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Maintaining motivation

Last reviewed on 02 July 2020

Your enthusiasm and motivation to do something is completely dependent on how you’re feeling. Some days you may find that you’ve completed your ‘to-do’ list with no issues, whilst on others ticking off just a few tasks can feel like a battle.

Keeping motivated when things are going well is much easier than when things are tougher but it’s important to stay positive, if you can.

Prolonged demotivation can have both physical and emotional effects. It can affect your digestive and cardiovascular systems which in turn can impact your immune system. It can also lead to sleep disturbance and anxiety, anger and agitation

It’s normal to feel upset, sad or disheartened from time to time, but for some of us it can be a real problem that needs to be addressed.   The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your mood and protect your mental health, try them out and see if they help.

Give yourself a pat on the back

Some days may feel like an uphill battle but you’ve probably done a full day’s work, some cleaning, chatted to family and friends, done your daily exercise and perhaps home schooled your children. This should be celebrated and you should give yourself the credit you deserve!

It’s likely your friends and family may be underestimating what they are achieving at to moment too, so make sure you give them the praise they may not be giving themselves.

It’s been proven that you’ll feel mentally stronger and the person receiving the feedback will feel better too - this should then motivate to do more.

Be kind to yourself

Try and surround yourself with the things that make you happy and prioritise you every once in a while. Try to see the positives and make time to revisit activities and hobbies that may have been forgotten when we had a faster pace of life. Remember that thing you’ve wanted to do for ages but never had the time to - you can do it now!   There’s some great ideas on how to stay entertained at home, such as keeping fit, online courses and a virtual trip to a museum, gallery or zoo here.

What boosts your mood?

Take some time to really understand yourself - What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What do you like? What do you dislike? By doing this you’ll naturally start to seek out the things you want to do and avoid what you don’t.   If you’ve never painted a picture you could give it a try, how about taking on a new recipe, or tyring a new exercise? Once you’ve tried it you’ll know if it’s for you.  

Stay in touch with others

Make sure you stay connected to your colleagues, friends and family. Having a mid-morning coffee chat with a colleague and ending the day with a quick phone call to family can do wonders to boost your mood. Mix it up too, make sure you keep in touch with lots of different people, there’ll be more to talk about and support to be given and received.

Signs of demotivation in others

It is unlikely a colleague will just tell you they are feeling demotivated. It’s more likely you will spot it through a change in their behaviour such as a lack of punctuality, increased moodiness and negative comments and a lack of focus and more mistakes being made.

Demotivation is driven by how you’re feeling and colleagues showing signs of it are likely to need support. It can be caused by things ranging from boredom to a lack of confidence and feeling under-appreciated to family illness to financial worries. Knowing your team and spotting the change is vital to giving them the support and help they may need

What you can do to help

Communication is key and keeping close to colleagues to understand how they’re feeling is really important. So organise regular meetings with your teams to keep morale high.

Celebrate success

We’re all working at pace and probably surprising ourselves with how much has been progressed in such challenging circumstances. This should be celebrated! Recognising progress will keep your teams motivated, is sustainable and enables a celebration of success at each stage.

Ways to keep motivated and engaged colleagues

  • Get your team involved in setting goals – if you engage a colleague they are three times as likely to achieve them
  • Set clear and meaningful end goals with your team members - but don’t use this as an excuse to micro-manage
  • Recognise progress and say thank you – you can do this in team meetings or by using the recognition scheme – it makes a huge difference to morale
  • Celebrate success – big and small
  • Provide meaningful feedback and encourage ongoing learning and development
  • Be open to change, some things will work and others won’t but it’s important to try difference things when engaging colleagues