your workplace motivation.
Chronic burnout is more common now than ever before. Reports of work fatigue are growing across all professional industries—a phenomenon that many experts attribute to the rising tendency to leave vacation days unused.
The answer, according to some studies, is simply to take more leisure time. Vacations are shown to boost workplace productivity and promote positive mindsets. Those anticipating a vacation or returning from one are more likely to experience raised energy levels, indicating that a week on the beach or a couple days exploring a new city will likely reinvigorate your work ethic and put that spark back into your day-to-day life.
Re-examine Your Goal-setting Techniques
It’s impossible to stay motivated when you feel constantly overwhelmed. Large projects, looming deadlines, and heavy workloads can all negatively impact an employee’s mindset, causing feelings of dread, boredom and hopelessness.
To remedy this, Joel Chery suggests reimagining your goal-setting techniques to optimize for your own success. The key to this solution comes in breaking down larger projects into smaller, achievable pieces. When you know how to tackle the goal in front of you (and you feel capable of doing so), you’re more likely to stay motivated to work on it, eventually leading to the completion of the project.
Additionally, reimagining large or overwhelming workplace responsibilities as smaller, bite-sized goals keeps the brain engaged and driven. In creating smaller project pieces, you’re able to celebrate each smaller success. This activates the reward center of the brain, making it easier to stay motivated.