When Coffee Isn’t Enough – How to Stay Motivated
Have you ever worked on a project or been in a job where you have little to no motivation to see it through? That spark you once had is long gone, yet you continue slogging on, day after day.
We have all been there. Many times.
So how do you find your motivation to get out of your rut? There is no magic formula, as what inspires each of us is different.
While some people are inspired by money, the majority are motivated by things money can’t buy.
- Positive relationships with coworkers and/or leadership
- A respectful and supportive workplace culture
- Opportunities to learn and develop
- Meaningful (and supported) work-life balance
Here are some tips to help you figure out how to stay motivated.
Step One – Take Stock
Start by taking stock of what motivates you, reviewing the list above. Do any of these bullets reflect your current work environment? If so, how many? If not, jot down some points on what your ideal work environment would look like.
Step Two – Find Your Motivation
Get clear on what would motivate you. Think back to a job or a project you were excited about. What was it that peaked your interest? How did you feel when you came to work in the morning? What was your performance like when you were working on something you enjoyed?
Step Three – What Needs to Change
Looking at your current situation, do any of the elements exist that will help motivate you? Or has the time come where the organization or work no longer fits who you are as a person or professional? It’s okay. As we grow and develop, there comes a time when we’ve outgrown our current job, friendships or even expectations we had of what our career path should look like.
Step Four – Own the Change
So here’s the hard part for many people. Taking responsibility for change. Only you know how to stay motivated. No one else can do this for you. Maybe you need to take a course (improve or refine your skill set). It could mean changing departments or roles inside of the organization (if you like the corporate culture but not your immediate working group). Or it could be brushing up your resume and looking for a new job. Whatever change is needed, it is for you to make. Just you.
Step Five – Ongoing Check-ins
Don’t just do this exercise once, get complacent by a steady paycheque or pension plan. Rather, continue having honest conversations with yourself. Have the changes you’ve made improved your motivation? How much? Are you inspired by the work you do? If yes, congratulations. But if you’re still not fully satisfied (life’s too short to live in drudgery), dig deeper.
I encourage you do this check in at least twice a year (might as well start now). Otherwise, you could find years have gone by and one day you wake up wondering why you aren’t happy, and how you got to this place.
By knowing what motivates you, you can make sure it’s a part of your everyday life – both personally and professionally.
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