A global organizational consulting firm found that about 50% of US employees are disengaged or unmotivated. These employees are unwilling to do better with their tasks and are already satisfied with mediocrity. Lack of motivation should not continue in work environments because it could cause severe consequences.
Another problem that demotivation brings is that it can trigger mental health problems. Experts say a person’s lack of motivation may be due to stress, anxiety, and depression. Since mental health problems can be debilitating, it is not surprising to see employees fail their tasks even if they only need to render basic tasks.
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It is encouraging how society has grown in treating mental health issues at work. However, there is much more to work on, considering many people still treat motivation-related problems as insignificant and ignorable. Motivation is key to success; something invisible like mental health problems can ruin people’s chances of achieving professional goals.
Understanding the need to stay motivated at work is one critical step but what comes next is a serious hurdle. Being motivated and reaping its benefits is easier said than done. Stakeholders should invest time and energy in learning what they need to do to be the best versions of themselves and positively influence others.
Why is staying motivated crucial?
It takes a lot to stay motivated. Besides time, individuals must expend other resources to fulfill responsibilities according to their best capacities. To remain invested in being motivated, everyone should know the relevance of this arduous endeavor.
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See this list for the top reasons why you should motivate yourself at work:
1. It can increase work productivity
Motivation directly impacts productivity because motivated workers feel good about their job and end up performing on a competitive level. While many employers and managers do not appreciate it enough, motivation can be a force to be reckoned with because it changes another person from the inside. Also, when employees change for the better of their own will, the positive impact they render to the company can last longer.
2. It facilitates the achievement of company goals
Employees who feel more motivated and become more productive are integral to companies in hitting goals. Company goals rely on employees’ success in fulfilling their roles, so leaders should prioritize inspiring people to do their parts well. Besides, companies that succeed as a united entity are more likely to inspire their employees to do better and keep up with the level of performance that the rest are giving.
3. It inspires professional growth
Being motivated extends beyond doing an excellent job at given tasks, satisfying clients or bosses, and beating deadlines. When employees feel motivated enough, they can see themselves in another light and find new paths to improve their careers. Motivation can help employees transcend their current roles and contribute more as they become capable and competitive professionals.
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4. It reduces work-related errors
Since motivation inspires workers to be better at their roles and render higher quality services to clients and employers, it organically follows that they are likely to commit fewer mistakes while on the job. Although it takes time, motivation transforms employees into more proficient professionals. Of course, motivated professionals are imperfect and still commit mistakes, but they now have skills and tools for problem-solving.
5. It creates a positive work environment
Motivation is not only limited to changing workers for the better because the developments motivation can introduce can also alter the workspace. For example, when a specific set of employees become more motivated to hit quarterly quotas, this attitude can spread throughout the company over time. Many people do not understand that motivation, in itself, can be a component that nurtures the work environment.
7 Best Strategies to Stay Motivated in Your Career
Staying motivated is a process that requires multiple steps and attempts to accomplish. If you cannot stop procrastinating or shrug off the feeling of being demotivated, it is advisable to deal with the situation actively. Feeling lost about this situation is common and expected, do not worry.
Trying these suggestions could help bring your motivation for work back:
1. Identify what keeps you extrinsically and intrinsically motivated
Motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation inspires workers to do better by letting them do things they find rewarding. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation utilizes rewards and punishments to trigger a reaction from workers to perform their duties by following specific standards and expectations.
Determining what intrinsically and extrinsically motivates workers is crucial because motivation is a personal experience. Using the same components to motivate different people, even those that belong to the same group, can trigger myriad results. For workers, identifying personal intrinsic and extrinsic motivations can be instrumental in learning what steps to take for career development.
2. Make your goals relevant but realistic
Feeling and staying motivated involves heavy preparation and meticulous execution of plans. This reasoning is imperative because motivation happens when one succeeds at a series of tasks and reaps satisfying rewards. Therefore, you should set yourself up for success to increase your chances of feeling motivated and staying that way for as long as possible.
One organized way to motivate yourself is by aligning your goals with what is relevant and realistic. Do not aim for impossible things because failing them will only break you. Also, your goals should be relevant so that your accomplishments can become valuable assets in the future.
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3. Compartmentalize bigger tasks
Staying motivated at work can be challenging when tasks appear overwhelming and unending. However, since you cannot change your workload, the best next thing is to change your mindset. Reimagine how you view your tasks and organize them in a less distracting way that makes more sense.
Create a more efficient mental map of your tasks by compartmentalizing bigger responsibilities into smaller ones. For example, if you need to accomplish Project A by the end of the year, you may create sub-steps with shorter deadlines to distribute its components. Completing one sub-step at a time will make the project seem more doable.
4. Do tasks according to their order of priority
Another smart way to refresh your view of handling giant projects and subsets of responsibilities is ranking them according to their order of priority. But before doing that, you should determine what bumps a task or responsibility higher to the list of priorities. The easiest way to determine this is by knowing their deadlines and the potential impact of missing them.
After determining what comes first, assign each task a realistic schedule. This way, you may look at your priority list chronologically and feel less confused about what to do next. This strategy could also help determine any free spots for inserts or emergency work.
5. Celebrate personal wins
It is wrong to think that staying motivated is about relentless winning and endlessly working hard. Staying motivated is also about celebrating yourself and everything else that helped you become successful. All your little “wins” in the past matter, so you should value them.
There is no need to throw a party for every win you experience. It is enough that you give yourself a little treat for the achievements that you unlock. Everybody has their way of celebrating. So if a long weekend behind sheets while watching your favorite series sounds glorious, free your calendar and enjoy yourself.
6. Seek new challenges
One of the leading causes of demotivation is getting too comfortable with your work and the challenges you encounter. When you no longer feel the adrenaline, it might signal you are becoming too complacent. When you catch yourself in this situation, find ways to adjust your work style or take on different tasks.
Sometimes, you cannot find motivation in yourself. There are instances when you must leave your comfort zone and experience new things. Although exploring other personal and professional development areas is daunting, the results can help you see the world with a fresh pair of lenses.
7. Be with people who motivate you to work harder
Besides finding motivation in other things, you may also need to find the same in someone else. In case you have forgotten, you can use your lover, family, friend, and even strangers as the source of self-motivation. Their support for you and your career can inspire you to exceed expectations and do wondrous things.
Finding your tribe is also crucial in the workspace. When your co-workers are positive and competent, they may inspire you to be the same. It is also notable that the right group of people may be critical of your work, but they only intend to help you grow.
Bonus tips: How not to lose motivation?
Gaining the momentum to stay motivated is another battle compared to not losing the motivation you once accumulated. It may feel like a chaotic tug-of-war, but struggling is inevitable. After learning what steps could help you stay motivated, some tactics can help keep your fire burning.
Study these tips on not losing your motivation for work:
1. Practice gratitude
Expressing gratitude to yourself and others is a powerful practice to avoid being demotivated. Saying “thank you” confirms that someone did something commendable, and doing so triggers calmness and healing. In addition, actively thanking yourself and others may stabilize moods, increase optimism, and improve relationships.
Besides saying “thank you,” there are other ways to express gratitude. For example, before coming to work, you may list the things you are grateful for in a journal or a writing application. If you are not fond of writing, you may express gratitude through free motions while doing morning meditations and prayers.
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2. Recognize your past efforts
In addition to being grateful, you should also look back and appreciate what you did. At first glance, the things you do for the workplace may not seem much, but some projects may not have happened without your efforts. It is only right to give yourself credit, especially because you put a lot of effort into your contributions.
Some things workers do for their jobs that often get overlooked are overtime shifts and tireless nights. Often these efforts are unpaid and unappreciated, but employees go the extra mile to deliver outstanding results and provide more value for the company.
3. Be open to criticisms
You can avoid being too complacent by listening to criticisms from other people. They can be unpleasant to hear but critical for personal and professional development. Instead, try not to take the comments personally because each criticism comes with a lesson you may not find in other positive experiences.
One way to get used to criticisms is to listen to them multiple times. Find people capable of giving you a fair work assessment and ask for their honest opinions. Do not forget to ask for explanations so they can thoroughly review your job performance.
4. Reward yourself from time to time
Even at work, one should never forget the proverb, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Working all the time without time for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment will make any worker inefficient. Everybody needs an outlet to keep handling job-related stress and avoid overloading in the process.
Workers must reward themselves because it is a celebration and validation of hard work. As a professional, you know your worth, and it can feel fulfilling to get and experience things you find satisfying. No matter how big or small the reward is, it will be pivotal in recharging your will to do better at work.
5. Maintain a healthy work-life balance
The concept of work-life balance involves creating a situation where your professional and personal needs are satisfied. Attaining this balance can be tricky because various factors from your professional and personal lives can conflict. However, regardless of this situation’s difficulty, all workers should aim for a healthy work-life balance because it keeps them from burning out and underperforming.
The first step in attaining a work-life balance is knowing your priorities. You can never do everything simultaneously, so be cautious in spending your time, energy, and resources. Once you have refined your priorities, you will start finding time for rest and reflection.
When in doubt, push your career forward
Sometimes, you feel so demotivated that it is incredibly challenging to work hard and stay positive. When you no longer know what to do, one of the best solutions is to move forward. Every step you take away from a negative situation will significantly contribute to your personal growth and overall success.