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The Alternative Board Blog

Get out of the Funk: 12 Tips for When You Lose Motivation

Dec. 14, 2015 | Posted by The Alternative Board
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We’re human. At some point or another, we’ve all lost motivation. Whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, it can be difficult to get out of the unmotivated funk.

Here are some of our best tips for finding your motivation:

  • Know your most productive time. We’re human beings, not human doings, so it’s unreasonable to think you’ll be motivated and productive 100 percent of the time. If you’re a morning person and do your best work at that time, schedule your day around how you like to work. You’ll get a lot more done and will be more motivated to do the work at the time you love to do it.

  • When motivation escapes us, we’ve likely lost touch with our primary emotions motivator(s), or our “why.” These are different for everyone but can usually be categorized in one of four ways: eliminating a current problem, continuing a current pleasure, avoiding a future problem, or pursuing a future pleasure. It’s important to take a step back and reconnect with these motivators. Look for inspiration in your hobbies, from your friends or a mentor.

  • Help someone else succeed. When our motivation wanes, we get more internally focused, which can cause a downward spiral. Instead, investing in a friend, family member, volunteer organization or other service is a sure-fire way to get our eyes off ourselves and help us reconnect with what is important to us—our why.

  • Take a moment and be thankful. Put things in to perspective and begin to realize how lucky you are compared to a significant part of the population.

  • Identify what it is that you like to do the most and what is it that you like to do the least. Hopefully you’ll work toward being much more productive in the activities you enjoy and learn to accept those you don’t like as much. Try to get the best out of them and set them as personal goals.

  • Switch up the order in which you perform tasks. We are creatures of habit and sometimes a break in that habit can reenergize us in unexpected ways. Similarly, change the layout of your office—it can give you a new perspective.

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  • If possible, reduce your contact with negative people and spend more time with those individuals who’ll bring you happiness and comfort.

  • Set your sights on accomplishing your short-term goals. Even if these tasks feel insignificant, you’ll feel like you’re gaining traction. It will breed confidence and a sense of accomplishment, thus boosting your primary emotion of generating hope—which is closely related to motivation.

  • Take the pressure off of yourself. If every day you feel that you need to force yourself to work hard so you can accomplish your goals, then you might be putting too much pressure on yourself. This pressure lends itself to anger and frustration. When people become frustrated, they can lose hope. Trust in yourself and in your environment.

  • Take a step back from whatever work or activity is demotivating you. Go for a walk, do one of your favorite exercises, play with your dog. Do something that will take your mind off the problem, and then come back to it later with fresh eyes.

  • Nothing generates energy and interest as much as success. Many times, people lose interest because they’re not succeeding. The lack of success starts to create apathy. One remedy is to recognize why you’re apathetic and work on your attitude during this time. Despite the setbacks, if you can muster enough energy to keep plugging away and eventually experience success, starting to see some wins is the best remedy to get reinvigorated.

  • Keep perspective. It’s amazing how we adapt to our current situation—where it becomes the new normal. What once was exciting to you, now just becomes “work” or “life.” If you can remind yourself of the many wonderful things you have in your life, it can help keep things in perspective. For example, if you have a home, a decent job and a family, objectively, you are successful. Many people would trade places with you instantly. Try to keep that in mind when you start to lose motivation.

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Written by The Alternative Board

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