TSP • @myTSPnet
Do you have a short attention span? Hey did you see that squirrel? Wait…what was I doing?
The good news is you’re not alone. 70% of America’s workforce is distracted while working. Some professionals lack drive in their careers because they have not identified what inspires them. With that said, pinpointing what energizes you can be challenging. But, once you’ve discovered those motivating factors, you can determine the practices that best fit your needs.
Are you motivated by creativity, progress, goal achievement or relationships forged in the office? These driving factors can determine how you navigate your day-to-day life at the office.
MONEY DOESN’T MOTIVATE
Professionals often think monetary incentives are the best motivator. However, studies suggest that financial incentives fail to give workers genuine motivation. Research shows that relying on monetary benefits only temporarily changes behavior and can even lead to dissatisfaction in one’s career. Intrinsic motivation, driven by internal rewards like increased confidence, is more motivating than money.
Oftentimes when we succeed, we fail to relish in the moment and enjoy that feeling of success. Enjoying that feeling and remembering it is critical to finding motivation for the future. After you receive a raise, submit a lengthy report or present a great pitch, reward yourself! Celebrating your smallest wins creates a neurological connection that forges the pathway for future motivation.
When you’re in a rut or it’s crunch time, draw on these positive past experiences to remember your worth. Even if your colleagues or superiors don’t recognize your contributions, your internal recognition will allow you to find purpose in your career. Research shows that internal motivation is more powerful than external validation when it comes to finding value and direction.
KEEP AN IDEA FOLDER
We’ve all had those “aha!” moments of clarity when new ideas arise. But how often do you capitalize on those moments? More often than not people fail to bring ideas to life because it’s difficult to pause current projects to pursue new ideas.
You don’t have to let these ideas go to waste. Start an idea folder of your thoughts and inspirations. As soon as an idea comes to mind, document it immediately. This could be in a tangible list, digital file or even an idea board that you keep in your office. Documenting your thoughts will allow you to implement them more easily.
Sitting at a desk for hours on end is less than motivating, not to mention monotonous. After working for a long period, try taking a 5-minute break to stretch your legs or grab a drink of water. Your time away from your desk will allow your brain to refocus and actually increase your productivity.
One of the best ways to find your inner motivation is through setting goals. Professional development goals can help guide you in the right direction. Finding the desire to continue creating success can sometimes get lost in your daily tasks, so try expressing your goals positively using the SMART mnemonic. Setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals are a great way to keep you motivated throughout your career.
DEFEAT THE BURNOUT OF THE BUSY TRAP
One of the fastest ways to lose motivation is to overwork yourself until you burn out. With countless deadlines and meetings, it’s easy to lose sight of your intentions simply because you lack time to check-in with yourself. To avoid this, carve out time in your day to evaluate your progress.
Additionally, pursue non-work related activities. Read books on topics that interest you, join a sports league or take an art class. You never know what you might learn by getting out of your comfort zone. These new capabilities can then be applied in your professional life. The physiological benefits of pursuing new skills can cultivate new avenues for increasing motivation. Employees who engage in extracurricular events at work report increased self-worth and a strong sense of importance in the workplace.
Even though some jobs can get repetitive, there’s no reason to lose the inspiration and motivation that makes our careers enjoyable and fulfilling. The energizing value of motivation is essential to any successful career.