Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt unmotivated or uninspired at work or in your personal life.
We’ve all been there. It’s normal to hit a wall where you aren’t feeling up to doing much more than binge-watching TV, surfing the internet, or scrolling social media. But unfortunately, your to-do list isn’t on the same page. Sometimes you have to find ways to power through feeling unmotivated and get back on track.
With these tips, you’ll be able to jumpstart your momentum and make upward progress. We put together our top motivation tips to help you get more done. Whether you’re looking for personal motivation, remote work inspiration, or you’re a manager looking to motivate your employees, we’ve got you covered.
Top motivation tips for work
Need some inspiration to buckle down and focus on your own work tasks? Try these quick tips.
1. Create bite-sized milestones to help you achieve your goals
When your goals are big (and sometimes unattainable), you may inadvertently demotivate yourself through failure. Break down your goals into bite-sized milestones and accomplishments that allow you to gain momentum over time. Using a framework like SMART goals (where your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) can help you ensure you’re continuously making progress toward the finish line.
2. Set focused time and stick to it
Research suggests that interruptions at work can cost up to six hours per day in time lost. Between task switching and adding more to your to-do list without checking any items off, it’s no wonder interruptions leave us feeling unmotivated and frazzled. Try setting focused work time and sticking to it. Block time off on your calendar (or use the new focus time feature if you’re a Google Calendar user). Silence notifications, change your status on messaging apps, and do your best to stick with the tasks at hand. You can even track your time to hold yourself accountable.
3. Plan your day (including breaks)
When you lose steam during the workday, it can feel nearly impossible to jump back into things if you aren’t sure what you should be spending your time on. Whether you prefer pen and paper, your digital calendar, or some other form of organizing your tasks, allocate time to give yourself the gift of a daily plan. And don’t forget to schedule your breaks, just as you would any other task. Having scheduled breaks gives you free time to look forward to, which can serve as a much-needed incentive when the going gets tough.
Top tips to stay motivated while working remotely
Staying zoned in on your work to-do’s is always a challenge, but that never feels more true than when you’re working from home and surrounded by distractions. Use these strategies to tune out your home-based interruptions and get your work done.
4. Choose a dedicated workspace
Curling up in bed with your laptop while working remotely might feel tempting, but getting too cozy can impact your motivation, even if you enjoy feeling comfortable and relaxed at the time. As best you can, designate a workspace in your home to help you set boundaries between work and your free time. If your home is small and you can’t dedicate an entire room to work, try to find an area (such as your kitchen table) for work-only activities.
5. Build a morning routine that works for you
A recent study suggests that many enjoy working from home or at least in a hybrid environment, but it can be easy to fall into procrastinating starting the workday. Humans are creatures of habit, and building a morning routine can help you get into the flow and feel motivated first thing. Choose activities that will help you set the tone for the day, whether that’s reading a book over coffee, exercising, or spending some time with your loved ones.
6. Stay connected with others
Remote work can feel isolating, and struggling with loneliness can make it challenging to stay motivated. Find ways to stay connected throughout the day, such as collaborating with colleagues and teammates via chat or video call for virtual team building. Consider dedicating time to check in with family and friends on breaks if you work alone or for yourself.
Tips to motivate employees
In charge of a team? Figuring out how to keep them on task without being a micromanager can feel like a tightrope walk. Here are a few tips on how to strike that delicate balance.
7. Recognize your team
One recent study revealed that recognition is the most important driver of great work. Positive feedback feels great, doesn’t it? As a manager or leader, make sure you build in time to celebrate a job well done to keep employees feeling appreciated (and more motivated, to boot).
8. Trust your employees
Micromanagement kills motivation, and little-to-no attention can be demotivating to employees. Instead, strive to achieve a happy medium in which you instill trust in your employees while also providing them sufficient support. Allowing your team members to do their jobs and offering a guiding light when necessary will help ensure employees feel valued and spur momentum.
9. Set a combination of team and individual goals
Don’t let individual-level goals get lost in the sea of departmental or company-wide goals. While businesses need to set goals for their teams, employees likely want to focus on personal growth. Setting individual-level goals tailored to each person can be powerful and motivating.
Motivational tips for personal success
Of course, motivation needs to extend beyond your professional task list. If there’s a more personal ambition you want to achieve — whether it’s running a marathon or sticking to a budget — here are a few more strategies you can use to achieve those meaningful milestones.
10. Set goals you’re interested in
Don’t set goals because you feel you should. Instead, choose goals that excite you and feel relevant to your needs and dreams. There’s nothing more deflating than feeling forced to work on a plan you don’t care about and trying to muster up the motivation to do so.
11. Celebrate yourself
Personal success and goal setting can feel isolating, and the reality is that you have to be your own biggest fan. Rather than turning to external sources of recognition, create a reward system for yourself and celebrate your accomplishments accordingly. Acknowledging how far you’ve come will motivate you to keep inching toward your end goal.
12. Surround yourself with the right resources
You don’t have to embark on the journey to personal success alone. Whether you need a community of like-minded people working toward the same goals or educational materials to help you succeed, utilizing various resources will help you stay motivated, especially in moments when you feel like giving up.
Remember, it’s completely normal to feel unmotivated sometimes — we’ve all been there. Don’t beat yourself up, and instead, try some of these motivation tips to get the ball rolling and get more done.