For the Unmotivated Individual
Work can be a drag, especially when you find yourself having to do a task that you don't find very appealing. It's tough to find motivation to do mundane, time-consuming tasks that your boss asks you to do.
At times even, you can even start feeling like Peter Gibbons from Office Space, walking around the world with a veil over your eyes wondering, "Whats the meaning of all this?" Only to be snapped back to reality by your boss telling you "You forgot to put a cover sheet on the TPS reports."
Yes, lack of motivation can not only affect your mental state at work, but it can also affect the quality of work you produce. If you're reading this in your cubicle right now, don't worry!
We at TekBotic have compiled a few scientifically verified strategies to keep your head in the game.
#1 Types of Motivation
According to researchers, motivation can be broken down into two basic categories: extrinsic (external) and intrinsic (internal).
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For example, you pay a parking ticket because you don't want to get your car towed. That is an example of extrinsic motivation. When you play your video games late into the night because you want to be the master, that is a form of intrinsic motivation.
#2 Deadlines & Rewards
When you find yourself stuck doing a mechanical task that you don't want to do. It's best to use extrinsic rewards and deadlines to motivate yourself.
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Say you have to paint the whole side of a house in one day, research shows that if you give yourself deadlines for certain portions of the house and take periodical breaks to eat (....or check out the score of the game), you will do a better paint job.
However, setting extrinsic rewards is not always the most effective solution, especially when you are performing a task that requires you to be creative.
#3 Creative Motivation
Trying to get your brain motivated can be the hardest thing to do when performing a work task that requires your intelligence. Generally speaking, researchers say that giving yourself some sort of reward-based motivation doesn't work in this situation.
They say there are 3 steps to motivating your brain to think creatively when you're finding it hard to focus.
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First is control: you must feel in control of the task that is at hand; if that means asking your boss for an extension or giving constructive input regarding the task, it is best to feel like you have a say in it.
Second, find a way that the task improves your skills or helps foster new ones. Honing new skills keeps our brains sharp and on point.
Finally, know the goal of the task you are performing. It is much easier to stay focused when we know that our work has a purpose and that it is tangible.
#4 Customer Satisfaction
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This might seem a little surprising, but research shows that workers who reach out to the people that are affected by their work gain much more satisfaction from their jobs. This also helps with motivation in the workplace when people can see that their work is making a difference.
Now, not everyone works in a business where the fruits of their labor are so tangible, but most people work in businesses that on some level, satisfy a customer's need. If you believe in your heart that what you are doing is benefiting someone else, motivation is easy to come by.
#5 Loss Aversion
Last, but certainly not least on the list of ways to get you motivated at work is Loss Aversion. Remember earlier how I was discussing, rewards and extrinsic motivations?
Well, this falls into the category in a way, but it can actually be far more effective. Think about it, let's say you got a new watch for Christmas, you are obviously extremely happy to have received that watch.
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Then 6 months later you lose that same watch, you are down and distraught about losing it because it belonged to you. Researchers would argue that the feeling you felt when losing that watch was much stronger than the one that you felt when you got it.
It is true on a human level that we take the loss much harder than we celebrate gains. If you can find a way to own your work and make yourself feel that there is loss involved by doing a bad job, you can find all the motivation you could ever need.
Let me know in the comments below what other ways you motivate yourself back to work!
Original Featured Image Source from "@ Work" by Leonardo Rizzi: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stars6/8208965108
Matt Lettieri - Gamertag: ShockerMPH