You’ve been in your role for a while. Do you ever feel like:
- Your motivation can be a little like the weather: up and down?
- Work has become routine and you’re going through the motions?
- You’ve lost your mojo and you’re not sure how to get it back?
- You’ve disconnected from the potential you originally saw in your role?
If you’re thinking yes, then you definitely need a motivation boost. You want to reconnect into your role. But how?
You need to regain a sense of meaningful progress
The highest motivator at work is having a clear sense of progress. Researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer discovered the progress principle when they researched workplace factors that influenced motivation at work¹.
Making small wins counts – a lot
Their research found that out of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important thing is a sense of making progress in meaningful work. In other words, when you can see how your effort is making a difference and contributing to progress, you are more likely to invest effort into the work. Whether you are trying to create a major scientific breakthrough or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress—even a small win—can make all the difference in how you feel and perform.
You’re tuned in to want a sense of progress
Think about a time when you’ve had a vague, complex or challenging task. Instead of focusing on that task you suddenly find yourself remembering other little things to do instead, or you focus on getting through your recent emails. Why? Because completing simple tasks gives you a sense of progress: 50 emails down to 30 – it feels good!
Here are some ways to focus on making meaningful progress and getting your mojo back:
- Be clear on what your goals are and what’s expected of you
- Make sure you have the autonomy to create opportunities that you own, drive and deliver
- Know what ‘nailed it’ performance looks like for a project and create milestones around it that keep you on track
- Ask for feedback so you can learn from problems and successes
- Bring an attitude that’s positive and enthusiastic
- Create space to think critically and creatively so your best ideas flow
- Set up your day by focusing on important tasks first. Block out your diary for the important stuff and learn how to say no to requests that will distract you.
- Take time to self-reflect on the progress you are making. Identify any barriers that are hindering progress and remove them if you can.
- Be wary of your judgements that create emotional drama leaving you feeling anxious and stressed. Have purposeful conversations that move you forward.
- Build relationships with others that offer you help, encouragement and emotional support
- Create and be aware of all of the above for your team
- Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Know that you’re improving by the progress benchmarks on your development plan. Manage your self-talk so that it lifts you up rather than puts you down.
Bringing it all together
You need to able to create forward momentum in your role in order to make meaningful progress. Your big game combines great work, great relationships with a feedback loop that provides meaningful progress – then you know you’re onto a motivational winner. That’s how to reconnect back into your role.
How are you going to give yourself a motivation boost?