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How to stay motivated
6 min read
Do You feel that your performance decreased recently?
Or it's complicated to start tasks, and you procrastinate repeatedly?
Maybe you are sad on Sundays because tomorrow will bring working days?
If all the statements or just one of them is true and you don't like it, maybe it's time to find out why this is happening. Let's go through the following steps.
1. Check mental state
First of all, we'd better check your mental state. If you have depression or anxiety, working on motivation will not bring great success.
If you feel down and miserable a lot, or there is no interest or pleasure in things, it could be depression. Depression can often lead to thoughts that it's not worth going on or that everyone would be better off without you.
Test to find whether you have depression or not: test.
If sometimes you panic or constantly be on edge and worrying, it could be anxiety. Anxiety is when those feelings don't go away, they're extreme for the situation, and you can't seem to control them. When anxiety is severe or there all the time, it makes it hard to cope with daily life.
Test to find whether you have anxiety or not: test.
It's pretty common to experience a bit of both.
If you have depression or/and anxiety - you should visit a specialist. It's impossible to fix your motivational state until you improve your mental state.
Personally, I prefer psychotherapists because they have medical degrees but work not only with drugs. Psychiatrists are heavy artillery, and psychologists can't prescribe antidepressants (most of the time, it's difficult to cure depression without them).
2. Tell your manager
If you have a manager or a mentor you can trust - it helps to tell. Your manager even earns money for dealing with such staff. If you don't have such a person skip that section or better find one!
The best way is to find 20-30 minutes for a meeting when you can concentrate on each other. During the meeting, be honest and direct. You should not be afraid because it happens to everyone. Tell about symptoms and name the problem: your motivation has decreased recently. I hope your manager or mentor would want to help you find out what's going on and help develop a strategy for how to deal with it.
3. Detect the reason
A. First of all, try to remember when degradation started. If you have an approximate date, think about what happened before it. Maybe you broke up with someone, quarreled, have been in an accident or even saw strange movie that affected you. So we are searching for non-work-related issues.
B. Secondly, do the same but about work staff. Try to remember if you had negative events at work. Maybe you did something amazing, and no one noticed it. Or you made a feature, and it won't ever see the production because the course had changed.
C. If nor the first nor the second, remember when your last vacation was. And if it was recent, think whether it was good enough.
Also check if you work over often.
D. If you have a manager but decided don't tell them about your motivational thing - it could be the cause. The most ordinary matter of employees living in a company - is their managers. You can find more about it here: Employees don't leave companies, they leave Managers
E. Analise your tasks. Which of them you are glad to do and which don't. Try to remember lessons for some months, even before the degradation. If some kind of task before decline was your favorite and now it isn't - it could be that you have outgrown them.
If all of the groups of tasks fill the same and indifferent - check for depression one more time.
F. Think if something wrong with the following: salary, working conditions, company policy, team, safety (confidence in the future, a good contract, etc.). There are Hygiene Factors, and we can not perform well when one of them is in bad shape. You can find more about it here: Dismissal on probation. Personal experience
G. Think if something not OK with the Motivating Factors: product, responsibility, recognition, achievements, growth.
4. Develop a strategy
A. If the cause is non-work-related issues - you have to fix it. Energy will leak into this channel if the issue is not resolved.
B. Share someone the situation. Sometimes there is nothing to be done, but sharing and discussing usually fix the filling. But if you can fix what happened - do it!
C. You must rest. And it has to be a proper vacation because otherwise, you can not fill in your resources. Plan your next vacation in the nearest feature. And make it great! And if you still think that breaks for weaklings read the article: This is what 365 days without a vacation does to your health.
If you are often worked over - try to prioritise better and learn to push back.
D. If you think there is something to be fixed in your relations with the manager - speak with them. Honest talk can do miracles. If it's not possible - ask for a new manager. If it's not likely, maybe it's time to search for a new job.
E. If you outgrown your tasks - it's time to talk about promotion. Also, you can mentor colleagues at this point, and you definitely should think about it because it brings a lot of joy to our lives.
If at this period you have only tedious tasks, talk with your manager - you should reconsider your tickets. There should not be more than 40-60% boring tasks in a sprint.
If there is no chance to shake up your day-to-day job and if it's not going to be forever, you should do something interesting in your free time. Pet-project, for example. Also, you should decrease your capacity by 10-15% because it takes a lot of mental resources to do tedious tasks.
If there is no light at the end of the tunnel, maybe it's time to search for a new job.
F. Hygiene Factors are things that we can not fix usually. Discuss it with your manager. Maybe they will help. But if there is nothing you can change - it could be time to search for a new job.
G. Most of the Motivating Factors could be improved. If you are bored with a product, there is no cure but complete change.
If you have difficulties with responsibility (a lot or too little) or recognition - speak with your manager. Discuss what you can do to make yourself fill better.
If the problem is dissatisfaction with achievements or growth, decide which goal you want to reach, when, and how you are going to make it.
5. Check once again
In a couple of weeks or in a month check how it goes. Ask yourself the same questions:
Do I feel that my performance decreased recently?
Is it still complicated to start tasks, and I procrastinate repeatedly?
Maybe I'm still sad on Sundays because tomorrow will bring working days?
If result the same again ask you if you honestly did what needed to be done to fix the problem? If no, try once again. If you did everything and it doesn't work our it seems you have a rare case and I would be appreciate to help you find the cause and update the article later. Contact me: email@example.com
According to research (resource in 142 countries, 180 million people), only 13% of employees on average motivated at work, 63% indifferent, and 24% demotivated. As for me, it's awful. Being demotivated fills terribly, doesn't bring more money, and blocks growth opportunities.
Let's fix ourselves.
Let's become as motivated as possible!