We all know that keeping yourself motivated at work is hard. In fact, I often compare it to the arduous task of completing a run. 

As humans, we seem to have an innate aversion to staying motivated that no amount of inspirational quotes can help. However, it’s hardly a secret that staying motivated is a key factor in succeeding in your career. 

If you’ve been feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, here are some simple yet effective tips on how you can push yourself forward even when you don’t feel like it.


Open schedule book with a gray pen

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Open schedule book with a gray pen Open schedule book with a gray pen Open schedule book with a gray pen

Chunking is the concept of breaking down your day into smaller parts. This concept can be applied to just about anything, including staying motivated at your job.

This strategy works because it enhances your sense of self-efficacy — the belief in your skills to complete your task.

Here’s how chunking can be applied: 

For example, suppose the deadline for a major report is looming but you keep procrastinating on it. You shudder at the thought of having to sit down at your desk for hours, churning out pages after pages of corporate drivel, and would very much rather spend your time bingeing your favourite show on Netflix.

A big part of why you’re procrastinating is because you’re viewing the report as one huge task, which can be overwhelming. Using chunking, we can break down this giant task into smaller, more manageable components. To elaborate, you might chunk the report into smaller parts like this:

  • Day 1: Complete introduction
  • Day 2: Write the main body
  • Day 3: Write recommendations
  • Day 4: Finish up the report with a conclusion
  • Day 5: Proofread the report and submit it

Reward yourself

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To stay motivated at work, you can try establishing a personal reward system where you get rewarded for accomplishing your goals for the day.

This is helpful in motivating yourself at work because the more you reward yourself, the more rewarding it’ll be when you achieve your goals, helping you become more motivated.

The reward doesn’t have to be lavish; it can be anything from catching the latest movie in the cinema after the submission of a major project or rewarding yourself with a gift after achieving a significant milestone at work.

Here are some basic guidelines you can follow when setting up your reward system to ensure its maximum efficiency:

  • Break down your goals into tinier goals and take note of when you reach each of them
  • Make rewards healthy and avoid unhealthy treats like consuming fried food or drinking booze
  • Decide how often you should be rewarding yourself

Engage in positive self-talk

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Self-talk refers to the inner voice in our heads. It can be negative, harsh, and judgmental for some people. This produces negative emotions like anxiety and frustration and causes you to be overly pessimistic.

Eventually, the combination of difficult emotions will drain you the motivation needed to reach your work goals. Therefore, it’s essential that you engage in positive self-talk to promote your motivation at work. 

Here are some examples of negative and positive self-talk:

Suppose you made a blunder at work and got called out by your manager for the mistake.

  • Negative self-talk: I’m just not good enough for this job. Even beginners don’t make mistakes like this. I deserve getting reprimanded.
  • Positive self-talk: I’m disappointed that I made a mistake, but I’ll take this as a learning opportunity to never make the same error again.

Engaging in positive self-talk requires practice. By investing effort and time into positive self-talk, you can overcome the habit of negative self-talk to boost motivation levels and optimise your work performance.

Feature image from Unsplash