In today’s demanding and competitive work environment, everyone chases motivation. Most professionals go through dry and daunting days or even weeks during which motivation seems difficult or even impossible to achieve – we have all had the occasional sunny day being stuck in the office, debating if coming back after lunch is really necessary. Whilst frustrating, a lack of motivated people at work is more common than you’d think and it doesn’t just affect performance but emotional well-being and overall ability to push towards pursuing personal goals.
Recharging your motivational batteries isn’t always easy – if it were, we’d probably all be rich and famous. There are key elements that can contribute to your motivation levels staying up and once you recognise and address those elements, you will have the power to adapt and structure your workday in a way that keeps YOU on top of your game.
In an attempt to provide a diverse and objective list of actionable points to raise your motivation levels at work, I have asked my colleagues to contribute and we have come up with the following 10 ways to stay motivated:
1. Goals, Goals, Goals
Now that you’ve committed to keeping yourself motivated, let’s talk about how you can get this motivation going – a defined goal will put your creative ideas into action mode – creating a list of achievable daily goals is a vital step between planning and doing!
2. Make a List (and check it twice!)
A busy day is not always a productive day and this can often be caused by a lack of structure. Structuring your (achievable!) goals can be daunting but there’s something rather therapeutic about ticking off that task you have been postponing for weeks, early in the day.
3. Office Environment
With organisations investing large sums into enhancing their offices, work environments are now of huge interest to employees. Whether you thrive in an open plan, buzzing and communication filled environment or you prefer the noise of your own thoughts and keyboard clicking, make sure the environment you spend 8h+ everyday keeps you going.
4. Surrounding Activity
Busy people keep people busy – open plan offices are the best environment for professionals motivated by their working peers. If you turn your head around and your colleagues are working as hard as you should be, you will be more likely to follow their lead and ensure you get your work done in a timely manner.
5. Visualise Success
Now this one sounds a little corny but keep reading… Imagine going through your list, ticking tasks off throughout the day. Now picture your whole month. And year. And 5 year plan. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion or just want to be content that you’re doing a good job, visualising the outcome will make it more realistic and therefore easier to achieve.
6. Bigger Picture
According to entrepreneurial rules, the word “should” could potentially sabotage your motivation by making it difficult to derive a sense of purpose or passion from the activity you should complete. Since not many can extract a sense of fulfilment and purpose from every email they send, why not focus on the “why” instead. Try to establish the elements of your job that give you a sense of purpose or the ones you are passionate about. Rather than focusing on making it through a stressful day, look at what you want to achieve long term and why you’re here now.
7. Multitasking – The Myth
Or better yet, stop multitasking. Recent neuroscience research shows that our brains are really not designed to focus on multiple tasks simultaneously. Each time our attention gets divided towards a variety of tasks, a stop and start process is established in the brain so rather than saving time, it is in fact less efficient, increases mistakes and can drain your energy quicker.
8. Nourish your ego
One of the most motivating elements you can tackle is getting feedback on your work. Not only for the ego boost you get when you’ve done a brilliant job, but because the correct feedback can help you enhance your skills and knowledge even further, allowing you to set performance benchmarks and structure your future goals in a more achievable manner.
9. Celebrate Success
Find a way to make it fun and rewarding. Striving to achieve your goals can be easier said than done so learn what it takes to get yourself over the dreaded tasks and set up a system of rewards for completion. This can include 5 minute breaks to catch up on the news, a walk to the coffee machine to fill up your energy cup or the final (and sweetest!) point of this list
If all else fails, have some cake. As much as lists, goals and well researched motivation enhancers are not to be disregarded, some days just require cake to get motivated and all we can do is accept that and have a slice!
Author: Anca Popescu