Having the same job every day can make it difficult to feel motivated every morning, but that’s completely normal from time to time. Learning how to get motivated for work every day should be what you strive for whether you love your job or not. Of course, if you hate your job it is not easy to find the motivation to show up.
However, you will also find that even if you love your job, you will be scratching the walls in the morning to get out of bed.
Motivation is something that many people struggle with at some point in their careers. However, with a little thought and initiative, you should be back to work in no time.
It’s easy to hit a dead end and get stuck in the same routine, and the excitement for work inevitably subsides. However, if you consistently motivate yourself to show up for work every day, you will experience:
- Increased energy to get into work mode.
- More enthusiasm to tackle challenges as they arise.
- Better sustainable results in the long run.
If it was easy to show up to work every day, everyone would, and it wouldn’t cost businesses $84 billion a year. Part of the problem, however, is that companies are trying to motivate you with bonuses, promotions, entry rewards, company breaks, virtual dog shows, and pizza.
Not to say there is a need to get rid of these incentives entirely, but companies are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to provide you with the tools to teach you how to motivate yourself to do the job.
Why is motivation important at work?
It is important to have motivation at work so that you have the energy to get things done. When you feel highly motivated, you are more likely to work towards your goals and meet deadlines.
Your motivation could also influence your colleagues. So if you are feeling energetic, so can you. This can lead to better work morale and an overall positive work environment. Motivated employees tend to have more job satisfaction, feel committed to their job, and do their jobs efficiently.
How does work motivation work?
Getting motivated at work doesn’t just mean making it work. Rather, it is about inspiring yourself to achieve certain goals in the service of an important, great imperative. It’s about getting yourself to get better at something that interests you, and it’s about growing as an individual.
These are the elements that sustainably motivate people that inspire us to overcome our natural tendency to be lazy. Short-term “tricks” – like seeking a raise or rewarding a smaller goal – certainly help.
But for a more sustainable solution, look inside and think about what is really driving you: what you really want to achieve in the end and why.
What are the reasons why I am not motivated at work?
If you feel unmotivated at work, it could be for one or more of the following reasons:
- You have a busy schedule. When your to-do list is overflowing, you may feel like getting it all finished is a challenge. Instead of taking on every task that you are given, the important thing is to find a way to prioritize what you need to do.
- You need a better work-life balance. If you devote more time to work than to your personal life, burnout at work can result. By setting healthy boundaries between the two, you can feel more focused and motivated at work. It might be helpful to turn off work notifications right after you’re done for the day.
- Getting started is a challenge for you. The very thought of starting a task can feel more daunting than actually getting the task done. Remember that once you get into a state of focus, your work can be very rewarding.
- You need a physical and mental recharge. If you’ve been off work for some time, you may need to plan your next break. This can be a week long vacation or a long weekend to recharge.
- You are experiencing a life change. When life outside of work is stressful, it can be difficult to focus during work hours. For example, things like moving house or getting married usually require a lot of attention. If you find that your personal or family life is interfering with your work, you should contact Human Resources or your manager.
- You are ready for a new job. If your current job is no longer challenging, it may be time to look for a new one. New tasks and responsibilities can make you more interested in your work.
How to Get Motivated to Work
Instead of depending on the organization to find motivation, here are some ways to find the motivation to go to work every day.
#1. Plan your whole day
When tasks stare at you with no structure, it can feel overwhelming and only add to your struggle. Time management is the key in these situations.
“Take an hour, a day, whatever your job allows, and write down a daily routine. An example could be exercising early in the morning, replying to emails for 10 minutes, making follow-up calls to customers later in the morning, taking a walk around your building to change surroundings, etc.
When you create a guide for your day, tasks feel a lot easier. You can schedule it with the calendar on your phone, with alerts to remind you when you stop and move on to a new task, or use a dedicated app to organize it.
#2. Remember “why” you work
Too often, employees rely on external sources such as awards, bonuses, and promotions to motivate them. These may feel good, but they’re just a “sugar high” and won’t last.
Think of your own motivation as something that comes from internal sources. The easiest way to identify these internal sources of motivation is to find your personal “why”. That determination will provide fuel for the long journey ahead
For example, you might go to work on Monday to placate the boss, lay the foundation for a raise, or just do a project that has been on your mind for a while.
It’s like losing weight for a class reunion or a beach trip. While both of these are definitely motivating factors to lose weight, it usually doesn’t sustain it in the long run.
Think about how your motivation changes in everyday work when you think about the role model you want to give your children, how you want to help your colleagues with whom you have been for years, or how you believe in the overall mission of your company.
#3. Use the Hemingway Technique
Nothing helps keep you motivated in your day-to-day work like momentum, and Ernest Hemingway had a brilliant approach. His technique was to leave the last chapter or paragraph unfinished at the end of the day, especially when he knew exactly how it was going to end.
When he sat down at his desk the next day, he could start writing immediately and build up momentum for the rest of the day. He would never find himself at his desk wondering what to do next.
You can apply this technique to your motivation in everyday work. Instead of staying late on Friday or working over the weekend to complete your work, strategically choose a stop so that when you get to work on Monday you know exactly what to do next. That kind of momentum will carry you through your workday.
#4. Create a reward system
Reward yourself for every task you complete. This is especially important when you are working towards a long-term goal. At each milestone of the goal, decide what your reward will be. Align your reward system with things you enjoy.
For example, if you enjoy getting active, your reward might be a break from taking a walk. Likewise, if you’re social, your reward might be spending a few minutes talking to a coworker. Customize your rewards based on the tasks you complete. Small tasks can yield small rewards, while large tasks yield larger rewards.
#5. Take Control
It’s so easy to fill the first few hours of your work with meetings. Take control by planning and planning your first interactions of the day so you can look forward to them.
Set up a coffee meeting or conference call with someone in the office who is usually upbeat and creative. This is a low-stress way of getting yourself motivated for work as it is all about showing up and doing a little planning.
You can also gain motivation by bonding with your family at home. In my family, we often plan breakfast together and have our own little breakfast party. It really helps us start our day on a positive note in every way, and the motivational dynamic we receive carries over to work (and school).
#6. Break big tasks into smaller goals
Knowing that there is a big task or project waiting for you at work can really destroy your motivation. You will feel stressed out before you even arrive. To reduce that work anxiety and feel better about yourself for the day ahead, break down any big tasks you have into smaller goals.
For example, imagine you need to make a 30-minute presentation before Friday. If you think of it as a big project it will feel overwhelming, but if you plan to work on 10 minutes of this presentation every day it will feel a lot more achievable.
#7. Celebrate successes big and small
If you’re struggling to learn how to motivate yourself for work, it may be time to reward yourself for all of your work. Did you finish this 30-minute presentation on time? As a reward for achieving this great goal, treat yourself to a nice dinner.
This does not only apply to large tasks or accomplishments. When you’ve completed a small task that you’ve put off, reward yourself with a 15-minute break. This will increase your motivation and help you feel less stressed out throughout the day.
As you set goals, plan a reward ahead of time so you can look forward to something. Don’t underestimate the power of a small reward to help you feel motivated in your day-to-day work.
#8. Create work goals
Having a goal to work towards can help you stick with the task and feel more motivated. When setting your goals, consider the SMART method:
- Specific: Narrow the scope of your goal to better understand what you need to achieve.
- Measurable: Find a set of parameters that you can use to measure the progress of your goal.
- Achievable: Choose a goal that is realistic for you. You can start small and gradually increase your ambitions.
- Relevant: Your goal should relate to your professional and professional responsibilities. Choose a goal that can help you grow in your role.
- Time-bound: Plan how long it will take you to achieve this goal. If it’s a long-term goal, set a specific date for each of your milestones.
#9. Pay attention to metrics and user feedback.
If you are finding motivation in driving the success of your business – which you should be doing-especially as a business leader – then maybe there is no better way to motivate yourself than to keep track of your key metrics and pay attention to user feedback.
For example, when you realize that your users may not be happy, it takes you to recalibrate or do extra hard work to get your next product release right.
It also gives you a finish line to aim for as you set specific goals for yourself and your team – like getting X users, page views, or orders in the next month, or getting Y happy emails from customers – your daily work.
If you pay attention to important metrics and informative data, you can also celebrate smaller successes with your team more easily – like exceeding the above thresholds.
#10. Take breaks once every 1-3 hours.
It doesn’t have to be more than 5-10 minutes, but these brakes give you time to recharge your brain, move around a bit, and cut your day into more manageable chunks. You could:
- Go to the break room and talk to a colleague.
- Take a short walk to get coffee or just do a little workout at your desk.
- Read 1-2 articles about something you enjoy.
#11. Take care of your body
Many motivational problems aren’t because you hate your job or your coworkers, but simply because your body isn’t running as effectively as it could be.
Feeling tired, energetic, and dejected is a surefire way to end up unmotivated, but it can also be easily avoided.
- Make sure you get 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
#12. Get to know your colleagues
Having a support system in your work helps everyone stay motivated. Take some time to chat with your coworkers to build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.
If you notice someone doing a good job, let them know. If someone seems down, ask them what’s going on. You will hear similar comments about yourself, and that sense of community is a great way to all work together on common goals.
#13. Find a job that you feel motivated to do
If nothing is stopping you from doing your old job and you can’t find motivation in what you’re doing, then it’s time to look elsewhere.
Work that you enjoy or that you find useful will motivate you on its own. If you can’t find the will to do your job for weeks and you don’t have long-term prospects that things could improve, consider moving to a new position.
#14. Wear your favorite outfit
When you’re stressed out, anxious, or just far from the person you want to be, clothes and accessories can make a world of difference. Whether it’s a shirt that you absolutely love or a dress that you feel very confident in that little burst of visible positivity can give you the nudge you need.
Also, making the effort to get dressed and do your hair or makeup in the morning can help you feel a little more organized, which can help if you feel like the rest of your life is going on is a mess.
Try to keep a fun accessory like a watch, scarf, or bracelet at work to put on when you feel bad in the middle of the day so that you can get a little boost in confidence and creativity.
We all have our ups and downs and there will be times when we just don’t feel like doing anything productive. This is normal and you can do something about it. Use any of the tips above to help keep yourself motivated to work and improve your prospects of the bigger picture.
Take the time to get started with any of the tips above and adapt it to your weekly routine. You may find that your motivation is of course no longer an issue on your career path.
- 7 Easy Ways to Get Motivated at Work | The Muse
- How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It|hbr.org
- Seven Ways To Get Motivated At Work – Forbes
- How to Get Motivated to Work and Start Your Day With Positivity|lifehack