Whether you are trying to lead a team of employees, teach a child, or even get through your own workday, staying motivated is key. Nonetheless, this isn’t always as easy as waking up and deciding to be motivated.
There’s a lot to know about motivation and what it can offer you – whether you are trying to motivate yourself or others, thus below are 5 points that are the most important to know:
1. Goals are Crucial
This one might sound like a cliche but you should make sure to set smaller goals on the way to the bigger one. A large project can be intimidating to work on – whether this is a job at work, weight loss goals, or anything else. The best way to keep motivation high is to take these jobs one bite at a time.
Rather than looking at a massive job, break it down into smaller goals or milestones. Focusing on completing these will be much less stressful than looking at an entire project all at once.
2. Give a Reason Why
If someone is working without purpose rather than working toward something, they are bound to lose motivation. After all, why shouldn’t they? On the other hand though, a purpose will make any task easier to accomplish. Think about being given a boring task; it would be easier to suffer through this if it was part of a bigger, more interesting project instead of just a meaningless task.
“When you feel like quitting think about why you started.”
It can sometimes seem that threatening to fail a difficult student or fire a lazy employee can be the best way to get them to work. However, while this may work for a bit, these employees and students fall back into old habits quickly.
What is more lasting, though, is positive reinforcement and incentives. Instead of threatening to fire an employee, it may work better if you promise employees the chance to grow. The concept of reward vs. punishment has been studied many times and the general consensus is that someone is far more likely to be motivated to correct and improve their behavior when they are promised a reward for improvement instead of a punishment for stagnancy.
4. Motivated People are More Engaged
This fact just makes sense; if you are motivated about what you are doing, you are going to be more engaged. If you aren’t motivated, you won’t be nearly as engrossed in your work and won’t pay as close of an eye to it. There are two main ways this is crucial. For repetitive work or tasks, this means that you will be more attentive to detail, making you more detail-oriented and thoughtful of the task at hand.
In addition though, this makes more motivated people safer as well. If you are working in dangerous conditions, those people who are paying more attention to their jobs are bound to be safer on the job than those who aren’t. For example, imagine a doctor not being interested in or paying attention to his job; the results could very easily turn catastrophic.
“Throw yourself into some work you believe in with all you heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” – Dale Carnegie
5. Creative Tasks are Easier to Get Motivated For
No matter how motivated you are naturally, if you are doing a simple, mind-numbing task constantly, you are bound to lose that motivation eventually. However, this can be combated with the use of more creative tasks.
Obviously, you aren’t always going to have a creative task available. There will also be a need to fill out a spreadsheet or do a mundane, repetitive task. When you can though, it is much easier to get excited and motivated about a task that gives you room to think.
This is a technique that can be used in any setting, not just the workplace. Take a classroom full of children for example. If a teacher announces that the class is going to do a worksheet, you won’t hear any excitement. On the other hand, if a teacher tells a class that they are to do an experiment, you are likely to see more children get excited.
While adults may not jump up and down in their seats like an elementary school student would, creative tasks still help to keep them engaged in what they are doing and make them feel like their ideas matter just as much as their labor.
How do you maintain your motivation from day to day? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com