Whether you are working from home or from the office it is not unusual to go through challenging times. Times when we can not keep our focus and excitement for the tasks we are performing. When we delay or procrastinate on our duties because we do not see the reward in finishing them. Times where we rather focus on other activities that are less than productive. The first step to keeping yourself motivated is identifying what reduces your motivation and what are your rewards.
Today I would like to give you some tips on how to maintain your motivation throughout your work journey. I just want to acknowledge that it is okay to sometimes lose your motivation for the tasks that you usually perform and the things you usually do. However, it is important to find a balance. It is also to find help when we feel this demotivation has gotten out of our hands. So, let’s get into it.
Individual goal setting is highly important in this journey of keeping yourself motivated. When you have a concrete and specific place to get to, you will be more determined to reach it. If you are setting a goal, focus on the things from that specific journey that you find enjoyable. When I was in school I used to find it so hard to keep focus when studying for midterms, there was no intrinsic motivation. So what I used to do was put a chocolate bar in the kitchen. And after every chapter, I would go there and eat a few pieces. If you can’t find something enjoyable for you within the completion of the goals, try to set extrinsic motivators.
However, for most employees, their extrinsic motivator is salary and is barely enough to help them excel at their goal-reaching. So you may find yourself performing the bare minimum to reach the goals in order to keep your salary. Try to focus on the elements of your role that you find enjoyable. Some people for example find it enjoyable to learn new skills or bettering the ones they already have. Others enjoy the fact that what they are doing can be of help to other people.
If our space is messy our mind will be too. And vice-versa. Make sure the space you are working from is one where you feel comfortable and are not being overstimulated with random things. It is not possible to concentrate for hours without taking breaks. So the first thing you should do before you start your workday is clear your spaces, remove any unwanted or done post-it. Make sure everything around you is as organized and tidy as possible. Then take a moment to step back, stand up, take a walk. Take regular breaks.
If there is something else keeping your mind busy, perhaps something going on in your personal life. I would suggest you take the time to get that resolved or reflect on how that issue or concern is affecting your problem. If you can’t keep your mind at work, request the day or a few days off. I assure you you will come back feeling renovated.
Sometimes the reason people can not stay motivated and successfully complete their tasks is that they keep jumping from one task to the other. “I am writing this article, but hey I just got an e-mail I should go and answer it. By switching from tasks back and forth we do not complete any of them effectively and time slips off of our fingers. A little while ago I wrote about developing Time Management Strategies adjusted to your daily life, go check that out.
We are gregarious beings. Even when some might like individuality better, we are often seeking external approval of our actions. Not only that, we always want to see what others are doing, and sometimes that influences our performance. I am not fond of comparing our progress to others. But if you are struggling to stay motivated I encourage you to find a coworker that is a high performer and look up to them. Work close to them, ask them for tips.
They don’t have to be doing the same things you do, but I have found having someone to support you, push you and encourage you throughout the day is always a great strategy to effectively complete your tasks. I also want to encourage you to be open to other people’s suggestions. I understand if sometimes we feel like nobody needs to tell us how to do our job. But since everyone can get to Rome taking different routes, be open when someone gives you advice, even if you did not directly ask for it.
It is normal to find yourself without motivation. It happens to the best of us. I advise you to always remember the bigger picture. Remember what you are trying to achieve, why you are doing it, where this is going to take you. Sometimes I think to myself “Ok I need to get through this day because I have to get money so I can feed my cat”. And sometimes that is enough for me to get a motivational boost. Find what might help you keep yourself motivated.
I also want to say if you are not finding motivation in the things that used to motivate you, you should seek professional help. The constant lack of motivation is a sign of depression and we want to tackle the problems before they tackle us. If the lack of motivation is because you do not feel comfortable at your job, talk with your boss there is always a solution. Always aim for your personal and professional growth, whether that is at your current job, or a different one you may want to look for.