How to stay motivated at your job, how does one achieve this? If this is something that’s on your mind, I assure you, you’re not alone. Just a few months ago, I was on the brink of quitting my job.
Motivating yourself is hard. Sometimes trying to sustain your drive through a task, a project, or even a career can sometimes feel like pulling yourself out of a swamp by your own hair.
However, like it or not, effective self-motivation is one of the main things that distinguishes high-achieving professionals from everyone else.
So then for employed professionals, the question becomes how to stay motivated at your job or how to stay motivated in the workplace.
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10 Things you can do to stay motivated at your job
I think that we can all agree that motivation is more than just elusive. Some days you feel it, and other days you can’t grab a measly corner of it no matter how hard you try.
You stare at the computer screen, willing yourself to type, create, or develop something, and instead, you find yourself simply going through the motions.
What if I told you there was a better way? What if I told you there was a way to regain your motivation to do your job?
Without further ado, here are seven things you can do to stay motivated at your job.
1. Don’t think about it as ‘hard work’
The first thing you can do to stay motivated at work is to not think of it as work. According to Marie Stein, There is only one way to motivate oneself to work hard. What if instead of thinking about our jobs as work, we thought about them as a tool that is priming us to become our ideal selves?
Work can be something fun and enjoyable when we are doing it to become our ideal selves. How? By thinking about what we are getting out of it. What we stand to benefit from doing it.
That way, it’s about you, not your boss, or anyone else.
2. Create small, bite-sized goals
The second thing you can do to stay motivated at your job is to break down large tasks into smaller tasks.
This amazing principle is borrowed from Nelson Wang. According to Nelson, there’s a reason donut holes are so lovable. They’re easy to eat. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a dozen of them. This is how goals should be, too.
Of course, you should have a huge, audacious goal. But make sure you break it down into bite-sized, consumable goals.
This way you’ll feel like you’re making progress in your journey, and you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete the smaller goals.
3. Stop caring about the things that don’t matter
The third thing we need to do to maintain workplace motivation is to stop caring about the things that don’t matter.
Doing things that don’t mean anything costs a ton of mental energy. Look at your to-do list. Find things you know that you don’t care about, and get rid of as many of these activities as possible.
You will stay more consistently motivated if you’re working on activities that are inherently meaningful or are part of a larger mission.
4. Set a quit time
The fourth thing we can do to maintain workplace motivation is to set a quit time.
If you’re an entrepreneur, then you know we tend to stray from the typical 8 to 5 workday, and global accessibility through emails and Google meets makes it more than easy to have a 24-hour workday.
However, it’s important to recognize when enough is enough.
Set a realistic quitting time for yourself, and stick to it most days of the week. Stop answering emails after 8 PM, or take Sundays off. You’ll feel more refreshed and more productive when you allow yourself some downtime.
5. Celebrate wins
The fifth thing you can do to stay motivated at your job is to celebrate wins. This will all start by breaking down large goals into smaller goals.
Once you do that, you’ll be able o see your progress and celebrate milestones accordingly.
Foster a habit of acknowledging all the good you are doing. Don’t discount the little things. Celebrating yourself frequently will keep you on task and help you stay motivated as you achieve your goals at your job.
6. Read daily
The sixth thing you can do to maintain workplace motivation is to simply read.
Sometimes, when we stop learning new things, we start feeling stuck, like whatever we are doing doesn’t matter. Like we are losing our competitive edge.
There is a solution for that. You pick up a book or an audiobook and read/listen to it.
I recommend the early mornings before everyone is awake. Read for at least one hour a day. If that’s too much, start with 20 minutes a day]and do it for one month.
Develop a belief that reading is the quickest way to success. Besides, the most successful people in the world attribute their success to reading many books (Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Elon Musk).
7. Let go of the things you can’t control
The seventh thing you can do to stay motivated at your job is to simply let go of the things you can’t control.
Feeling like we have lost control of something that we previously thought we had control of is one of the leading contributors to losing motivation in the workplace.
So what if there is someone better than you? So what if someone else is putting in more hours than you?
Those are all things that you cannot control. What can you control?
The quality of your work, doing a good job and being an amazing colleague among other things.
The moment we focus on the things we do have control over, suddenly our motivation comes back to us.
8. Focus on your own progress
The eighth thing we can do to maintain workplace motivation is to simply focus on ourselves and on our own progress with the power of self-reflection.
Who was it who said that comparison is the thief of joy? Well, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they were right!
The grass is green where you water it. Focus on your work and focus on improving on the tasks that you have to do every day, and when someone in the same field has a win, celebrate them.
Your progress is valid!
9. Just do it
The ninth thing we can do to maintain workplace motivation is to simply do the thing that needs to get done. This is according to Bob Win.
He says that to get motivated to start doing something, the most effective trick for him is just to do it.
He says that as soon as you think something needs to be done, jump into it, and do it immediately. You mustn’t think about anything else, suppressing all other thoughts, keeping your mind blank, acting like a robot.
Yes, it sounds weird, but it works!
10. Practice gratitude
The tenth thing you can do to stay motivated at your job is to practice gratitude. This one I can attest to myself. There have even been studies done on the wonders of the power of gratitude.
Gratitude has a way of restoring our focus, and sometimes that’s exactly what we need to regain our motivation.
Because I write from experience, I can tell you for a fact that about three weeks ago I drafted a letter of resignation. I felt as though I had done everything in my power to go back to being the type of team member that I was so proud of, but alas.
No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get her back. I finally hit rock bottom when it occurred to me that I had stopped practicing gratitude.
It seemed silly, even to me, a huge advocate of the practice of gratitude. However, silly as it may be, practicing gratitude is what saved me.
And that’s the thing with motivation. What does it for one person may not do for others and vice versa? For me, nothing else worked. I was drowning no matter what I did, but gratitude saved me, as it has done before.
Gratitude doesn’t have to be the solution to staying motivated at your job, but some of the other pointers might just get the job done.
If you are struggling, and wondering how to stay motivated at your job, you’re not alone. I’ve got you. I hope this helps!