There will always be an ebb and flow in the level of motivation you feel at work. Some weeks the projects you are working on seem to play to your strengths and other weeks your tasks feel like a weight on your shoulders.
If you have a sense that your motivation level has been excessively low for some time, it may be time to look for a new role.
But if you are simply going through one of those tough patches, here are a few ideas to keep you focused and positive.
1. Don’t allow your standards to slip
When you’re lacking motivation, it’s easy to let your standards slip. This ends up being a catch-22 situation because the less effectively you perform your role, the less you like yourself and the more de-motivated you become. The simplest way to overcome this is to make a clear decision to begin afresh tomorrow morning and put in a concerted effort to lift your game. It often helps to undertake a simple task to get you started such as tidying your desk.
2. Try to see the value in the project you are working on
If you are involved in a particularly tedious task, try to direct your energy to an aspect of the project that you are more interested in rather than focusing on the things that you find repetitive or frustrating. Sometimes it’s as simple as reframing your view.
3. Clarify your career direction
Talk to your manager, your HR department or a career coach or counsellor about where your career is heading. Getting clear about the big picture helps you make sense of why you’re doing the daily grind.
4. Remember why you wanted this job in the first place
Think back to what appealed to you in the job ad or at your interview. Perhaps you have just stagnated in your role. Perhaps there are training opportunities that would boost your commitment and enjoyment. Are you taking advantage of all of the opportunities available to you?
5. Create an open relationship with your manager
If your manager doesn’t know that you’re struggling, they won’t be able to help. Let them know if your deadlines are too tight or if you feel that your work is repetitive and not challenging. Don’t just assume there isn’t a solution without letting them know you need help.
6. Avoid office gossip
One of the most damaging behaviours in an office environment is to compound your feelings of frustration by speaking negatively about your organisation to your peers. Whilst it is important that you get support, see if you can do this outside of your workplace or better still, try to resolve your frustrations. And put a stop to other people’s negative comments by not engaging in the conversation.
7. Review your personal goals
Are you de-motivated because you feel this role is taking you away from the things that really matter in life? Maybe it’s worth reassessing where you can achieve better balance outside of work…take up a new interest, commit to an exercise program or make time to really enjoy your relationships. It’s important that your life is not all about work.
8. Find ‘your people’ at work
You may find that there are people with similar interests in other departments or areas of your company. Building social networks within your workplace can help you feel a greater sense of connection with your organisation.
9. Develop your confidence
One of the greatest causes of feeling demotivated at work is a lack of confidence in your ability to perform your role effectively. Build your confidence by focusing on what is going well; stretch yourself by doing one small challenging thing each day or adopt the qualities of a role model to help you begin to see yourself differently.
10. If necessary, take a break
If you are finding it hard to concentrate at work because you are dealing with personal issues or if you suspect you might be suffering from depression, take some time off to look after yourself. Visit your GP or talk to a counsellor to get the support you need.