How to Keep Yourself Motivated

I’m going to begin today with a question: during your workweek, have you ever woken up and felt like you really didn’t want to get out of bed? Or, have you ever gone through a week or two and it was just a total struggle to stay motivated to work, doing the normal projects and tasks that you usually do?

First of all, if you feel unmotivated for long stretches of time, you should definitely consider doing something else with your life, because life is just too short to waste on work you hate. However, we all go through phrases of demotivation. So I want to talk about the top 8 big picture ideas on how we can motivate ourselves and stay at a higher level of production with more consistency. It won’t completely eliminate those drab days, but it’ll certainly reduce them.

As I go through this list, note that these are high level strategic concepts, not specific tactics. But I still want you to think about which two or three areas you can relate to the most. Once you internalize that, create some action steps for each area and make them a part of your life. They’ll help you stay at a higher level of motivation.

Here are the top 8:

1. Have a sense of belonging. What that means is to be in a group, association, or team that you’re a part of. Many people do not like doing things independently, but oftentimes we’re forced into that solitary role when we’re in business or sales. It really helps to be part of a group.

2. Public recognition. Sometimes we all need to stand up in front of a group and get recognized for our achievements. It’s not a bad thing to love public recognition. Hearing someone say, “Hey, great job, well done!” can keep you motivated for days.

3. Private recognition. A lot of times people just want sincere appreciation for their work, someone simply realizing that they did a job well. This can be your boss, co-worker, friend or family. It’s great to get that sense of recognition from another person.

4. Monetary reward. Many people are motivated by financial gain. Think of a way to give yourself a bonus as you increase the amount of sales, for example. Sometimes, this type of reward is naturally included in your pay structure. But if you’re the owner of a company, make sure you pay yourself as your business grows. Otherwise you might subconsciously feel that your hard work is not properly rewarded and lose motivation.

5. Fear of consequences. Doing something to avoid an undesirable result is one of the most powerful motivators. It’s an unhealthy one to some degree, but many people need consequences to stay motivated.

6. Competition. If you grew up playing sports, or if you were in the band or another club in school where you competed against other people, you know how motivating competition can be. In business, it’s the same way. We need a healthy dose of competition to keep us motivated and driven to move forward on a daily basis.

7. Know your significance or purpose. What’s the deeper reason you wake up every morning? Is there a higher calling, meaning, or purpose in your life? Personally, I’m very motivated by my own higher purpose. If I didn’t have one, I wouldn’t be nearly as productive.

8. Life balance. Go on vacations. Get a few days off from work. Spend time with your friends and family. This one’s really important.

So think through which points relate to you the most from the above list, and choose a few items. Start implementing them in your life, and they’ll help you stay more motivated throughout the day.