The other day I had a client come to me with an all-too familiar dilemma: she had lost motivation at work, and in turn her happiness. Studies show employee motivation and happiness are inherently linked, so it was no surprise this client, Amanda, was so affected by her lack of motivation.
The less happy you are at work, the less productive, and your motivation can plummet even further. It’s a terrible cycle that so many people find themselves stuck in.
Lack of motivation at work is a problem for the economy, as well. One study revealed that only 13% of the workforce is actively engaged in their job. That’s one out of eight employees. It’s not the type of data employers want to see, and not good for employee morale, either. Happy employees are good employees, and the effects of going to a job every day that you dislike are crushing.
So how can you regain your motivation, your happiness, and your overall satisfaction? Try these four tips.
- Ask for feedback.
Sometimes, you can get so focused on your work you can lose sight of the little ways you can improve, or even where you’re adding value. Not knowing how you can do better or what you’re contributing can absolutely lead to a lack of motivation.
One way to remedy this is ask your coworkers or leaders for feedback. There’s always room to learn and grow in any professional role, and there’s no one better to help you target specific areas of growth than the people you interact with daily, and who know your work.
- Celebrate others.
If you’re feeling uninspired and stuck, a great way to get yourself out of your rut is to take the focus off yourself and start celebrating others around you. This kind of positive thinking leads to stronger friendships and even improved satisfaction and income.
In fact, studies show employees who have more positive interactions with their coworkers are more productive and engaged with their work. So it’s worth it to take a bit of time to congratulate people on a promotion or completed project, or even just compliment them on a job well done.
- Start saying ‘no.’
It can be so tempting to say yes to everything, especially if you’re feeling unmotivated. After all, wouldn’t it make sense that the more projects you take on or the more events you attend, the more likely you are to find your motivation again?
Unfortunately, saying yes to everything can actually burn you out. Fast. Science shows that saying no can improve productivity and mental health.
If you feel torn between wanting to make someone else happy and wanting to make yourself happy, remember: Saying no to whatever they are asking of you is just another way of saying yes to what you truly want to commit yourself to.
- Take a break!
It can be tempting to want to work through the rut, but this might not be the best course of action. Did you know that Americans leave an average of 3.2 vacation days unused. This habit of not taking a vacation has to stop! Taking that break from work can leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.
In fact, a study by Harvard College showed that 94% of workers who took a vacation stated that they had as much—if not more—energy after coming back from a good trip. 55% confirmed that they returned to work with higher levels of energy than before the trip.
We all fall into motivation slumps in our careers at some point or another.
I’ve been there. I get it.
But knowing how to respond to that lack of motivation is the difference between breaking out of your rut or staying lost. Follow these tips and you might just find your motivation flooding back!