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4 Reasons You’re Losing Motivation at Work

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losing motivation at work

The number of Americans who love their job is dwindling. Research indicates that only 30% of workers in the U.S. feel truly engaged and inspired by their careers.

48% said they don’t even like their job, and 18% said they were actively disengaged at the office because they hate what they do. Based on these stats, you might think unhappy employees would simply get out and find a different job.

However, that solution would only suit a fraction of the many dissatisfied employees in the workforce. In actuality, the majority need to discover what’s preventing their engagement with their job and make an appropriate change.

It begins by identifying the cause of your lost motivation. Unmotivated employees are 10 times more likely to be dissatisfied and frustrated with their job.

If this applies to you, here are 4 reasons you’re losing motivation and how you can fix that:

1. You feel insecure in your job

Whether the company you work for is going downhill or you feel as if your boss is constantly breathing down your neck, job insecurity can take all the fun out of working. Your energy gets expended in circulating rumors with coworkers, sweating over visits to your boss’s office, and failing to concentrate fully on your tasks.

Solution: Communicate directly and frequently with your superiors to determine the state of your job and the company. If you know what’s coming, you’re more likely to work securely, even if you’re having to search for another job on the side.

“I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” – Ken Venturi

2. There’s no vision driving your career choice

As much attention as we pay to it, money is really only a small portion of most workers’ motivation. Often, people are inspired to work hard because they have a purpose, and they hold a vision that leads them closer to success.

People like to feel that they’re progressing toward something bigger and better in their lives, or they’ll start to feel bored about what they do.

Solution: Set attainable goals for yourself and check them off regularly as you go. Your goals might include improved performance in the office or a change in your personal life that moves you closer to a happier, healthier you.

 

3. The people in charge don’t seem to know what they’re doing

When you believe the company owners or your managers are incompetent, you lose confidence in them. It’s difficult to perform your job with full vigor, and it’s easy to feel like work is a joke, when you find yourself in that situation.

Solution: Unless your boss approaches you for advice on how to improve his or her leadership skills, you probably shouldn’t offer any recommendations on how he or she can improve. At this juncture, you’re probably better off looking for a job with a boss you can get behind.

 

4. Your coworkers are unpleasant

Sometimes the pay and type of work don’t matter so long as you have a great set of coworkers. The people who work at a particular company often are the make-or-break factor in whether your job is tolerable, or even rewarding. When you’re stuck among unpleasant colleagues, it’s difficult to get sufficiently motivated to do anything productive.

Solution: If you don’t like the work or the pay, it may be time to look for another position. If you love the work and don’t want to leave just because a few people give you sour looks, change your attitude or work on conflict resolution within the office.

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Oprah

The outcome of your efforts isn’t going to be certain, but it’s worth a try to keep a job you love.

What are some other reasons you might be losing motivation at work? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more. Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her onTwitter and LinkedIn.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Angela

    Jun 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Like number 2 states, I don’t see the vision in moving forward with my career at the company I am currently with. But the good news is that I recently took a leap of faith and decided to move to a different company that will better suit my needs. I start the new job in 2 weeks. So excited!! Thanks for reminding me that I did the right thing.

  2. Lim

    May 11, 2016 at 12:59 am

    I think that having a common vision among the team and among coworkers are extremely important. Without a common destination, everyone will focus on doing their own work and there will be no synergy.

    And you are right about money may not always be the main motivator for people to work harder. People work hard because they have a purpose and a vision. Plus, they must be passionate about their work. And when the purpose is strong, the vision is clear and the passion is there, nothing can stop people from moving forward.

  3. Tim Denning

    May 10, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Anna for me, I am not losing motivation at work. I think the reason most do lost motivation at work is that they do not have a passion for what they’re doing. This has been the secret sauce to my success in the business world. Thanks for sharing your advice.

  4. Jason Moore

    May 9, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    This list could be a lot longer. Some motivation gets killed by simply having too long of a commute – if an employer knows it’s employee’s have to travel from far and pay to park, they can consider having their employee’s work remotely. Also, employees need to believe in the companies mission – the work has to be more than just a paycheck for the greater good of the company in it’s entirety. I completely agree with the article in that job itself should help a person achieve their personal goals, and should consider finding new work if their goals are not getting met.

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

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Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

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Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

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