How to Motivate Yourself at Work

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

During this time of year, we hear so many say they have trouble staying motivated when it comes to work. Whether you’re anxious for the holidays and all you must prepare, eager to start a new year, feel heavy by all going on in the world, or are just unhappy with your job, it can be difficult to stay on task and motivate yourself.

According to Gallup, “60% of employees feel emotionally detached from their jobs and 50% report feeling stressed on a daily basis. Around 40% of Gen Zs want to quit their jobs within the next two years, and millennials and Gen Zers have the highest rates of burnout.” (HBR)

“This is not just an HR issue but a bottom line one as well: business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit, while employees who are not engaged cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity, equal to 11% of global GDP.” (CNBC)

As professionals it’s important to recognize you have control when it comes to your motivation at work. Yes, there may be certain things that are out of your control that make you feel stuck or unmotivated, however, taking ownership for your lack of motivation is rewarding and the best way to improve the situation now and in the future.

If you’re feeling disengaged, burned out, or stressed at work, here are some strategies HBR authors suggest you put into practice:

  • Understand the impact of your work – Spend time understanding how your job fits into the bigger picture because every task or project you’re assigned is typically a part of achieving the company’s larger goals.
  • Once you know the impact of your work, pick one area or project and overdeliver – A good way to develop in your role is to identify and prioritize the work that will be most recognized by your manager or organization.
  • Build habits that help you move through stressful moments – “Use the Science of Flourishing to Increase your Well-Being.” Flourishing means that we can connect to a sense of purpose in our lives, experience positive emotions, build relationships with people and communities that matter to us, and recognize and appreciate our accomplishments even in challenging moments and chapters of our lives.
  • Amplify the parts of your job that you do enjoy – Redesign your daily tasks to focus on your strengths. This positive energy will amplify the sense of purpose you feel at work, and likely help you see the meaning in the smaller, less exciting tasks on your plate as well.
  • Figure out what gives you meaning outside work – It’s ok to not always find the meaning and purpose you’re looking for at work. Knowing what we value within the bigger picture of our lives allows us to recognize our needs and articulate them better in and outside of our jobs.

We understand it can feel daunting to motivate yourself when you’re already not “feeling it” at work, but it’s the only way to get unstuck. Not being motivated at work (or in any part of your life) is completely natural and will happen from time to time, and that’s why it’s vital to incorporate daily habits into your life to support you during challenging times.

Here are articles we found helpful on the topic:
Eight Strategies For Tackling A Necessary Task You Don’t Want To Do
How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It
Six Ways To Stay Motivated When You’re Stuck At Work