Best Free Secret Ways You Must Take To Stay Motivated In Your Job Now
Best Free Secret Ways You Must Take To Stay Motivated In Your Job Now
Motivation is rather elusive, isn’t it? 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, develop, and instead you find yourself simply going through the motions, barely caring about the work you’re producing. Needless to say, you’re totally uninspired, and you don’t know how to make yourself feel otherwise.
Quora users have been there, and they have real and practical solutions for digging up that lost motivation and getting a job not just done—but completed with a sense of passion. Read on for seven tips and tricks that’ll get you motivated in no time.
1. Don’t Think About it as Hard Work
There is only one way for me to motivate myself to work hard: I don’t think about it as hard work. I think about it as part of making myself into who I want to be. Once I’ve made the choice to do something, I try not to think so much about how difficult or frustrating or impossible that might be; I just think about how good it must feel to be that, or how proud I might be to have done that. Make hard look easy. Marie Stein
Think about it: If the project you’re faced with isn’t viewed as drudgery, but rather as a piece of the puzzle that’s helping you along your career path, then perhaps the energy required to do it will be easier to come by.
2. Create Small, Bite-Sized Goals
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 really big, audacious goal. But make sure you break down that goal 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.
"A feeling of progress and achievement is a beautiful combination". Nelson Wang
You’ve no doubt heard this advice before, but have you applied it to motivation? Completing a large project is daunting when you don’t know where to begin. How can you finish if you don’t even know where you’re starting? So, rather than focusing on a large, scary goal, take one thing at a time, and break the big goal into ideas you can digest one at a time.
3. Read Daily
Make sure you carve out time in your day to read. (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 (habit). Develop a belief that reading is the quickest way to success. It will make reading a breeze, and extremely fun/rewarding (if you’re driven by success).
"The most successful people in the world attribute their success to reading a lot of books (Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Elon Musk)". Curtis Blackmore
Although it may sound counter-productive to set aside reading time when really what you’re looking for is motivation to work hard, sometimes it’s necessary to do something seemingly unrelated to tackle the task at hand. Developing a daily reading habit is one thing that’s likely to have a long-lasting impact on your thought processes, ultimately inspiring you in all areas of your life.
4. Stop Caring About the Things That Don’t Matter
Doing things that don’t mean anything costs [us] a ton of mental energy. Look at your aggregated 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" Nick Miller
Look very carefully and closely at your list, and shave off anything that’s both truly demotivating and unnecessary for you to do. It’s not always best to finish what you started if, down the line, you can’t even remember the reason you started something in the first place.
5. Set a Quit Time
Entrepreneurs tend to stray from the typical 8 to 5 workday, and global accessibility through emails and Skype makes it more than easy to have a 24-hour workday. But 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 down time" Matt Holmes
Raise your hand if you’re motivated 24/7! I didn’t think I’d see any hands. It’s unrealistic to feel energized all the time, to want to plow through tasks all the time. You need to give yourself a rest, and if that means giving yourself a specified set time to unplug or turn away from the demands of your job, then do it. It’s likely to help you perform harder and smarter in the hours that you do allot for work.
6. Just Do It
To get motivated to start doing something, from my own experience, the most effective trick for me is to just do it (sounds trite, but it works). As soon as you think something needs to be done, jump into it, doing it immediately (of course, provided the conditions are feasible). You must not think about anything else, suppressing all other thoughts, keeping your mind blank, acting like a robot.
"Yes, it sounds weird, but it does work! Otherwise, you will debate whether you should do it now or there were too many issues with doing it, or there are other more pleasurable and exciting things to do over this boring task". Bob Win
Now here’s some worthwhile advice: Instead of waiting around, willing yourself to feel motivated, what if you just went ahead and started doing the work you know you need to do? Dive into the project and trust that the focus will be what you need.
7. Celebrate Wins
Start acknowledging all the good you are doing. Don’t discount the little things. I mean, how many times do you scold yourself for doing something small that wasn’t perfect? How often do you think the good things such as being on time, or signing a new client is simply how it’s meant to be? They need celebrating. You need more wins in your life. This will motivate you, encourage you, and help you see how brilliant you truly are. Kai Ashley
If you’re constantly waiting for a long-term payoff, you forget how crucial all the little wins are. And it can be challenging to stay motivated and on top of things if there’s no reward in sight. Treat yourself with small things and don’t underestimate how gratifying it can feel to recognize tiny advancements.
How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It
Motivating yourself is hard. In fact, I often compare it to one of the exploits of the fictional German hero Baron Munchausen: 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. We seem to have a natural aversion to persistent effort that no amount of caffeine or inspirational posters can fix.
But effective self-motivation is one of the main things that distinguishes high-achieving professionals from everyone else. So how can you keep pushing onward, even when you don’t feel like it?
To a certain extent, motivation is personal. What gets you going might not do anything for me. And some individuals do seem to have more stick-to-itiveness than others. However, after 20 years of research into human motivation, my team and I have identified several strategies that seem to work for most people—whether they’re trying to lose weight, save for retirement, or implement a long, difficult initiative at work. If you’ve ever failed to reach an attainable goal because of procrastination or lack of commitment—and who of us hasn’t?—I encourage you to read on. These four sets of tactics can help propel you forward.
Design Goals, Not Chores
Ample research has documented the importance of goal setting. Studies have shown, for example, that when salespeople have targets, they close more deals, and that when individuals make daily exercise commitments, they’re more likely to increase their fitness levels. Abstract ambitions—such as “doing your best”—are usually much less effective than something concrete, such as bringing in 10 new customers a month or walking 10,000 steps a day. As a first general rule, then, any objectives you set for yourself or agree to should be specific.
Goals should also, whenever possible, trigger intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivation. An activity is intrinsically motivated when it’s seen as its own end; it’s extrinsically motivated when it’s seen as serving a separate, ulterior purpose—earning you a reward or allowing you to avoid punishment. My research shows that intrinsic motives predict achievement and success better than extrinsic ones do.
The trick is to focus on the elements of the work that you do find enjoyable.
Take New Year’s resolutions.
We found that people who made resolutions at the start of January that were more pleasant to pursue—say, taking on a yoga class or phone-free Saturdays—were more likely to still be following through on them in March than people who chose more-important but less enjoyable goals. This is despite the obvious fact that aspirations for the New Year are usually tough to achieve; if they weren’t, they wouldn’t require a resolution!
Of course, if the external reward is great enough, we’ll keep at even the most unpleasant tasks. Undergoing chemotherapy is an extreme example. In a work context, many people stay in their jobs for the money, feeling like “wage slaves.” But in such situations they usually do the minimum required to meet the goal. Extrinsic motivation alone is unlikely to help us truly excel.
In an ideal world we would all seek out work roles and environments that we enjoy and thus keep our engagement high. Unfortunately, people often fail to do this. For example, my research shows that when asked whether positive relationships with colleagues and managers are critical in their current position, most people say yes. But they don’t remember that office morale was key to success in past jobs, nor do they predict it will be important for them in the future. So simply remembering to consider intrinsic motivation when choosing jobs and taking on projects can go a long way toward helping sustain success.
In cases where that’s impractical—we don’t all find jobs and get assignments we love—the trick is to focus on the elements of the work that you do find enjoyable. Think expansively about how accomplishing the task might be satisfying—by, for example, giving you a chance to showcase your skills in front of your company’s leaders, build important internal relationships, or create value for customers. Finally, try to offset drudgery with activities that you find rewarding—for instance, listen to music while tackling that big backlog of e-mail in your in-box, or do boring chores with friends, family, or your favorite colleagues.
Find Effective Rewards
Some tasks or even stretches of a career are entirely onerous—in which case it can be helpful to create external motivators for yourself over the short- to-medium term, especially if they complement incentives offered by your organization. You might promise yourself a vacation for finishing a project or buy yourself a gift for losing weight. But be careful to avoid perverse incentives. One mistake is to reward yourself for the quantity of completed tasks or for speed when you actually care about the quality of performance. An accountant who treats herself for finishing her auditing projects quickly might leave herself open to mistakes, while a salesperson focused on maximizing sales rather than repeat business should probably expect some unhappy customers.
Another common trap is to choose incentives that undermine the goal you’ve reached. If a dieter’s prize for losing weight is to eat pizza and cake, he’s likely to undo some of his hard work and reestablish bad habits. If the reward for excelling at work one week is to allow yourself to slack off the next, you could diminish the positive impression you’ve made. Research on what psychologists call balancing shows that goal achievement sometimes licenses people to give in to temptation—which sets them back.
In addition, some external incentives are more effective than others. For instance, in experiments researchers have discovered that most people work harder (investing more effort, time, and money) to qualify for an uncertain reward (such as a 50% chance of getting either $150 or $50) than they do for a certain reward (a 100% chance of getting $100), perhaps because the former is more challenging and exciting. Uncertain rewards are harder to set up at work, but not impossible. You might “gamify” a task by keeping two envelopes at your desk—one containing a treat of greater value—and picking only one, at random, after the job is done.
Finally, loss aversion—people’s preference for avoiding losses rather than acquiring equivalent gains—can also be used to design a strong external motivator. In a 2016 study scientists from the University of Pennsylvania asked people to walk 7,000 steps a day for six months. Some participants were paid $1.40 for each day they achieved their goal, while others lost $1.40 if they failed to. The second group hit their daily target 50% more often. Online services such as StickK.com allow users to choose a goal, like “I want to quit smoking,” and then commit to a loss if they don’t achieve it: They have to donate money to an organization or a political party that they despise, for example.
When people are working toward a goal, they typically have a burst of motivation early and then slump in the middle, where they are most likely to stall out. For instance, in one study observant Jews were more likely to light a menorah on the first and last nights of Hanukkah than on the other six nights, even though the religious tradition is to light candles for eight successive days. In another experiment, participants who were working on a paper-shape-cutting task cut more corners in the middle of the project than they did on their initial and final shapes.
Fortunately, research has uncovered several ways to fight this pattern. I refer to the first as “short middles.” If you break your goal into smaller subgoals—say, weekly instead of quarterly sales targets—there’s less time to succumb to that pesky slump.
Giving advice may be an even more effective way to overcome motivational deficits.
A second strategy is to change the way you think about the progress you’ve achieved. When we’ve already made headway, the goal seems within reach, and we tend to increase our effort. For example, consumers in loyalty programs tend to spend more when they’re closer to earning a reward. You can take advantage of that tendency by thinking of your starting point as being further back in the past; maybe the project began not the first time you took action but the time it was first proposed.
Another mental trick involves focusing on what you’ve already done up to the midpoint of a task and then turning your attention to what you have left to do. My research has found that this shift in perspective can increase motivation. For example, in a frequent-buyer promotion, emphasizing finished steps (“you’ve completed two of 10 purchases”) increased customers’ purchases at the beginning, and emphasizing missing steps (“you are two purchases away from a free reward”) spurred consumption as buyers neared the goal.
This c can work for rote tasks (such as sending out 40 thank-you notes) as well as for more-qualitative goals (becoming an expert pianist). The person writing the notes can gain motivation from reminding herself how many she’s sent until she passes 20; then she should count down how many she has left to do. In the same way, a novice pianist should focus on all the scales and skills she has acquired in her early stages of development; then, as she improves, focus on the remaining technical challenges (arpeggios, trills and tremolos, and so on) she needs to master.
Harness the Influence of Others
Humans are social creatures. We constantly look around to see what others are doing, and their actions influence our own. Even sitting next to a high-performing employee can increase your output. But when it comes to motivation, this dynamic is more complex. When we witness a colleague speeding through a task that leaves us frustrated, we respond in one of two ways: Either we’re inspired and try to copy that behavior, or we lose motivation on the assumption that we could leave the task to our peer. This is not entirely irrational: Humans have thrived as a species through individual specialization and by making the most of their comparative advantages.
The problem is that, especially at work, we can’t always delegate. But we can still use social influence to our advantage. One rule is to never passively watch ambitious, efficient, successful coworkers; there’s too much risk that it will be demotivating. Instead, talk to these peers about what they’re trying to accomplish with their hard work and why they would recommend doing it. My research shows that when a friend endorses a product, people are more likely to buy it, but they aren’t likely to if they simply learn that the friend bought the product. Listening to what your role models say about their goals can help you find extra inspiration and raise your own sights.
Interestingly, giving advice rather than asking for it may be an even more effective way to overcome motivational deficits, because it boosts confidence and thereby spurs action. In a recent study I found that people struggling to achieve a goal like finding a job assumed that they needed tips from experts to succeed. In fact, they were better served by offering their wisdom to other job seekers, because when they did so, they laid out concrete plans they could follow themselves, which have been shown to increase drive and achievement.
A final way to harness positive social influence is to recognize that the people who will best motivate you to accomplish certain tasks are not necessarily those who do the tasks well. Instead, they’re folks who share a big-picture goal with you: close friends and family or mentors. Thinking of those people and our desire to succeed on their behalf can help provide the powerful intrinsic incentives we need to reach our goals. A woman may find drudgery at work rewarding if she feels she is providing an example for her daughter; a man may find it easier to stick to his fitness routine if it helps him feel more vibrant when he is with his friends.
In positive psychology, flow is defined as a mental state in which someone is fully immersed, with energized focus and enjoyment, in an activity. Alas, that feeling can be fleeting or elusive in everyday life. More often we feel like Baron Munchausen in the swamp—struggling to move forward in pursuit of our goals. In those situations it can help to tap the power of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, set incentives carefully, turn our focus either behind or ahead depending on how close we are to the finish, and harness social influence. Self-motivation is one of the hardest skills to learn, but it’s critical to your success.
7 ways to stay motivated
Can't quit your job just yet for the sake of your CV? Or maybe you've been at the same company for years and know that moving on would mean a big drop in salary. People get trapped in jobs for all kinds of reasons. If you want to quit but can't (or at least not yet), here are six ways to stay motivated and make the best of things.
1. Build on the positive
You might not be able to change your job or circumstances, but you can change your mind-set. Rather than focusing on the negative, identify aspects of the role that you do enjoy.
'You're likely to be good at the parts of your job that you enjoy – and doing more of it will boost your confidence and help you to stay positive,' says Sarah Archer, career coach and co-founder of CareerTree.
'Talk to your boss (unless they are the reason you hate your job), and see if there is any opportunity for you to get involved in different projects and take on more or less responsibility depending on what is making you unhappy. Most managers want to keep good staff and should be open to reviewing workload or job focus.'
2. Modify your role
Don't like a single thing about the job? Think about what you would enjoy doing, even if it's not currently within the remit of your role.
'Maybe you could offer to train or induct new recruits, write some content for the social media sites, or organise a social event,' suggests Corinne Mills of Personal Career Management and author of Career Coach.
'Alternatively, you might put forward a business case for spending time with another department or a customer or supplier, to strengthen relationships or improve processes. At the very least, it will give you a change of scene.'
3. Develop new skills
When you feel stuck or like you are stagnating, Corinne's advice is to turbo-charge your skills development. 'Look out for training courses, find a mentor or coach, or take an evening class. Learning new things will improve your employability and boost your morale.'
See if you can get your employer to fund some training. Even if there's no budget, there are things you can do that cost very little or nothing.
'Join professional forums and get yourself to conferences. As well as updating your knowledge and expertise, meeting new people who are enthusiastic and positive about their work can be a breath of fresh air.'
4. Consider volunteering
Doing a job you hate can chip away at your self-confidence, particularly if you've been in the same role for years. Volunteering is one way to remind yourself that work can be worthwhile and exciting.
'Many organisations will arrange employer sponsored volunteering where you work with charitable projects supported by the company, or you could consider volunteering in your spare time,' says Corinne.
'Get involved in something that you really enjoy or feel is worthwhile. A positive work experience can do wonders for your self-esteem – and that can have a knock-on effect on the way you view your current job.'
5. Surround yourself with positive people
Are your lunch buddies supportive and encouraging or the office moaners?
While your colleagues don't have to pretend to love everything about the company, they should have some positive things to say about the job some of the time.
Sarah says: 'Spending time with people who constantly complain will only bring you down. Surround yourself with positive people for the sake of your mental health, if not your motivation – and make sure you are engaged in enjoyable and positive activities outside of work too. Whether that's seeing friends or having a hobby or interest that absorbs you, it will give you some balance and make things seem more bearable.'
6. Plan your exit
Even if you can't leave just yet, planning your exit can improve your mood.
Corinne says: 'Brush up your CV and Linkedin profile, start networking and contact agencies. Maybe an opportunity will come up which is too good to miss.'
Even daydreaming about your escape can help. Sarah reveals: 'When I was in a particularly stressful job I used to dream about being a ceramic artist with my own studio. While I knew it wasn't realistic, the fantasy kept me buoyant and allowed me to see an alternative future.
I didn't become a potter, but I do now run my own business!'
Corinne goes one step further and suggests expressing your entrepreneurial spirit by starting a business in your spare time. 'This might be an online retail site, a part-time franchise opportunity, or providing services like tutoring or translation. Perhaps you can run this alongside your main job until it's bringing you in enough revenue to quit your day job?'
It's easy to feel stuck in a rut when you hate your job. But the more opportunities you see for yourself - and take steps to create - the more positive and motivated you will feel.
7 Ways to Stay Mentally Strong When You Hate Your Job
Don't let your job sap you of the mental strength you need to think, feel, and act your best.
Trudging into a job you don't like day after day can take a serious toll on your well-being. If you really hate your job, your disdain is likely to affect your personal life too.
Perhaps you spend Sundays dreading Monday--which causes you to lose precious minutes of your weekend. Or maybe you arrive home from work every day in a bad mood and it's affecting your relationship with your family.
It's no surprise that being at a job you hate can drain you of mental strength. But, you can take steps to stay as strong as you can even when you find yourself in tough circumstances.
1. Focus on the things you can control.
Although you might be tempted to perseverate on the fact that your boss is a jerk or that your company has ridiculous policies, don't waste your precious energy on things you can't control.
Focus on controlling how you respond to the people and the circumstances you find yourself in. Put your effort into managing your emotions, speaking up, and responding to issues in a productive manner.
2. Establish healthy boundaries.
If you're growing resentful of a co-worker who monopolizes your time or you're getting angry with someone who tries to take credit for your work, it's a sign that your boundaries have been violated.
It's uncomfortable to speak up and say things like, "I am not going to continue this conversation," or "Actually, I'm the one that finished that report," but it's important to set limits on the behaviors you aren't going to tolerate.
3. Only complain to people who can help.
Commiserating with your co-workers for a few minutes might feel good for a minute, but complaining to people who can't do anything to fix the situation could do more harm than good.
A 2015 study found that when employees complained about someone to a colleague, their moods plummeted and their engagement declined for two days. Rehashing a difficult experience with a co-worker causes it to stick in your mind even longer.
If you need help dealing with someone, go to a supervisor or HR. Talk to someone who can help address the issue if necessary.
4. Use your lunch break wisely.
If you need help dealing with someone, go to a supervisor or HR. Talk to someone who can help address the issue if necessary.
5. Get plenty of sleep and exercise.
If you're mistreated by your colleagues or your boss, research says you're more likely to mistreat your loved ones when you arrive home.
According to a study conducted by the University of Central Florida, the best way to avoid taking out your frustrations on your family is to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Individuals who were physically active and who got the most sleep were less likely to mistreat their families after being mistreated by a difficult co-worker.
6. Find a friend.
Make a close friend at work and you'll boost your workplace satisfaction by 25 percent. Even if nothing else changes, having a close friend you chat with in the hallways can help you feel better about your job.
7. Establish an exit plan.
A toxic work environment will wear you down over time--no matter how strong you are. Create a clear exit plan that identifies when and how you'll leave.
So if you dislike your job, you need a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you decide you'll look at other options once your student loans are paid off or you agree to stick with it for another year to see if you can transfer to another department, don't resign yourself to 40 hours of misery each week for life.
Sometimes people think that strength is about powering through anything--even toxic, unhealthy situations. But, quitting your job isn't a sign of weakness. It's often a sign of strength.
It's important to create an environment that is conducive to build mental strength. If, despite your best efforts, your job is wearing you down, change your environment. Getting a new job--or launching a new career--might be key to building the mental muscle you need to reach your greatest potential.