Feeling Unmotivated at Work? Here’s How You Can Get Back on Track

Mental Health

Woman sitting at her desk with no motivation while working from home.

If you’ve lost your mojo at work, you’re not alone. In any ordinary year, it’s common to have the odd day where you feel unmotivated at work. However, 2021 isn’t like any other year. Right now you might be feeling tired; the summer holidays are in sight, but first you have to get through a busy few months. For others, the tiredness is more like exhaustion from lockdowns, and any kind of holiday is a pipe dream. Despite all this, there are a few things you can do to finish your work year on a high.

Set Some Goals You Can Achieve

There’s nothing like the feeling of success to encourage you to achieve more. Set one or two realistic short-term goals that you can achieve in the next few weeks. Pat yourself on the back to celebrate your win, and then move on to your next goal. The more goals you achieve, the more momentum you will build for taking on other tasks.

Complete Some Easy and Rewarding Tasks

If you’re struggling with a low mood, don’t make yourself take on a task that you’ll find difficult or boring. Start the day with a task that you prefer to do, even if it isn’t urgent or something that can be done later in the day when your mind isn’t as fresh. Kick off the day with a quick win, and then move on to a task that isn’t as easy.

Reward Yourself

Set yourself a reward at lunchtime or after work. Having something to look forward to can make getting out of bed and getting ready for work that little bit easier. Arrange to meet a friend or colleague for lunch or a drink after work.

Start the Day with Some Exercise

Exercise is a great cure-all. If you’re feeling sluggish, going for a walk or run before work can get the blood circulation going and release some much-needed feel good endorphins. If you don’t have time to fit in some exercise before hitting the office, spend your lunch time exercising to give your afternoon a boost. Exercise helps reduce stress and fatigue, and improves brain function so that you have more mental stamina and higher levels of concentration. Set yourself a challenge to exercise every workday for a week and judge for yourself if it helps your work performance.

Stop the Guilt

Feeling bad about how little you achieved yesterday or during the last week isn’t going to make you feel more motivated today. Put the guilt aside and think of it as a fresh new day that won’t look like the last few unproductive days you’ve had.

Take On a New Role

As they say, ‘a change is as good as a holiday’. Doing the same actions day in and day out can be demotivating for some people. There’s no need to change jobs to improve your motivation levels; a new task or project could be enough to reinvigorate your role. Speak to a colleague about swapping a task or two so you have something different to learn and be challenged by. Alternatively, speak to your manager about taking on a new responsibility or doing a training course to learn a new skill. Something new might be all the motivation you need. If these don’t work then it might be time to consider a new role.

Look for a Mentor

If you’re surrounded by colleagues who are unmotivated, chances are you may have caught it from them. Look for someone at work whose work ethic and stamina you admire. Sitting near a mentor or even working on a project together can cause some of their high energy and enthusiasm for the job to rub off on you.

Be a Mentor

Offer to train a colleague in how to do part of your job. Training someone takes focus and effort. It can give you a sense of pride that you’ve helped someone learn a new skill and improved their career prospects. They may even ask if they can take on the task for a while, giving you the opportunity to take on a new task or challenge.

Set Up a Group or Event

If you work for a medium or large sized organisation, you might consider finding a group of colleagues who would like to do something enjoyable together. It could be as simple as catching up for a coffee regularly, walking around the block during break time, visiting the local gym, joining a social club, lunch and learn sessions with speakers, a fundraiser for a cause you’re passionate about or a challenge between departments/individuals. Organising an event can give you a sense of pride and will help you develop stronger relationships with colleagues as you get to know them better. Working with friends rather than colleagues can be that little extra motivation you need.

Ask for Help

If your lack of motivation is caused by high stress levels, or you feel it could develop into depression, seek help. Speak to your doctor or contact your organisation’s Employee Assistance Program and make an appointment with a qualified psychologist. 

For more information about our Employee Assistance Program, call us on 1800 258 487 or get in contact online.

Category: Mental Health