5 Easy Steps to Stay Motivated at Work

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Do you want to get motivated at work?

Do you find yourself feeling uninspired?

Inadequate leadership, lack of career progression, and insufficient training opportunities—these are unsurprising reasons that Singapore workers come in last, yet again, in the 2016 Southeast Asia’s Job Happiness Index.

When there are so many reasons to be pessimistic, how can you stay sufficiently motivated when you need to be?

Here are 5 foolproof ways of getting motivated at work and staying inspired.

1. Find the good to be motivated at work

Maslow’s 1943 model of the hierarchy of motivational needs pointed out that people are motivated to achieve particular needs.

These needs are broken down into five ascending stages.

  1. Essential like food, shelter and rest
  2. Safety such as security
  3. Belongingness such as friendships and relationships
  4. Self-esteem needs such as pride and prestige
  5. Self-actualisation, when one has achieved one’s full potential

His finding included that self-actualisation through attaining one’s full potential will bring increasing satisfaction.

As opposed to the rest, once achieved, will experience decreasing motivation.

get motivated at work

(Credit: https://www.simplypsychology.org/)

So begin by finding the contentment from your very basic needs.

Then, as you slowly but surely move up the 5 stages, you will soon find it less and less challenging to stay inspired.

Remain dedicated to achieving more from your professional and personal lives by thoroughly tapping into your best abilities and capabilities.

2. Surround yourself with positivity and be inspired

It is not easy to find allies in an organisation, particularly if with high turnover rates, low employee morale and ineffective bosses.

But sometimes, even in the best environment, you will feel uninspired and unmotivated too.

Happiness starts from within.

As cliché as that may be, it is so true—if we look at the Maslow’s model.

To build up the internal happiness, you may need to turn outwards to understand yourself, define your life goals, and learn how to achieve them.

Engage a reputable Executive Life Coach who can guide you professionally.

You can talk to your friends and family for personal matters. Remember you don’t have to do this alone. Sometimes the solution to a problem is simply not to come up with one but to just talk about it.

Get all the supports you need, be it professional or friends, to strengthen your inner self.

3. Be mindful and live in the now for the future

Not only is practising mindfulness beneficial for your body, but it also helps you focus and manage stress.

In today’s hectic and competitive workplace, it is not easy to carve out time to go to the gym or spend some quality leisure time with loved ones.

Engaging in mindfulness takes only five minutes when done right, and you can achieve it without meditation.

All you need to do is live in the now. Be present.

Simply live your life, moment by moment and be mindful.

You can still have plans for the future, but you need to enjoy the now to progress forward.

4. Take in challenges like a game and think differently

There is always more than one way to achieve a goal or solve a problem.

It’s just a matter of whether you’re willing to be open-minded.

Do not limit yourself to a one-directional way of thinking.

Taking this approach means that you will stop wasting time, learn to accept that perhaps some things do not need to change.

Come up with that breakthrough you have been waiting for.

Enjoy the challenges that come your way. Then you will be able to solve the problems creatively.

Eventually, it will give you the satisfaction you need to build up your motivation.

5. Pat yourself at the back

Sometimes, no matter what you’ve tried, nothing seems to work.

For instance, you’ve been doing your due diligence, but you’ve not been getting any job interviews.

Or perhaps you have been keeping long hours at work, but your bosses don’t seem to notice.

What’s more, you know you deserve a break, but you don’t know where to even begin.

Well, it’s easy.

Pat yourself on the back.

Like literally, and tell yourself, “I’ve done what I can with the best of my abilities. What’s to come is not on me.” or even a simple, “Good job!” should do the trick.

If no one acknowledges how hard you’ve worked, you should do it yourself.

Studies have shown that rewarding yourself after a job well done not only increases productivity but increases the level of dopamine in your brain that gets you motivated.


Regardless of your situation, whether things may seem difficult or if you don’t feel inspired.

Just remember what the football legend Pelé lived by,

The more difficult the victory, the geater the happiness in winning.

Always remember, if all else fail, don’t punish yourself.

That in itself could be the simplest way to get motivated at work.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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