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How to cope with moments of low motivation at work

No matter how much satisfaction we get out of our work, there always comes a moment

when we just don't feel like working. Sometimes we can let go and let off some steam and

allow the feeling to pass on its own, but we don't always have that choice, and sometimes

we just have to keep on going.

Two people working in front of a computer, looking unmotivated
Sometimes we just have to keep on going

So, what can we do before giving up?

01 – First, you're allowed to take it down a notch; it's not all or nothing.

02 – Remember that high motivation, like lack of motivation, is an extreme. Most of the time

we're probably somewhere in the middle. The expectation to be highly motivated at all

times is an illusion… just like we're not always at the other extreme of not being motivated

at all. So it's safe to assume that all we need to do is improve how we feel only slightly and

find a balance that we're comfortable with.

03 – Research has shown that when we complete a task, our brain emits dopamine, giving us

a sense of wellbeing and happiness. So if we break down our assignments into smaller

achievable steps, it will often give us the impetus to keep going, and we'll make more

progress and be more successful than we anticipated.

Two women breaking work into smaller tasks

04 – Sometimes a small change can create a new dynamic or level of interest, whether it's

repositioning our workstation, changing our posture, rearranging our desk, listening to music

or just experiencing the background noise of a café – offers an

alternative for those without a café at hand.

Coffee shop with people
A moderate level of ambient noise is conducive to creative cognition.

05 – Lack of motivation is often accompanied by a feeling of needing a vacation or to leave

work early, when often, all we really need is a short break in the day.

06 – This is doubly important at times where lack of motivation crops up repeatedly or

doesn't disappear on its own. Ask yourself "why" five times. When you reach the root of the

problem, you'll have a better chance of handling it.

07 – Changing thought patterns is not the easiest thing to do but can have a powerful

impact. The good news is that changing thought patterns can happen very quickly thanks to

the flexibility of our brains.

At the end of the day, it's all in our head, isn't it?



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