Let’s face it—not everyone has a jet-setting, adventurous, adrenaline-pumping job description, and after the initial kick and excitement of a new project or a freshly-acquired account in the office, the prospect of going to work can become as stimulating as treading through oatmeal to get there. Motivation can be hard to pull out from the depths of boredom once the novelty fades away. Nevertheless, these little habits can snap you out of your rut and give you that much needed perspective to gear you up for the day, the week, even the entire year!
Put Your Failures Behind You
Contrary to what most people might think, some lose their motivation to be the efficient and productive employee that they truly are, after a particularly bad performance at work. When you see yourself not crunching in the right numbers, or failing to get to your deadlines and causing a lot of delays in the office, most people slow down their progress more, instead of speeding it up. Low morale and a sense of failure combined is enough to bring even the most driven person down.
If it’s you: It may sound easier than it really is, but you just have to simply get over it. Run down a list of what you have achieved and done amazingly at work, and remember that feeling of accomplishment that washes over you once you got that thumbs up from your boss, or that big pat on the back by your colleagues. Committing errors and making mistakes are ideally to be avoided at all costs, but then again you’re only human. Own up to the mishaps that you’ve caused, take the proper measures to correct them, and get going!
If it’s your employee: Motivational speeches and heart-to-heart talks may not be an activity that you can afford doing everyday with your team, but when you zero in on one person getting stuck in a rut at work, it’s always good practice to have you or the immediate supervisor sit down, find out where the kink started, and iron it out before more wrinkles appear. More often than not, reminding your employees of how great they can do their work is just what the deadline ordered.
Reinvent Your Office Routine
Sometimes, even the prospect of doing your usual activities in the office is enough to get you back under the covers. Dreading Mondays—or any other day of the week, for that matter—is all too common for those who have reached a ‘plateau’ in their work environment. There may not be anything necessarily wrong going on, but good old boredom is just as bad in zapping one’s energy than the hottest Australian summer sun.
If it’s you: Change it up! Instead of trudging over to work every morning with heavy feet, try changing a little bit of your morning rituals before heading out, during the drive or commute, before, or after you sit down and start the day. Even if it’s just deciding to take a five-minute walk after lunch, or rearranging your desk, the subtle changes if your environment can refresh your mind and give you a boost of concentration.
If it’s your employee: Any good manager knows that there is not one, black-and-white, standardised manual for maintaining productivity in the work environment. If one method doesn’t take, it’s time to re-evaluate the system. Efficiency-boosting practises, such as the use of mind maps, enable everyone to monitor tasks and projects, and schedule daily, weekly, or monthly assignments, instead of the usual whiteboard meeting routine.
Support is Key
For people who have lost motivation at work, it’s a lot harder to bounce back into the groove of things if you are isolated in your little corner of inactivity. Getting the right support in the office is a great way to jumpstart your productivity and get the results back in.
If it’s you: Ask for help! Don’t request for people to do your job for you, but it’s always good practice to get advice from co-workers when you feel like you’re at the end of your string. Get together outside of work, loosen up, and talk! Make it your reward for reeling in the accomplishments; just avoid talking shop and doing anything in excess. Remember: too much fun is not a good thing either.
If it’s your employee: A great team building program that refreshes your team is very beneficial in sweeping out that lack of motivation and the resulting laziness. Organise activities in and beyond the office walls; get your people taking about their concerns and apprehensions about work in a positive, non-judgemental, and constructive manner. Once the source of the rut is pinpointed, everyone can work on getting it out of the system.