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Motivation is key to your success at work. Your leader can try to motivate you, but in most cases, that only gets you so far. At some point you need to find your own fire…your own internal motivation. This is true whether you are working virtually, in an office, or for yourself. Everyone needs help from time to time to find motivation to push through tough, boring, or tedious times to be productive and successful.

I put together a video which I hope will inspire and motivate you. Please check it out below and if you want more content like this you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.

Here are three effective ways to motivate yourself at work (and life!)

Set Goals

Start every day with an idea of what you want to get done that day. Setting goals gives you purpose and direction instead of just wandering around trying to find something to do. Goals can be big or small. Each day I like to focus on 3 – 5 big things that I need to get done. For example this might be recording 2 videos for a course or my Youtube channel, writing 2,000 words for a book, doing a webinar, or the like. Once I complete my big tasks I give myself permission to be done for the day because these large “things” also require me to do a series of smaller things to complete them. Recording a video requires that I pick a topic, create an outline, record the video (which might take a few tries), and upload the video. Setting these types of goals, tasks, or whatever else you want to call them, gives you something to focus on and provides a sense of accomplishment when they are completed.

Seek Purpose & Meaning

I wrote a whole article about this a few weeks ago called, “The Difference Between Purpose & Meaning and How to Create Both” which I highly recommend you read. The point is that you are more likely to feel motivated and productive if you have a sense of how the work you are doing is making an impact. This can sometimes be a struggle, especially when it comes to routine or boring tasks. However, connecting the work you do to a bigger purpose can be incredibly motivating, one way you (or your organization) can do this is via story-telling. If you have direct access to customers, employees, or partners then it’s much easier to see how your work is making an impact. But if you don’t have this access then you can either tell yourself these stories or you can try to reach out to the people consuming your product or services. Another useful tactic is to find opportunities outside of your core responsibilities to volunteer for. This could include everything from volunteering at an animal shelter to volunteering to be a part of something like a company technology council. Take time to talk to people and build relationships because we often find purpose and meaning from the people around us.

Reward Yourself

Find something to motivate yourself and work towards as a future reward. Using a non-work related example…I try to eat as healthy as I can for 6 days of the week and then for Saturday’s at lunch I go a little crazy. I reward myself with things like pizza, cheeseburgers, or some other unhealthy indulgence. Oh, and there’s also dessert…lots of it. I take this same approach when it comes to work. If I have a few days of hard work, or if I feel like I have accomplished something, then I might take a day off of work. Maybe I’ll splurge on something like a mini family vacation, or a fancy dinner. Whatever it is, I make sure to reward myself for accomplishments. The flip side of this is what to do during times of failure. In my case, I don’t punish myself when things go poorly. Instead, I try to focus on what I can learn from my failures. This is very important. Your internal voice and your self-talk make a huge difference. Do you beat yourself up and tear yourself down or do you build yourself up and encourage yourself?

Staying motivated can be the difference between a fruitful, productive career and merely skating along and counting the hours until the day is done. Take control of your own motivation with these three tips to keep you engaged and productive all day long.

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If you enjoyed the article and want more content like this here’s what you can do:

  1. Subscribe to The Future of Work Podcast where I interview business leaders around the world each week.
  2. Grab a copy of The Future Leader which has been endorsed by the CEOs of MasterCard, Best Buy, Oracle, Audi, Unilever, Domino’s Pizza, Ritz Carlton, Kaiser, and Marshall Goldsmith. It explores the most essential skills and mindsets for future leaders.
  3. If you are or want to be an entrepreneur then my wife and I just launched a brand new podcast on how to Be Your Own Boss, called the BYOB Podcast where we share what we did and how we did it. You can subscribe to that here.

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