Work is part of life and we all know how indispensable it is to one’s survival and success. As the need to work is constant, people also have to be constantly motivated. Unfortunately, motivation is something that is not constant and it doesn’t come easy. Oftentimes, people don’t stay motivated that long and feel worn out and too tired to continue to work. As a result, they become unproductive and, in some cases, even lose their job.

Types of motivation

Everyone knows that motivation is a driving force for a person to do something or behave in a particular way. However, there are many types of motivation and it is important to identify them to understand it more clearly. There are basically two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

  • Intrinsic motivation. This type of motivation refers to all the things that can motivate a person based on internal rewards. This includes all motivational drivers such as self-improvement, the joy of learning, and self-actualization. People are intrinsically motivated because of something that they want to feel within themselves.
  • Extrinsic motivation. The second type of motivation refers to all external motivational drivers like getting praise, rewards, or promotion. Extrinsic motivation can also include fear just as when one works hard because he is afraid to lose his job.

Under intrinsic motivation are competence and learning, attitude, achievement, and physiological motivations. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, includes incentive, fear, power, and affiliation, among others.

Causes of Demotivation

Demotivation is the state of having no motivation. But what causes it? Why do some people feel motivated at one point and then suddenly lose that motivation the next moment? The following are some of the causes of losing motivation.

  1. Fear is every person’s worst demotivator. Whenever one feels afraid, he becomes hesitant to move forward and try things, even those he has done before. It slows people down and makes them more careful. And while this may be partly good, it also keeps people from discovering new skills and entering new territories.
  2. Being demotivated by grief usually happens at the beginning of any change. Grief happens when people start to think if they ever did the right thing about the changes they just made. They start asking if they should just have held on to what was rather than create this new set-up. This mental state can deplete one of his motivations.
  3. Human beings are social beings which means that at some point, our nature is to look for company and connection. Sometimes, people who work alone at home don’t feel like working and would rather go out and dine with friends. The thirst for connection hijacks motivation so that one can once again reconnect with other people and take a break.
  4. Sometimes, when people push themselves too hard, they get burned out. Burnout exhibits itself when one doesn’t feel like working, would rather stay in and sleep, and loses interest in what used to be exciting.
  5. Lack of challenge. Humans normally love a challenge or two. But when the challenge is too simple or easy, people get bored and struggle to stay motivated. However, if it is too high or difficult, they become afraid to try and also feel less motivated. Therefore, the challenge has to be just right—suitable for every person’s capabilities.
  6. Lack of autonomy. It is man’s nature to want to make independent decisions. After all, we have a decision-making center in our brains. When a person goes through depression, this center becomes less developed. However, when decision-making is practiced, it helps clear depression.

Things to try when you lack motivation at work

Now comes the challenge of knowing the things to try when lacking motivation at work. This is important because everyone needs to be productive at work to stay at work. Here are some suggestions on how to get back that motivation.

  1. Think about why you want to do it in the first place. Let’s say, for example, an account executive has to come up with a proposal for an ad for his client. Halfway through the task, he suddenly loses interest to finish it. It is best to reexamine one’s reasons for wanting to do this. Is it going to earn him a promotion? Will he be given a raise? Will the project earn him professional points? These reasons are the main things that drive people to do something so it is best to go back and look at them.
  2. Be surrounded by the right people. People become who they are with and that’s a fact. One’s surroundings influence his mindset, coping mechanism, and manner of thinking. Being with people who love to succeed and help others succeed can help a person learn this kind of thinking. Meanwhile, people who like to gossip and perform poorly can also be contagious. People should learn to choose who they want to be and be with.
  3. Make a change of scenery. When a person feels unmotivated at work, it is best to take some time off and make a change of scenery. This will help clear one’s mind and reset his focus. It can give him a better perspective on things. For example, a freelancer may have become too used to his workspace and may need to change his scenery. Going to a coffee shop to do work there or going to the beach for an hour can greatly help.
  4. Have the WTF attitude. People say that life is 1% what happens and 99% how a person reacts. With this, WTF means ‘willing to fail’. If a person looks at every failure he has had in the past, he will always be afraid to try. However, if he isn’t afraid to fail and accepts that failure is an opportunity to learn, he will always be motivated.

Here are also quick, science-backed tricks to get motivated at work.

  1. Strike a high-power pose. We always believe that body language impacts how others perceive a person. More than that, it also affects his internal body chemistry. This means that how one carries or positions his body changes the way they are. There are two power poses—the high and low-power poses. High power is what people should have which includes chest out, no slouch, and arms spread.
  2. Eat some chocolate. There is no better reason to splurge on some chocolates than wanting to be motivated. Chocolate, or any other dopamine-releasing reward, has amazing effects on one’s brain. It increases serotonin that promotes calm, as well as phenylethylamine that promotes stimulation. It also releases dopamine which elevates the heart and increases motivation.
  3. Look at green things. Colors have effects on one’s mind and thinking. This is the reason why red is used for sales signs since it attracts attention and cues danger. Green, on the other hand, signifies motivation and sparks creativity.

Motivation may be elusive but there are proven ways to make it more achievable. Still, it is all in the hands and mind of every person to keep himself motivated in the midst of all distractions.


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