How to Apply Self-Motivation in the Workplace

Monday morning, 6 am, your clock is calling and - what do you think then? “Oh God, I can’t wait for Friday,” or do you just wake up with good energy and the thought, “It’s going to be a good week”! Are you motivated enough to work and be productive, effective, and fully engaged? Have you ever thought about your motivators? Have you ever considered why some people are unmotivated? This article will discuss why people lose motivation, tips on overcoming a lack of motivation at work, and examples of how to boost your self-motivation.

What do motivate people? 

To begin the discussion about motivation, it’s worth recalling Maslow's theory of needs.

The pyramid explains five levels of human needs that allow you to feel fulfilled. This psychological concept can help you understand if your needs are met in your workplace. The list starts with the most basic necessities and goes to more advanced requirements. According to the pyramid, the aim is to achieve the fifth level of the hierarchy. But previously, you needed to fulfill the lower levels. Without them, you cannot progress because of a lack of motivation. 

To reach the top, you must be self-actualized - you understand your skills, abilities, and what you desire. When you feel safe and supported and have a sense of belonging, the result is that you are more engaged and motivated in the workplace.

So, while wondering about motivation to work, answer yourself - are the previous pyramid levels fulfilled? Yes? So let’s move on.

Motivation to work

When you have the motivation to work, you push yourself to go on. It’s like an internal desire to do more, achieve, develop, create, and inspire. For example, you got a new task from your manager and didn’t know how to start. Your self-motivation drives you to take action, discover the topic, and move forward. Self-motivation is a determination to complete a task efficiently. Do you know the feeling that you have the power to move mountains, that you are fully into what you do, and that you spread positive energy? For sure, you know what it means to have the motivation to do a great job at work! 😎

Why is motivation at work so important?

We spend at work most of our life. So we should take full advantage of what we do. Motivated employees can do more, are more productive, and intend to do their best job. Motivation drives you to develop, introduce ideas, and achieve your goals. You just go to work with a smile. Only positives, aren’t they?  

The topic of motivation can appear at different moments in our professional life. Even during the interview, you can hear the question: what is your motivation to work? I’m curious about your answer 🤔

📚 Learn more: dive deeper into the recruitment area and check 5 Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression.

Lack of motivation to work: what does it mean, and what are the reasons? 

Lack of motivation, in many cases, means lower engagement at work. Let's check how engaged employees are worldwide. As learned from the State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report

With only 21% of employees engaged at work and 33% of employees thriving in their overall wellbeing, most would say that they don't find their work meaningful, don't think their lives are going well or don't feel hopeful about their future.”

Diving deeper into specific areas, we observe the highest percentage of engaged employees in the US and Canada - it’s 33%, 

but the region with the lowest engagement - Europe - is only 14%. 

These numbers are not so optimistic. And there is a question, why do people lose motivation and engagement

Losing motivation to work

Lack of motivation is not about laziness. When unmotivated, you have no energy to act; you feel no sense. You are lost and constantly feel like a fish takenout of water. One person may be distant; the other may be loud and deny everything. But it’s not about the style of work. The point is somewhere more profound. 

The reasons why people have no motivation to work are various; it can be:

  • lack of impact,
  • lack of development,
  • too many tasks,
  • toxic atmosphere, 
  • work-life imbalance,
  • dissatisfaction with work conditions,
  • unfairness in the workplace, 
  • life changes, 
  • fear or threat,

and…. unfortunately, the list is open, and we can add more examples of personal and professional reasons for being unmotivated. You are probably asking yourself: what to do in such situations and how to regain motivation at work?

Tips on how to work on self-motivation

As Steve Jobs said, 

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it”

And everything begins with motivation. I want to focus more on it and give you simple tips for improving work motivation. Let’s discuss them in detail:

#1 Identify your desires and talents

It’s crucial to know your needs and the things that make you happy. There should be an alignment between your work and your desires. You can find it by reflecting on what you feel, what makes you happy, and what makes you more satisfied. 

At Tidio, for example, we use the Reiss Motivation Profile tool to diagnose our employees’ needs. If they know their desires, it is easier to set goals. Reiss shows the areas we want to pursue ourselves and those we are subconsciously looking for. And it helps to rank our needs according to their importance. 

Another thing that can help you to find motivation is knowing your talents better. What do you think you are an expert in? If our employees at Tidio feel unsure about it, we provide them with Gallup sessions. It gives a basic understanding of your innate talents and how you can succeed. You can know more about yourself; it can improve your self-awareness and gives you a better understanding of your contribution. 

Putting it all together may be helpful while working on self-motivation. Have you ever been supported by any of those methods?

#2 Set your goals 

Setting goals is essential for thinking about your future and motivating yourself to turn your plans into reality. When you know what to do within what period, it is much easier to drive yourself to take action and apply your time and resources to make progress. When you set an objective for yourself, you should include each step necessary for success. And remember to do them SMART.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

For example, instead of "to create an interesting blog", try to set this goal SMART "to write 3 SEO-optimized articles based on the audience's intent in 3 months." Which one sounds more motivating to you?

#3 Take a break and recharge

Sometimes the easiest things are the best. If you feel stuck with the task and don’t know what to do and how to do it, try to reset it for a moment. Take your dog for a short walk, take a deep breath, look in front of you and just think about nothing. And maybe after such a break, your head will be full of new ideas and ready solutions. It’s a small step; you only need to do it!

Same goes for longer breaks... do you go on holiday regularly or tend to avoid long breaks? The first option is the only reasonable answer! Two weeks of holiday can do a lot for your mentality. Vacation is an essential part of work-life balance. It’s like a reset to our system. Changing scenery breaks the monotony and boosts positive energy. Going somewhere helps you to keep your distance and look at your problems from a different perspective.

#4 Look for inspiration 

Get outside the boundaries of your knowledge and learn something new. Reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching a webinar, or learning ten words in a foreign language may be a rich source of inspiration. Why don’t we start a day by scrolling LinkedIn or Twitter? Try to find your creative idols and gain motivation from them!

💡Learn more: check the list of 35 Best Books for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs - have you found something interesting? 

#5 Reward yourself

Have you ever tried to celebrate your smaller or bigger success? Have you bought a gift for yourself after completing the project? Have you done something just for yourself when you got a promotion? If not, try to introduce a personal reward system. This easy method may be beneficial in boosting your motivation.

For instance, if you are a bookworm, your reward could be buying a new book after completing a project. Or, if you're a social person, your reward could be an e-coffee call with a coworker. 

Such a method is small but can push you when needed. Maybe it does not sustain you for a long time, but why don’t we try?

#6 Introduce healthy habits

It’s important to take care of your health. A huge component involves getting enough sleep every night, at least 7 hours. Try to stick to a sleep schedule, and then you will feel more relaxed and concentrated the next day. 

Next, pay attention to what you eat. Avoid unhealthy snacks during the day at work, like sweet bars and cola, and replace them with bananas and nuts. It makes so good for your brain!

Another thing is sport activity. It can be training or a walk. Or, if you don’t like jogging, swimming, or cycling, maybe you should consider meditating. Take some time to sit, be still and breathe. You can do it wherever you are, but the results may be surprising! 

All those healthy practices may boost your energy and positive vibes. The hardest is the first step, but later on, it becomes addictive, trust me!

#7 Get rid of distractions

Get rid of anything that might distract you. First, face the here and now and consider what is blocking you. Maybe it’s a Slack notification that interrupts you? Or a phone that is vibrating? You can easily handle it! If you need to focus on one task, turn off the notification on the communicator, block a specific website, or mute your phone. Eliminating distractions can help you stay focused. The faster and more efficiently we complete tasks, the more motivated we feel.

#8 Ask for help

Sometimes there is no shame in admitting you need someone help you move on. In moments of overwhelming challenges or when struggling to maintain motivation, reaching out to a professional can be crucial. Whether through therapy, career coaching, mentorship, or skills training, seeking support shows strength and commitment to personal and professional growth. Don't hesitate to ask for help when needed—you deserve support on your journey to a fulfilling work life.

Ready to motivate yourself? 

We got it! 👏 We went through the list, and it seems you’re self-motivated and know how to improve your motivation at work! 

And now, I have a question: do you know someone who lost the motivation to work? 

Maybe it’s time to inspire others who struggle with low motivation to work, help them to improve their work efficiency, and help them become meaningfully engaged with their work. I’m sure you're ready to deal with it 😍

If you want to chat about motivation or share your story, reach out to me!

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