How do you feel when your alarm clock rings in the morning: enthusiastic or apathetic? If you choose the second option, you are not alone. In fact, 55% to 80% of people view their work as a chore rather than an activity they enjoy, says Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, PhD, scientific director of The Greater Good Science Center, in an article. Four keys to happiness at work . If you often wake up with the second answer in your head, it’s time to implement techniques to increase your motivation to work and keep growing in your professional career.
The concept of work motivation
Motivation at work consists of “the process by which people, in performing certain activities, develop abilities that lead to the materialization of certain goals to meet needs and/or expectations,” according to the definition compiled by N. Delgado in ” Teaching. Styles .
These efforts will depend on more or less satisfaction received, or, in other words, your future behavior will be one or the other depending on whether the initiation was worth it. According to Javier Mahillo , professor at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) specializing in education, work motivation is “the first step that leads us to action. Without it, people do not function, do not develop and do not improve.
Hence its importance in the professional sphere, where aspects such as relationships with superiors, recognition, growth opportunities, work environment and work flexibility are among the top five elements affecting employee motivation, as reflected in TinyPulse’s “Employee of the Year 2019” report. Participation Report .
Types of motivation at work.
Now, following what researchers Edward L. Desi and Richard M. Ryan suggest in their book Self-Determination Theory (2017), there are two fundamental types of work motivation:
- External : occurs when the motivation to act is triggered by external factors such as a pay raise, promotion, or social recognition.
- Intrinsic: This is the kind of motivation that is born from internal factors, that is, when you are striving to achieve something for mere personal satisfaction.
Both sources of motivation influence job involvement and job satisfaction. However, since extrinsic motivation is created by stimulus that is beyond your control, it is advisable to focus on intrinsic motivation by working on intrinsic stimuli that you can control yourself.
Why is it important to go to work motivated?
The reason to focus on this aspect is that when you are motivated, you get important benefits, among them:
- Efficiency. When you are passionate about a project, you don’t mind putting your knowledge and time into it so that the work is much more efficient.
- Efficiency . Likewise, if you feel satisfied with your work, the chances of achieving your goals increase dramatically.
- Productivity . Given this greater efficiency and effectiveness, when you are involved in your work, your productivity increases by 12%.
- Energy . Likewise, having an exciting goal is synonymous with enthusiasm and energy. Why do you feel more invigorated when you have a task in front of you that you enjoy?
- Stress Management . If you are in a state of demotivation, any obstacle seems insurmountable; instead, motivation allows you to have a more positive perspective, understand obstacles as opportunities and cope better with stress.
- Interpersonal Relationships . Among the benefits of work motivation is also that it increases cooperation and teamwork .
- Job success . As a consequence of all of the above, if your work motivation is high, the likelihood of the success you will achieve is higher.
10 ideas for staying inspired in spite of difficulties
Regardless of the situation, the following clues can help when it comes to regaining motivation lost at some point.
If you apply them to your life, you may notice how little by little you regain a state of flow and things begin to get better.
1. Think about why.
It is important to remember that everything has a reason for existence, a purpose, whether you are in the middle of a big project or a small task.
Sometimes it’s hard to discover, but discovering it can help revive that motivation to complete the project you started. If you finally can’t find a good reason to do something, it may well be that you just shouldn’t do it).
2. Think about what you’re losing.
This completely contradicts the previous point and is an alternative to it. Instead of thinking about what you might gain, think about what you might lose if you don’t get the job done . A somewhat negative way to motivate yourself, but if it helps to energize you, it’s probably not a bad idea.
3. Try to make it fun.
It is quite possible that you are in the middle of a very boring task, and you may want to give it up. But if you have the opportunity, you can turn this little fun task into a very interesting one .
Personally, I try to avoid administrative tasks as much as possible, but if I have no other option, I take my iPod and make a good playlist and that way the time flies by. Don’t limit yourself, just let your creativity and imagination run wild.
4. Check your progress
Try to make some kind of chart or find a way to evaluate your performance in relation to the goals you have set for yourself, this way you can also anticipate any unforeseen event. There is nothing more motivating than achieving the goals you set for yourself and being able to prove it.
On the other hand, they will also provide you with very valuable information, since the graphs or the method you choose will motivate you to keep fighting for your goals.
5. Divide your work into very specific and clearly defined tasks.
Spend some of your time thinking about the project you’re doing and try to break it down into smaller activities that will be easier for you to handle.
We know that a large project can be very unwieldy, and this process of “decomposition” will help you control the project and see your goals more clearly. Also, every time you mark a task as completed, your brain is instantly motivated to keep going.
6. Start doing something right now
Don’t stay idle, choose a task and start as soon as possible. The fact of starting is enough to overcome the resistance your brain has to start something.
Working for a few minutes will help you get rid of your fear . And when you work at it, you start to feel good about doing what you have to do, and it encourages you to keep going. It all generates a kind of inertia, everything gets in place so that you can satisfactorily accomplish this task.
7. Plan your time.
Many times we rush when calculating the time needed for a particular project or task, we are very optimistic in this aspect . But this usually happens because we do not have the necessary information at hand and because unforeseen events can always happen.
When we set a deadline and see that we cannot meet it, we tend to get discouraged and blame ourselves for failure and irresponsibility. But what to do in such a case? Be realistic in your planning, revise and change your estimates as more information becomes available .
8. Treat yourself.
You deserve it! Arrange with yourself to reward yourself for completing a certain task or for success on a big project. Do you like to go for walks, eat good food, read good books?
9. Look for a second hand.
I don’t mean that you’re looking for someone to do the work for you, but someone to give you extra motivation, someone to give you that last push.
It’s probably happened to you that you have difficulty motivating yourself or finding that motivation on your own . So someone with values, responsibility and ambition in your life can be the push and the support you needed. Find that person and rely on them! You also have other options, such as finding outside support in online communities, general interest forums, blogs, etc. You will get constant motivation.
10. Get away from it all.
If you’ve already tried all of the above and it hasn’t worked for you, it will mean that you’re going through a tough time. Take a few days off, travel, make plans with your family and don’t think about anything work related . You need to pull yourself together and meditate.
Don’t feel guilty about not working during that time. In fact, this relaxing time will help you come back with recharged batteries and give the company a new atmosphere of innovation and creativity.
Finding a job is not an easy task. You know it well, and that’s why you’re here. Now this is far from utopia, and if you do it right, you can achieve it without any problems. You will need large doses of effort, persistence and a very positive attitude. Trust me when I tell you that attitude is very important.
You also need to break with your beliefs that you can’t get a job today because governments are doing very poorly and because there are a lot of crises. Many of these beliefs cause you to settle for the easy and simple. Conformist and vague guidelines are set in your mind that do not help you improve at all. As I told you earlier, finding the job you want is up to you, and the sooner you realize this, the better for you.
Change your reference points and be inspired by people who have achieved the same thing you want to achieve. These should be your reference points, so break your conformist paradigms and keep moving firmly toward your goal.