We all know that feeling of apathy we get from a job that isn’t going anywhere. This happens when we think that the job we’re at is not worth our time or there’s no vertical growth for us. This feeling could come from a variety of outside forces – management, coworkers, improper compensation; however, many people don’t take the time to look in the mirror and see that the biggest ceiling we face day-to-day is ourselves.
When we’re put in situations that make us feel hopeless or trivial, we think negative thoughts to ourselves as a type of escapism or defense mechanism. Negative self-talk can be extremely damaging to our confidence, leaving us less motivated to succeed and unhappy in our jobs. That said, it is important to identify when we are being overly negative or critical to ourselves so that we can snap out of it and get back to being our motivated selves! Here is a list of practices to use when you notice yourself feeling unmotivated at work:
So often in our jobs, we focus on the long term benefits or wins, and we’re not happy in the meantime while we wait for that long-term goal to be complete. Instead, we should take a step back and look at all of the little things you do every day. End your workday by making a list of everything you got done; look over the list and think about how much time and effort each task took; then, reward yourself for doing a good job, even if it’s something you do daily. By looking at success on more of a micro level, we can train ourselves to think of our “easy” tasks as a job well done.
Another good way to be more motivated at work is to take periodic breaks to do something you like to do. Consider using your 10-minute or lunch break to read a little bit of your book or take a walk around the block. Taking breaks to focus on yourself helps you find a balance in your psyche, leading to overall motivation to get your tasks done. This works especially well if you find yourself stressed out in the morning. Even if you think you have no time to take a break because you have so much to do, take the break anyway. At the end of the day, you will not regret the feeling of relief you got after you took a little break to unwind.
Motivation comes and goes. Remember this nuance about motivation when you feel like you’re in a slump. One day you may feel very motivated and work for 10 hours straight without a drop of sweat, but another day you may have a hard time finding the motivation to even get out of bed. In the latter situation, remember that this state is not fixed and this feeling is natural for everyone. While it may seem that your peers are constantly in a motivated and positive state, that is not the case. It is completely natural to have your motivation come in and out of your life like a tide, so remember that your feelings are valid and acceptable.
Whether its simply answering an email or sending an invoice out to a client, try to think of a positive outcome for your tasks. Make bullet points under your to-do list that each say a positive thing that will occur after the list is done. This will help illustrate that what you’re doing is worth your time and that it should be done by no one else but you. This practice will help you notice more positive things and keep you motivated to get more things done.