How to increase your motivation at work
Here are six different strategies to bring excitement and drive back into your working life.
If you were to choose one of the strategies and try doing something small this week, what would it be?
1. Find out what drives you most and what demotivates you - and try to bring more of the motivating things into your working life.
You probably know what wears your motivation down – trust your instincts.
But consult your intuition also about the opposite: what exactly is it that can drive you best? Think of occasions when you got really excited and motivated by some work. What was it that kicked you off? What do those examples have in common?
When you know what works and what doesn´t with you, it gets easier to find ways to bring more motivating and fewer demotivating elements into your daily working life.
2. Set up motivating goals.
Having a goal in mind has a magic motivating effect on us. Even if there is a chance that some of our goals will change over time, we still need to have goals and to think of them when working - to remain motivated in ups and downs.
To have a motivating effect, they need to be your goals, something that you frankly want. Also, they must be realistic and achievable. Give yourself a small reward when you achieve them.
Have two types of goals: long-term ones (e.g where you want this job to take you to) and short-term ones (e.g. which tasks you want to complete today).
3. Get activities you love into your agenda
What are the things that you enjoy most at work and in your private life? It might be being among people, working on a particular topic, travelling, creative tasks, making funny videos, baking cakes, organizing sporting competitions, restoring peace between quarrelling colleagues... What are your favourite ones?
Try to bring more of those activities into your working life through your own initiative. It is not obvious that your boss knows what motivates you and builds your agenda around it. Be creative and take the adventure of designing ideas for activities that have not been done in your workplace yet. If you plan them well and in a way that they can be useful for your company or organization, you have a chance to convince your boss about it, because your positive energy for the activity will show.
4. Open up to different forms of work
Besides convincing the boss in your full-time job to give you a more interesting agenda and to adjust your working conditions, you can consider other alternatives, too.
The world of work offers plenty of options, including the combination of a full-time job with occasional work on something else; the combination of two or more part-time jobs; a career change; entrepreneurship or self-employment (on its own or besides a job) and so on.
Find a form that is convenient for you and allows you to do something meaningful. Individual coaching can help you with that.
5. Improve your work relationships
Spending hours daily with the same colleagues can be nice or a nightmare, depending on the quality of your relationships. We cannot choose our colleagues in the way we choose our friends, and that is fine. Fortunately, there are many strategies for maintaining or improving relationships.
Treat your work on a challenging relationship with your colleague as something you are doing for yourself, not as a gesture towards the colleague. It will serve you, first of all, so do not wait till you feel like doing something nice for the colleague you rather dislike, do it now: start improving the relationship that drains you.
For the beginning, try for example finding out what positive you two have in common, such as a hobby, a favourite holiday destination, a book or a singer. If you think of something, share the good news with the colleague.
Tensions and conflicts that have lasted for longer might require more than that. Check our article about giraffe language to see whether you can use something of that for yourself.
6. Try to make your work and private life support each other
Much has been written about work-life balance. The trouble of imbalance does not necessarily appear because you devote different amounts of time to work and to your private life, nor because you currently prioritize one of the two. What can really cause a strong imbalance and cost you a lot of energy is when your working and private lives seem to collide: at work you feel guilty towards your partner and family, and at home you feel guilty towards your work.
The best-case scenario might be a set of good family benefits plus understanding from your employer, combined with a partner who is a big fan of your work. This can be a long-run project, but definitely one to work on. The magic keys are working actively on things you can influence (instead of resigning), and developing quality communication.
Which of the strategies is most appealing to you? Can you think of two things (within the strategy) you could do on the next 7 days to increase your motivation at work a bit? Have good luck and let us know how it worked out.
Find more tips on our website or consult me (as a career coach) about your individual case.