There are times that I feel like I don't want to do anything at work. How to keep me motivated at what I'm doing?
This is a broad question, so I'll keep my answer general. Motivation depends heavily on personality, but it's rare that the following doesn't have an impact:
- Get paid well (ie. ask for a raise, or find a better paying job)
- Work less & less harder (assuming you're not already doing so little that you're bored)
- Work efficiently, ie. be accomplishing things at work that impact the company (only works if you care about the company and its mission)
- Grow (either be gaining skills that will create good opportunities later, or have some sort of advancement track eg. raises or promotions)
- Have good relationships with your colleagues
Unfortunately, these cannot always be controlled. For example there are entire professions that, important as they are, simply do not pay well - for example, teachers. Or you may be stuck with toxic coworkers and there's nothing you can do to improve your relationship with them. In such situations, the solution is often to change jobs, or change careers. Motivation is a function of how well these factors satisfy your personal expectations, so the most effective thing you can do is to choose your job such that it is well aligned with them to begin with.
What I found very useful is to break down my tasks and think about what value and enjoyment it can bring me. Also it’s worth to write a to-do list and tick or highlight the tasks you completed, I think it’s very motivating to oversee on a day to day basis how much you have achieved.
Reaching out to working colleagues can help boost morale and can have a motivating effect.
Talking to your boss about the opportunity to learn new things also could make it more interesting for you and can shift your mood.
Getting involved in projects can also help.
Alternative if you feel like this for a long time it might worth to think about changing jobs to something interesting what suits your more.
What keeps a person motivated differs for everyon. These are just some tips that have worked for me. But to find your own motivation you have to try to see what works and what doesn't.
I feel like there are three stages of work to be motivated at.
- Starting a task
- Working on a task
- Finishing a task
Starting a task
It is sometimes hard to find the motivation to start a task. A good method to find the motivation to start a task is to cut the task up in tiny pieces. For example if the task is cleaning your entire house it is really hard to start. But when you cut it up in small actions like just throwing out the trash from the kitchen starting becomes way easier.
Another good motivator is a clear goal. Why do you do the task, what do you or the company gain from it? A clear goal is one of the most important motivators.
During the work
While working there are several methods of keeping motivated. You can block parts of your agenda to do one specific task. If you have cut up the task in multiple smaller subtasks you can celebrate each time you finish one subtask.
Finishing a task
It is important to remember that most of the times, when you finish a task, another person is affected by that. Be it a cutomer or a coworker. Keeping that in mind can be a motivator to actually finish a task.
One of the paradox of life is that action is the fuel that powers motivation. Waiting to feel "motivated" before doing something is often counter productive. So start your work, and you will start feeling motivated. A good process for this is to begin the day by listing all the tasks you have to do that day, break it into sub-tasks if necessary, and just start working on the easiest of it (ofcourse, prioritise your work too - if your boss has assigned you some time-bound or important work, start with that first). Some prefer to make this list at the end of the day, for the next day.