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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

How to Stay Motivated If You Don’t Really Like Your Job

How to Stay Motivated If You Don’t Really Like Your Job
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Most people have had jobs that didn’t excite or interest them. You might even be in a job right now that makes you feel completely unmotivated. However, for whatever reason, you need to stick with it. In that case, it’s important to learn how to stay motivated, even in less-than-perfect conditions.

Work is a huge part of our lives, so it’s important that we make it meaningful and aim it toward our passion and purpose. Even if you’re in a job that you don’t really like, it’s possible to find ways to keep improving.

Here are 10 ways to stay motivated at a job you don’t love.

1. Figure out Why You Aren’t Motivated

Do you know exactly why you are not motivated? This should be the first thing that you do. Figuring out why you aren’t motivated will give you insight into exactly what you don’t like about your job.

You may find that you like your job but don’t like working for your critical boss. Or perhaps your interests have changed over time and you don’t like the area you’re in anymore. Or maybe you love to socialize, but you’re working in a cubicle where you rarely interact with your coworkers.

Whatever the situation, try to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s bringing down your energy levels. This will help you as you learn how to stay motivated and reach your goals in the long-term.

2. Leave Your Stress at Work

This can mean multiple things. Do not bring work home if you don’t need to. If your work is what is causing you stress, then you should try to leave it completely at work at all costs, if possible.

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This also means that you shouldn’t let a bad day at work make you feel miserable at home, as well. Try to keep work and home completely separate so that you can enjoy your free time.

This may mean creating a routine for when you get home to help you disconnect from the work day you just had. Maybe you go for a short walk, sit outside and eat a snack, or read a chapter of that new book you just bought. Whatever it is, it needs to be something that pulls your mind into the present moment and away from what happened during the day.

This will help you create a work-life balance that will help up your motivation in life in general.

3. Stay Positive

If you have a negative attitude about your job, then it will probably make it difficult to learn how to stay motivated. You need to try to think as positively as you can, and have a good outlook about the tasks that you are doing.

This will, of course, require a shift in thinking. Try to challenge each negative thought you have about a task. For example, if your boss just gave you a huge project that you’re dreading, instead of saying “This is going to be awful,” try telling yourself, “This is going to be a challenge, but it’ll be a great opportunity to learn something.”

If positive thinking is particularly difficult for you, try developing a daily meditation practice. This will help you create space to take in and analyze the negative thoughts you have throughout the day.

4. Lay out an Action Plan

If you don’t plan on staying at the job that you don’t really like, then you should come up with a way to find a better job or at least work on skills that will help you get one. You can start thinking about what your next job will be, how you will get that job, whether you will need schooling, and so on.

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Once you have an idea of what this future goal looks like, enroll in some free online courses, read books from the area, or start browsing job sites to see what’s available. The simple prospect of being able to find work you enjoy more will likely do wonders in lifting your motivation levels.

5. Find Hobbies You Enjoy Outside of Work

Having something that you enjoy outside of work can really make work more enjoyable. Hobbies will allow you to take your mind off of work and truly relax.

Not only is this a great stress reliever after work, but it can help you have something to look forward to throughout the day.

6. Be a Great Worker

Even if you do not like your job, try to do the best you can with the job you have. Focus as best you can on the task at hand. If your boss appreciates your work and praises you, then you will be more likely to feel motivated on a daily basis.

You can also try to help out your coworkers. Feeling altruistic will give you a positivity boost that will help you feel good about what you’re doing.

7. Take a Break When You Need to

Now, this doesn’t mean you should stop being an efficient worker, but you should take a break when you need to. If you have been skipping your lunch break for the past ten years, you’re just hurting yourself. You should take breaks so that you can feel refreshed when you go back to work.

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When you want to know how to stay motivated at work, use your vacation days!

    Also, a recent study showed that “more than half of Americans (55%) are still not using all their paid time off”[1]. If you’ve earned vacation days, use them! That free time with your family (or alone) will give you the necessary space to relax and unwind. You’ll also be able to look forward to these blocks of time[2] throughout the year, which should do something to boost your motivation.

    8. Look Forward to Something

    I’m sure there is some reason why you can’t leave your current job. You need to think about your end goal and why you currently are where you are. Maybe you are working in this current position so that you can possibly one day get a promotion.

    Maybe you are working this less-than-motivating position because you need to pay for your college degree. In that case, you need to think about how great it will feel when you finally graduate from college.

    Whatever the reason, keep a written reminder in sight at all times to help you remember why you’re doing the job you’re doing. With that visual, you can learn how to stay motivated and set goals, even when the work is less-than-ideal.

    9. Ask for New Responsibilities

    If you’re bored with the monotony of doing the same tasks each day, go to your boss and ask if there are any new responsibilities they would be willing to give you. Perhaps they’re looking for help on a project in an area that interests you. You won’t know if you don’t ask!

    Alternatively, you can ask your boss to inform you if any other positions come up within the company. With time, you may come across an opportunity to move into something you enjoy more.

    10. Dress Like You Are Still Motivated

    It can be easy to start “letting go” and not caring about your appearance when you feel unmotivated. However, don’t adopt this mindset. Make sure that you are still dressing the part and that you still feel confident with the way that you present yourself.

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    One study, described by The New York Times, explained that “If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement”[3].

    These results belong to a field known as embodied cognition, which says that the way we think and process information is directly related to our physical appearance. So why is this important for your job?

    If you dress well and feel confident with the clothes you wear, you’re more likely to perform better, feel better, and achieve your goals.

    Final Thoughts

    Everyone experiences days at work when they feel unmotivated, but if it’s happening every day, it’s time to take a good look at your work life. It’s possible to learn how to stay motivated, even at a job you don’t really like.

    If you find that these things still aren’t working and that you are only growing more resentful of your job, it may be time to take the required steps to find a job that will make you happier.

    More on How to Stay Motivated at Work

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] U.S. Travel Association: PAID TIME OFF TRENDS IN THE U.S.
    [2] The Balance Careers: Vacation Time and Pay For Employees
    [3] The New York Times: Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat

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    Michelle Schroeder

    Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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    Last Updated on July 29, 2021

    How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

    How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up
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    It’s Monday morning. The alarm goes off. Do you know how to get motivated at that moment? What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you open your eyes? 

    Are you excited to get up and go to work, or are you dreading the day and week ahead?

    Whatever your response may be, ask yourself this question:

    “What is it that makes you feel unmotivated?” What’s driving you to feel negative or positive about your Monday ahead? If you want to know how to get motivated, keep reading.

    The Two Types of People

    You likely know of people who have been doing the same thing for years and seem to not have any problem staying stagnant. Whether it be in their marriage, job, or personal endeavors, they seem to be getting along just fine without progressing towards anything “better.”

    On the other hand, I’m sure you also know of individuals who focus on the positive, goals setting and are constantly pushing themselves to greater heights. Be it promotions at work, building a family, celebrating marriage milestones, traveling more, or going to school again, these individuals seem to constantly progress towards something that improves or enhances their life.

    So what’s the difference between these two types of individuals?

    What you feel capable of doing comes down to one thing: motivation. It’s the force, or lack of, that keeps driving you forward to overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve your goals.

    Without motivation, you’ll give up after a few failed attempts, or even on the first tough challenge that comes your way. Or you’ll just remain where you are: unhappy yet not doing anything to progress ahead.

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    What Is Motivation, Really?

    Whether you realize it or not, motivation is a huge force in your life, and it needs to be harnessed in order to excel and actually enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing on a daily basis. If you find yourself thinking, “I need motivation,” there are specific steps you can take.

    Unfortunately, many overgeneralize the word motivation. We think of being either motivated or unmotivated as a simple “yes” or “no” state of being.

    But motivation is not a switch. As discussed in the Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation, motivation is a flow. To feel motivated, you need to dive beyond the surface. Just reading a motivational quote, being encouraged by your friends or mentor, or writing out a short to-do list won’t help you build sustainable motivation in the long run.

    You can think of the motivation that we want to achieve like the Sun (self-sustaining and long-lasting), which supplies a constant influx of energy to all life on Earth. Just like the Sun, your “motivation engine” has different layers, starting from the core and spreading out to the surface. The surface is what you see, but the real process is driven from the core (your internal motivation); and that’s the most important part.

    If you can create a self-sustaining motivation engine, you’ll be able to find more meaning in your life and enjoy every minute of what you’re doing, which will make your roles and responsibilities less of a chore. 

    Let me help you understand this motivation flow better by breaking down the motivation engine into 3 parts:

    1. Core – Purpose
    2. Support – Enablers
    3. Surface – Acknowledgement

    The Third Layer: Surface

    The outermost layer, also known as Acknowledgement, encompasses any type of external recognition that might give you motivation. It may come in the form of respect or recognition, such as compliments and praise.

    Or it could be emotional support through encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism. It could also be affiliation, where you have mutual companions or buddies sharing the same goal or burden with you.

    One recent study pointed out that “rewards had a positive impact on work motivation but no significant relationship existed between reward and job satisfaction”[1].

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    Therefore, it’s important to recognize that rewards will motivate you, but they won’t necessarily make you happier in an undesirable situation.

    This is generally what you see on the surface when you look at other people. You see the external acknowledgement, respect, and recognition they’re getting.

    The Second Layer: Support

    In essence, the second layer of the motivation engine (also known as Enablers) is what supports your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build. Basically, they create favorable circumstances for things to go smoothly.  

    If you want to know how to find motivation, positive enablers are key. This could include friends and family, or any support network you’ve created in life.

    The Innermost Layer: Core

    But what’s most important, and the true driving force behind your motivation flow, is the innermost core, your Purpose. Your purpose is what differentiates the motivated from the unmotivated, the achievers from the underachievers, the happy from the unhappy.

    Your motivational core is your Purpose, and it is sustained by two things: having meaning, and forward movement. With these two as a foundation, you’ll have a power source that will feed you motivational energy indefinitely.

    If you want to learn more about the Motivation Flow, join our Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation for free now!

    How to Sustain Your Purpose

    Having meaning is simple. If you want to learn how to find motivation, just ask yourself a question: Why?

    Why are you pursuing a certain goal? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. While motivation provides you energy to do something, that energy needs to be focused somewhere. So without meaning, there is no direction for your energy to focus.

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    Yet, having a meaningful objective doesn’t mean you have to change the world or have a huge impact on society. The secret to meaningful work is simple: it should contribute value to something or someone that matters to you.

    One study suggested creativity as one possible path to meaning, saying: “Many of the core concepts in work on the meaning of life, such as the needs for coherence, significance, and purpose or the desire for symbolic immortality, can be reached through creative activity”[2].

    Next up is gaining forward movement. In short, this means to just keep moving. Like a snowball, motivation from having progress creates momentum. So to keep this up, you have to keep moving.

    The good news is, your progress doesn’t have to be huge for you to recognize it. Small amounts of progress can be just as motivating, as long as they keep coming. Like driving a car, you may be really impatient if you’re at a complete halt. But, it lessens if you’re moving forward, even if you’re moving slowly.

    Creating a simple progress indicator, like checklists or milestones, is a great way to visualize your small (and big) wins. They trigger your brain to recognize and acknowledge them, giving you small boosts of motivational energy.

    This is why video games are so addictive! They’re full of progress indicators everywhere. Even though the progress is completely virtual, they’re still able to trigger the motivation centers in your brain.

    Find out What Drives You Today

    Why not take some time today and do a quick reflection of where you’re at now? Take one aspect of your life that you’d like to progress further in.

    For example, it may be your current job. Start with your why. Write down your reasons for why you’re in the job that you’re in.

    Then, think about your Motivation Core: your Purpose. Write down what it is within your job that gives you meaning, and what are some things that will help push you forward in life.

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    Once you have those points, it’s time to do a comparison. Does your current job help you make progress towards that purpose that you’ve written?

    If it does, you’re on the right track. If it doesn’t, or if you’ve realized your life isn’t going where you want it to, don’t panic. There’re tools that can help you get through this. The Actionable Motivation On Demand Handbook is one of those effective tools that can help you always stay motivated. Get your own handbook and never lose motivation again!

    Do your best to not focus on the negative. Review your goals and aim yourself in a positive direction, even if it means that you start small.

    Final Thoughts on Staying Motivated

    Happiness doesn’t need to be a vague term or illusion that you’re constantly chasing after with no end in sight. By finding your true motivation, you’ll be one step closer to realizing your happiness and finding meaning in everything you do.

    You may have tried many solutions to help you stay motivated and found that none of them really have any impact. That’s because they bring about incremental changes only, and permanent change requires a holistic approach. It requires more than just focusing on one area of your life or changing one part of your routine or actions.

    You want to make a fundamental change, but it feels like big, unknown territory that you can’t afford to venture into at this point in your life.

    The truth is, taking your life to the next stage doesn’t have to be this complicated. So, if you’d like to take the first step to achieving your life purpose, the time to learn how to find motivation is now!

    More on How to Find Motivation

    Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] European Journal of Business and Management: Impact of Reward and Recognition on Job Satisfaction and Motivation
    [2] Perspectives on Psychological Science: Finding Meaning With Creativity in the Past, Present, and Future

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