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How to regain motivation at work

20th November 2019

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Even if you enjoy your career, it’s normal to go through spells where you lack motivation for your work, especially if you’ve been in the same job for years. Losing motivation can affect your productivity and success, as well as your life at home, so it’s important to do all that you can to regain your motivation when you feel yourself getting into a work rut. Unless you’ve been feeling uninspired to work for months, in which case it may be worth looking at new legal jobs, there are some simple things you can do to help find your drive again, which we reveal in this guide.

Identify any problems

First, try to identify the reasons why you are feeling demotivated to work. It may be because you feel uninspired by your daily routine, you’ve recently faced a problem, or you feel unappreciated in the workplace. Whatever the reason is, once you’ve acknowledged this, you can start working towards a resolution.

We spoke to Christine from Christine Coaching, who helps her clients achieve their career goals. Christine tells us her top tips for regaining motivation at work: “I like what I do, but there are times where I feel I'm lacking motivation. From my experience, finding out what the root cause is of the dip in motivation is key, as different reasons require different solutions. Some common reasons include; that the work you're doing doesn't matter to you, being overwhelmed by the task or finding the tasks at hand tedious and/or not playing to your strengths.”

Talk to your boss

Two women in a meeting

If you’re unable to change the situation that’s causing you to lack motivation, for instance, it may be something in your workload, then make sure to raise it with your manager.

Caroline, a career change coach from Raise The Bar Career Coaching, recommends this: “We all have dips in motivation, it is just part of work and life. I recognised how I was feeling, and I came up with a list of all the reasons why I thought I was having a dip in motivation. I then booked in for a meeting with my manager and talked it through. Your manager is there to support you and to help you develop. After the meeting, I came up with an action plan for the next month. I kept meeting with my manager every two weeks and provided them with an update.”

Make use of your diary

Noting down how you’re feeling about your work now and again can be a great way to identify any patterns in motivation levels. This is another recommendation from Caroline, who advises the following: “Create a work diary and write in notes three times per day and ask yourself how you are feeling at that time. E.g. when you are feeling motivated and when you are not feeling motivated. This will help you to recognise patterns and identify the types of work activities which motivate you and also the ones that don’t motivate you. Try and do more of the things that do motivate you!”

Set goals

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Setting small goals for each working day can have a huge impact on your motivation. However, make sure to avoid setting unrealistic goals, as this can have the reverse effect and leave you feeling unaccomplished. You can also set monthly or yearly goals to work towards, in turn, giving you something to work consistently towards.

We spoke to Giana from the travel and lifestyle blog Tea with Gi to find out her advice: “I think my best tip is to evaluate where you are in your career and where you want to be in the next couple of years. Make a plan on what goals you want to reach and how you're going to get there, how you can improve in areas that aren't your strengths and how you can add more of what you enjoy into your daily work schedule. If you do find yourself going to work miserable every day, I think it's also important to remember you're never stuck in one place, and it's never too late to change career path if your heart is set on something else!”

Improve your work-life balance

With any job, keeping your home life separate from your work life is important, but sometimes it’s impossible to prevent the two impacting one another. So, make sure you are taking enough time to switch off and re-charge after your working hours are done for the day.

Giana from Tea with Gi shares: “I think it's important to realise that your job isn't your whole life, and as long as you work hard during those hours you are in the office, what you do outside of work is up to you. I think it's important to find your purpose at work and the things you are good at.”

Rachel from the family lifestyle blog Rachel Downing adds: “I used to procrastinate and I became really unproductive. I learnt how to turn it around by making sure I structured my day and had a strict routine. I also make sure I reward myself for my hard work. Sometimes it's a luxury bath bomb to relax in the evening, a glass of wine or simply watching an episode of my favourite boxset; It's my way of patting myself on the back for a job well done.”

Je’Ana from the lifestyle blog Shades of Tatiana shared her advice: “Every couple of weeks, I get low spells of motivation at work. It is a common occurrence that I must work around but I became quite efficient at managing them. The ways I tackle this issue is to take a small break, give yourself 5-10 minutes to regain yourself and focus on what work you must accomplish. It will refresh your mind and you can start fresh. Also, to maintain a healthy diet – healthy body, healthy mind! Another top tip is to have a healthy balance between your life and work. When you achieve this, you will strive to be motivated and passionate about work”

Remind yourself why you started

Two people at a desk

If you’re going through a phase where you feel unmotivated for your career, then remind yourself of the reasons you started your career. It can also help focus on working on your favourite parts of your job, Giana from Tea with Gi shares: “I worked as a PA and Receptionist at a law firm in my old job and I personally enjoy planning things and creative projects, so I proposed to the team to start doing team-building events and this became one of my new tasks which made work more enjoyable.”

We also spoke to Bruna De Palo, a career change coach who speaks of a similar topic in her TEDx Talk. Bruna tells us: “We’re all gifted with plenty of natural talents and honouring them as much as possible is key to sustain our motivation. When we feel lost, we just need to go back to who we truly are and how we function, so that we can fully express our potential which ultimately is what makes us feel alive.”

Je’Ana from Shades of Tatiana adds: “The most important tip to remember when regaining motivation for work is to remember why you started. Whether the job is the start of your career or something that you will move on from eventually. You can target your passion and use it to be successful.”

Find a motivation technique

If you’re still struggling to find motivation again for your work, then it’s worth trying out a few different motivational strategies. Christine from Christine Coaching shares one of her favourite techniques: “Using the Pomodoro technique for tasks you just need to get over and done with, works wonders. Set a timer on your phone for 25 min, and then focus all your attention on just working on that first task which you identified earlier in the planning phase.”

If you’re still feeling demotivated at work, then browse our current job opportunities in the legal sector to find a dream job more suited to you.