Five Ways to Stay Motivated at Work

Last year, a Gallup survey found nearly 1 in 4 employees feels burned out, either always or often.  While a lack of motivation may not always be caused by feeling “burned out,” there is little doubt that finding it difficult to stay motivated at work is a common issue. Fortunately, it is an issue that can be reduced, especially if managers and employees recognize the symptoms and work together to find answers.

Ways to Be Proactive and Rebuild Motivation

  1. To stay motivated, guard against distractions. One busy educator said that when she stopped checking her phone or computer several times an hour, her ability to focus and stay motivated improved.
  2. Another way to stay motivated is to build upon a technique used by speed reading instructors. Surprised?  It is a technique known as “chunking.”  Those learning speed reading use the technique to train their eyes to see words in groups of three or four “chunks” at a time.  This is how speed readers learn to read at several hundred words per minute; it is also how individual workers can gain motivation. By breaking tasks or work assignments into manageable “chunks.”  Focusing excessively on each step of a process can seem overwhelming.
  3. Verbalize your goals to a trusted fellow worker or friend. Researchers have found that making a promise, especially to someone else, is a good way to increase chances of sticking to a plan.
  4. Tackle the toughest work problems when you are at your best. For many, this might be in the morning. Then, at lunch, take a walk for a change of pace.  Once you consciously set a pattern and do it for several days, you may find those new ways to structure your day that will help with sagging motivation.
  5. If managers are open to discussion or if you are a manager, consider issues that zap productivity and motivation. Key issues are worker overload from understaffed departments, workplace unfairness, lack of worker control over assigned projects, no positive recognition and rating systems that pit workers against their fellow employees.

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