Learning how to get motivated to work every day is a common problem, no matter if you love or hate your job. If you hate your job, it goes without saying that finding the motivation to show up is not easy. However, you’ll also find that even if you love your job, there are mornings when you’re clawing at the walls to get out of bed.
It’s easy to fall into a rut and get stuck in the same ho-hum routine, and inevitably, the excitement for work diminishes. However, if you consistently motivate yourself to show up at work every day, you’ll experience:
- Increased energy levels to get into work mode.
- More enthusiasm to attack challenges as they arise.
- Better sustained results over the long haul.
If showing up at work every day were easy, everyone would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be costing businesses $84 billion a year. Part of the issue, though, is that organizations attempt to motivate you with bonuses, promotions, attendance awards, company luaus, virtual dog shows, and pizza.
Not to say it’s necessary to do away with these incentives entirely, but organizations are missing a massive opportunity to provide you with the tools to teach you how to get motivated to work.
Instead of depending on the organization to find motivation, here are some ways to find motivation to go to work each day.
1. Remind Yourself “Why” You Work
Too often, employees base their motivation on external sources like accolades, bonuses, and job promotion. These may feel good, but they’re just a “sugar high” and don’t last.
Consider your own motivation as something that’s internally sourced. The simplest way to identify these internal sources of motivation is to find your own personal “why.” This sense of purpose will offer fuel for the long journey ahead.
For example, maybe you’re heading to work on Monday to appease the boss, lay the groundwork for a raise, or just get through a project that’s been hanging over your head for a while.
It’s a lot like losing weight for a class reunion or a beach trip. While both are definitely motivating factors to lose weight, it’s usually not sustained over the long term.
Consider how your workday motivation changes when you think about the example you want to set for your kids, how you want to help your co-workers that you’ve been with for years, or how you believe in the overall mission at your company.
Perhaps, you simply believe that the job you’re doing helps you learn and prepare for the next step in your career. Those are deeper, more meaningful reasons that will help you learn how to get and stay motivated to work.
Figure out your “why” with the help of this guide.
2. Use the Hemingway Technique
Nothing helps your workday motivation 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.
Then, when he sat down at his desk the following day, he could immediately start writing and build momentum for the rest of his day. He’d never find himself at his desk wondering what to do next.
You can apply this technique to your workday motivation. Instead of staying late on Friday or working over the weekend to wrap up your work, pick a stopping place strategically, so when you get to work on Monday, you know exactly what to do next. This type of momentum will carry you through your workday.
3. Take Control
It’s so easy to let the first few hours of your work fill up with meetings. Take control by planning and scheduling your first few interactions of the day so you’re looking forward to them.
Set up a coffee meeting or a conference call with someone at the office who is typically upbeat and creative. This is a low-stress way to get motivated to work because it just involves showing up and a little bit of planning.
You can also gain motivation by connecting with your family at home. In my family, we often plan breakfast together and hold our own little breakfast party. It really helps us get our day started off right in every positive way, and the motivational momentum we get carries over into work (and school).
4. Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Objectives
If you know you have a big task or project waiting for you at work, it can really kill your motivation. You’ll feel stressed before even arriving. In order to diminish that work anxiety and feel better about the day ahead of you, break any big tasks you have into smaller objectives.
For example, imagine you have to create a 30 minute presentation before Friday. If you look at it as one big project, it will feel overwhelming, but if you plan to work on 10 minutes of that presentation each day, it will feel much more achievable.
5. Celebrate Big and Small Achievements
If you’re struggling to learn how to get motivated to work, it may be time to reward yourself for all the work you do. Did you finish that 30-minute presentation on time? You could treat yourself to a nice dinner as a reward for completing that big goal.
This doesn’t only apply to big tasks or achievements. If you finish a small task you had been putting off, reward yourself with a 15-minute break. This will increase your motivation as well as help you feel less stressed throughout the day.
When you set goals, plan a reward ahead of time so you have something to look forward to. Don’t underestimate the power of a small reward to help you feel motivated in your day to day work life.
You can find more ways to make dull or boring work more interesting in the following video:
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 above tips to help yourself get motivated to work and improve your big picture outlook.
Take time to start with one of the tips above, and adopt it for your weekly routine. You may find your motivation naturally becomes a non-issue as you walk along your career path.
More Tips on How to Get Motivated to Work
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