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March 6, 2015

7 Tips on Maintaining Motivation

Business

Jeff Cochran

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To be honest, even the most exciting jobs have times of drudgery and boredom. Many factors on and off the job may kill motivation, and productivity with it. How does an employer or employee boost his or her own motivation and keep production efficient?

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1. Reduce stress. Think about things in your life that cause stress and start working on them. Relationships may need more attention to fix problems. Obstacles at work may need to be delegated to someone else. Employees can inform supervisors they’re struggling to be productive in certain tasks; usually they will offer help in some way. Engage in stress-relieving activities. Lighten your workload and cut down your busy schedule.

2. Boost confidence. Motivation is often killed by lack of confidence. Sure, you’re not good at everything; nobody is. Don’t let being normal get you down. Instead of thinking about your failures all the time, think about your successes. Employees may ask their supervisors to be reassigned to tasks more suited for their skills. Keep the conversation going and find encouragement in other employees.

3. Take criticism constructively. Nothing kills motivation more than criticism. When you receive it, write it down. Think about whether it is true and either accept it or deny its ability to get you down. Corrections are often given with good motives, but people are not always the best at wording things gently. Give people the benefit of the doubt and be thankful for the feedback. Many people covet good feedback and instruction for improvement.

4. Challenge yourself. When the task is boring, make a game of it. Set a time-sensitive goal, trying to get a certain amount accomplished by lunchtime or the end of the day. When break time comes, reward your success. If you failed, keep the challenge going. Keep setting new personal records and chart them out. As you see yourself improve, this chart can be a reminder of your abilities that boosts your confidence.

5. Maintain momentum. When you are on a roll with some good speed and quality, don’t entertain the temptation to take a break. Rewarding yourself too early can be counter-productive. Keep the momentum up and push through for a bigger self-reward later.

6. Don’t complain. There’s always something to complain about. This is a broken world and everybody has problems, including you. Don’t dwell on them or speak of them to others or you will kill the motivation of yourself and your coworkers. Thinking often about problems causes bitterness to fester and decreases your job satisfaction. Fight temptation by immediately thinking of the positive side. It will be hard at first because you’re in the habit of noticing inconveniences more easily than blessings, but changing this habit will help you maintain motivation.

7. Keep Good Company. Friends gravitate toward each other based on common experiences and interests. That’s why complainers seek each other out and collectively decrease each other’s motivation. Those who work hard, think positively about their work environment, and spend their conversation swapping jokes and stories will keep a higher motivation throughout their day, workweek, and career.

Change your disposition through these practices and help others do the same. These behaviors are their own reward, and as you enjoy them you’ll become more pleasant to others. Hopefully, your new habits will be contagious and affect your entire team of employees.

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