4 Easy Ways to Increase Motivation

You’re on the way to work in the morning, performing mental gymnastics, overwhelmed with the thought of when and how you’re going to finish everything on your to-do list and you’ve barely even stepped out of the driveway.

Sounds familiar?

4 Easy Ways to Increase Motivation at Work

Situations like these arise when there is a mismatch between your motivation and energy levels but with these simple tweaks you will have a fresh perspective on how to tackle even the most challenging of days and increase motivation at work.

1. Write Out Your Goals for the Day

Your motivation is going to fluctuate throughout the day so relying on an honor system for finishing all your intended tasks can be an even bigger zapper of your precious mental energy. Instead, begin each day by writing down your top 3-5 goals and then refer back to your list throughout the day. This visual reminder can serve as an added incentive to complete the tasks you set out to do.

2. Align Your Difficult Tasks with Peak Energy

For years I tried to incorporate regular exercise into my life (Zumba, hot yoga, good or running on the treadmill) but after a few weeks, I would inevitably find myself back on my couch in the evenings, the thought of working out the furthest thing from my mind. It didn’t dawn on me until much later that I was always trying to hit the gym in the evenings after putting in 8-10 hours at work, which made it much easier to justify skipping my workout session. I now wake up early three days a week and exercise first thing in early mornings are when I’m most alert and energized.

Once you’ve written down your goals, identify which one or two are going to require the most effort to complete and then do your best to tackle those when you’re feeling the most energy.

3. Be Compassionate

We all have moments in our day when it seems like all we’re doing is falling behind. When these moments arise, give yourself the opportunity to acknowledge what may not be working or why you’re frustrated. Once you have done this, it will be easier to come up with an alternative strategy. Remember that there is always an opportunity to tackle a problem at a later time. 

If you learn from the less than ideal moments and celebrate your small wins over time you will more easily cope with the inevitable setbacks or change of plans that can contribute to becoming more easily distracted and less motivated.

4. Reward Yourself

The human brain does surprisingly poor with drudgery. Staring at the same file over and over gain on your computer may be necessary to get your work done but it is also a very easy way to become unmotivated. Achieving the goals you set out for yourself will prompt your brain to release dopamine, a chemical which boosts memory and improves focus.

Go one step further and reward yourself for following through on your commitments to your work, your family and importantly, yourself. After all being human is hard, and some days just making it through is a win.

What’s your go-to strategy for tackling a difficult day and increase motivation? You can share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the section bellow.

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Monica Lannom

Monica Lannom is a PhD candidate in Biology. When she is not doing research or chasing after her dogs she writes about careers, productivity and balanced living on her website www.fullerlifemakeover.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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