How to Stay Motivated at Work When Every Day Feels the Same
If you’ve been feeling sluggish or bored at work, it’s possible that you’re not tired of your job – you’re just tired of living like it’s Groundhog Day, doing the same things in the same order with the same result. Luckily, Brand With Purpose author and entrepreneur Ivan Estrada has some tips about reigniting your passion and motivation when every day feels the same.
Repetitive work routines
It’s hard to remember how to stay motivated at work when your routine feels repetitive – and Estrada says that a fixed routine is one of the main reasons you might be feeling bored.
“A work routine gets repetitive when that routine is extremely specific and fixed,” Estrada says. “[It] causes a snowball effect… The trap of fixed consistency lowers your motivation and ambition, especially in the workplace.”
While tasks might seem difficult at first, the longer you do these tasks, the easier and more rote they become.
“You become so accustomed to the routine, it becomes muscle memory for you, making the tasks at hand doable with little to no thought or effort,” Estrada adds. “You fall into the trap of doing your task with such ease that you have no desire to try anything new and challenge yourself.”
Motivation when working from home
Estrada also mentions that working from home can cause some of your motivation woes, as office life and natural socialization provide a kind of spontaneity that your home office doesn’t have.
“Working from home can feel dull and repetitive because you are not getting any sort of change of scenery in your life. Sometimes, your workplace environment can be the only exciting part of a dull job, motivating you to put all your effort into that job.”
Estrada also says that while random conversations used to serve as inspirational fuel, it’s even more challenging to recall how to get motivated at work when you have no one to bounce thoughts off of organically.
“Face-to-face interaction adds a variable aspect to your job that makes it exciting. Working at home doesn’t allow you to run into a coworker in the break room for a conversation about an upcoming work event or even a monumental life update.”
Estrada believes that if you want to find your lost motivation, you’ve got to put a more personalized effort into your schedule.
“If your routine is more variable, it allows for eagerness and creativity,” Estrada says. “These variables in your routine give you that feeling of uncomfortableness and unknowingness— and these feelings are the catalysts for creativity and growth.”
Without these variations, Estrada says, you’ll remain stagnant, which causes apathy and exhaustion.
“Your ability to overcome challenges is like a working muscle,” he continues. “The more you are in difficult situations, the better you become at finding solutions to those uncharted situations. If you don’t work this “muscle” in your day-to-day work activities, your drive for adventure diminishes.”
To fuel your motivation and add a little spice to each day, try focusing on these four elements.
1. The right tech
One of the most essential features of your day is the tech you use – and having a good resource, like Hive, can really change your motivation.
“A company can use tech to gamify the work experience and add excitement,” Estrada says. “For example, if a company uses software to track the productivity of its employees, it can give rewards for certain milestones.”
“Even the design of the tech is important to create positive feelings about work. If the tech is colorful and engaging with fun graphics and layouts, it could make the employee eager to use that tech.”
Estrada also says that tech can consistently create enthusiasm, as those using fun tech will consistently look to updated versions with new functions that make usually monotonous tasks into effortless ones.
“If the software to complete it, track it, and report it is easy to use, not only is it one less thing to stress about, but it can even be one thing to look forward to when completing the task.”
2. Team support
The next way you can learn how to stay motivated at work is by relying on your teammates to foster a bit of competition within your team.
“Teammates can re-inspire motivation by creating internal competition between one another,” Estrada says. Even if managers or supervisors don’t outrightly endorse competition, teammates can create a culture in which every day is a new chance to shine. “Healthy competition inspires people to be the best possible version of themselves so they can win.”
Competition isn’t the only way teammates can encourage one another – support is also necessary to maintain motivation.
“Team members are individually unique, making it possible that in a situation where you are disheartened and unmotivated because you can’t find a solution, a teammate’s fresh perspective can push you through that barrier,” Estrada says. “Although each member of a team is unique, they are still part of a unit where the positivity of just one member can rub off on all the other members.”
Estrada also notes that this type of enthusiasm can work in a feedback loop. Your positivity can also help a teammate, even if you’re feeling less motivated than usual.
“A team member can even inspire you if you witness them persevering through a tough task, motivating you to want to do the same.”
If you manage employees, consider surprising them with a gifts or rewards to celebrate achievements and boost confidence. For reaching special milestones, giving years of service awards can be a great way to once again thank an employee and demonstrate their importance to the company.
3. Changing what you can
To Estrada, reframing your mindset about how to stay motivated at work starts with intention at the beginning of every day.
“Getting off to a good start is very important in giving you a positive mindset for your day,” Estrada says. This includes adequate water consumption, adrenaline-boosting exercise, a short meditation, and healthy breakfast.
“Before heading to work to complete all the tasks of the day, I also recommend writing for a few minutes in a gratitude journal, which you can even do on your phone or computer. Doing this brings all the things you are blessed to have and appreciative of top of mind, putting you in a more positive space.”
4. Find new motivations
Another reason you might be feeling unmotivated is that you’re just seeing your job as a place to earn income. But if you just have that mindset, you won’t be accruing wealth in knowledge-based areas.
“At work, you get rewarded for your task with whatever compensation you have agreed to, usually monetary,” Estrada says. “Therefore, you condition yourself to believe that these routine tasks, which you have become so accustomed to, are viable because of the reward you receive.”
“However, it becomes detrimental to your mental health because you lose your drive to try fun and new things, which to me is not what living is about.”