If you’ve ever tried unsuccessfully to get inspired and stay motivated at work on a long-term project, here are seven tips that may help you.
Using the same approach that allows us to find meaning and purpose in our lives outside of work will let us do the same while working. It’s all about having an open mind. Try these ideas and see which ones work for you:
1. Remembering a time when you felt passionate about the work you do.
Reflecting on the projects or challenges that made you feel most alive at work is a great way to get yourself fired up about your current project. It doesn’t have to be something huge, but a project that stirred you in some way. You can also reflect on a person at work who had meaning or purpose for you. What made them meaningful?
2. Have the right mindset.
Not every task that you have to do is going to be enjoyable. But if you don’t enjoy the work, try your best to focus on what’s meaningful about it. For example: Why is this project important (to your career, business, customers, etc.)? What are you specifically supposed to accomplish in this project that has a positive impact on the business? It may be that you’ve been given an opportunity to build something great – could it lead to recognition and advancement of your company? Could this project become part of a best practice in your field?
3. Express your creative side.
Work is a time to be as creative as possible. So let your imagination go and think of things that could make it easier for you to perform this task in the most beautiful way possible, or just come up with fun ways to keep yourself inspired while working on it. For example, I like to use funny motivational phrases on sticky notes or have a theme song playing in the background. The more creative you are with approaching a project, the better your creativity will flow once it’s time to start working.
4. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself at work.
Use language that uplifts motivates, and inspires you. Similar to #3 above, if you intend to make this work more meaningful for yourself, think about what kinds of words come out of your mouth when you’re by yourself or with a small group of trusted friends. Would you say those exact words in front of hundreds of people? If not, then why are you using language that de-motivates and disempowers yourself at work? Use positive language. Also, following this tip will improve your self-confidence by forcing you to focus on what’s possible rather than what may be difficult immediately.
5. Take a break and then come back refreshed.
Sometimes all it takes is a short walk or some time away from your desk to give your mind a chance to reboot. When you return to your work, you’ll find that the problem seems to have less gravity, and it’s easier now.
6. Remember the big picture.
Sometimes we get so focused on the problem that it’s hard to see what larger goal is being accomplished by solving this specific problem and moving forward with a project. When you’re stuck at work, try asking yourself: What exactly will I accomplish if I solve this? How does this help me move closer to my goal? What is the next step that I need to take to achieve this specific milestone?
7. Visualize yourself successfully achieving your goal.
Visualization is a technique that has been studied and recommended by the world’s leading experts on peak performance for decades. It works because we are what we think, and when you imagine different scenarios of what success looks like, then when you find yourself in those situations, in reality, your brain is already programmed to handle them.
Finding deeper meaning can make any task more meaningful, engaging, and enjoyable, which will help us stay motivated longer – resulting in more quality work done. If you try these tips, I would love to hear how they help your career.