15 Ways To Motivate Yourself at Work and Improve Productivity

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Motivating yourself can be a great way to drive performance results and improve workplace morale. With continued motivation, you can also help foster continued productivity and ensure the output of high-quality work in the long term. Understanding how to motivate yourself and those around you can help ensure the future success of the company and allow yourself and your coworkers to feel a sense of job satisfaction. In this article, we discuss the importance of motivation at work and learn a few ways to improve it.

What is motivation at work?

Motivation at work is the external and internal influences that contribute to job satisfaction and productivity. As a team leader or member, motivating yourself and those in your team can help drive the company toward success. When you need to feel excited to work harder or believe in your value to the company, you can use some motivational tools to help encourage and inspire yourself and your team members.

Related: How To Write a Motivation Letter (With Template and Examples)

Why is workplace motivation important?

Motivation is a significant factor that can influence your performance and productivity in the workplace. When you have motivation, it can mean that you're engaged and passionate about your work. Demonstrating how motivated you are to excel in your job can also have an impact on the way your manager and coworkers perceive you. For example, when you show your enthusiasm to get the job done, you can impress your manager with your dedication to your career. In addition, your enthusiasm and motivation can help support your coworkers who have a hard time keeping themselves motivated.

Related: How To Create KPIs To Boost Performance

What are some motivators at work?

There are several motivators at work. Perhaps one of the most important among them is good communication. Improving communication can reduce errors and confusion in your team and boost performance. Other top motivators at work include challenging tasks, achievement recognition, positive employee experience, and autonomy.

15 ways to improve motivation in the workplace

Here are a few ways that can help you improve your motivation in the workplace:

1. Consider the impact you have

When you need a motivation boost, it can be helpful to consider how your work affects others. For instance, your work may have an impact on certain employees or clients of the company. Understanding your work in a broader sense and how it affects different aspects of the organisation and others' roles can boost your engagement and passion for what you do.

2. Use time management techniques

During your workday, make sure to take short breaks. This can help you quickly refresh and refocus. Consider using the Pomodoro method to manage your time. This time management technique allows you to set timers and notifications and remind yourself to take a break away from your work desk.

Using the Pomodoro technique for staying on track with your tasks is as important as taking regular breaks. For example, you can set a timer to monitor your progress while you're working on a large task. Likewise, if you need to complete brief or smaller tasks, you can set a timer to make sure the task doesn't take you longer than necessary to complete.

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3. Simplify assignment goals

If you have large work goals, such as a long-term assignment or project, divide them into smaller objectives that you can accomplish easily. This can help you streamline your process and come up with manageable steps that can lead to successful results. Making your workload more manageable with small, attainable objectives can help you stay productive and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

4. Prioritise your assignments effectively

Consider prioritising your work according to its urgency. You may complete important tasks first, but urgent tasks usually take precedence. For example, responding to a client request may be an important task on your to-do list for the day, but if your manager assigns you a last-minute urgent task, it's important to have the ability to prioritise it immediately.

Consider taking the time each morning when you go to work to review your tasks and prioritise them according to what you must complete first. You can schedule your most important assignments for earlier in the day. This can give you more flexibility in the afternoon in case an emergency or last-minute task occurs.

5. Give yourself a reward

If you've accomplished your goals, consider rewarding yourself. For example, you can make a goal to improve one of your professional weaknesses within a particular time period. When you meet your objectives, you can reward yourself with something tangible, such as buying a special item or dining out at a fine restaurant. Rewarding yourself when you accomplish one of your objectives can make you excited about completing the next task.

6. Apply constructive feedback

When your manager or supervisor give you constructive feedback, make sure to listen to them actively. For example, if you've created an exceptional financial analysis, but your presentation skills need an improvement when meeting with the company's executive, you can make an action plan to improve your confidence as a public speaker. Initiating your own self-development plan can give you a sense of accountability, which can help significantly improve your motivation.

Related: How To Write a Self-Evaluation

7. Practise gratitude with coworkers

Gratitude can help you reconnect your values and build a good relationship with others. You can practise gratitude at work by recognising when coworkers supported you. You can also give compliments to teammates or simply say "thank you" when a coworker does something for you. This can help you keep a positive attitude and look forward to being in the office.

8. Share your ideas

When you are planning to attend a project development conference or team meeting, you can write down a couple of ideas on the topic so that you can contribute to the discussion. Sharing your ideas can give your team the opportunity to evaluate your concepts and give their insights on your ideas.

9. Take part in team-building activities

Participate in team-building exercises or company events to get more involved with your coworkers. If you have yet to attend a special event such as a birthday celebration, for instance, consider making a plan to attend the next event with your coworkers. Likewise, consider attending regular team training sessions and offer your input and support. This can lead to reciprocity within the team, and you can expand your professional network, which can help you stay motivated in your career.

10. Set professional goals for yourself

When you set your own professional objectives, you can maintain your work accountability and improve your performance. For example, you can set a daily goal to help at least one of your coworkers or set an objective to work on at least one improvement recommendation from your manager. Focus on what you feel can help you improve and excel in your job, as this can help you stay engaged at work.

11. Create visuals for your "to-do" list

Create concept maps or charts to visualise the tasks you have to complete. For example, you can set up your grid to reflect your most urgent assignments or use a bubble chart to divide large projects into smaller tasks. A visual aid can be an effective tool to keep yourself on track throughout the day, making sure you stay focused and productive.

12. Learn from a team leader or mentor

Seek advice from your mentors, such as your manager or team leader. Set a convenient time for both of you to discuss assignment topics, work through brief training sessions, or complete a project together to deepen your understanding of your role. Seeking the help of a mentor can be very beneficial, as it can provide you with the opportunity to strengthen your skills and clarify confusing aspects of your job, which can give a new perspective on your work.

13. Learn a new skill to apply at work

Develop a new technique or skill that you can apply at work. For example, you can learn a new strategy that can help you generate spreadsheets faster or develop a new ability that can give you an advantage. Likewise, focus on improving your soft skills such as customer service, communication, and leadership skills, as your development in these areas can boost your self-confidence, leading to higher motivation, positivity, and morale.

14. Take on new challenges

To challenge yourself, consider taking professional risks. For example, if you've been working for the same organisation for several years, take a risk and offer to preside at the next team meeting. Showing your enthusiasm to take on challenging tasks or higher-level responsibilities can demonstrate your commitment and dedication to your job. This can give you a sense of ownership and pride, which can boost your performance and increase your overall motivation.

15. Set deadlines for assignments you complete

Consider setting timelines for your assignments. Setting deadlines outside of what your superior assigns to you can help keep you focused and engaged in your important tasks. You can set a deadline that's two to three days ahead of your assigned deadline. This can ensure you complete your tasks before the due date while giving you some extra time in case some tasks take longer to complete.

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