Most people want to feel flow at work, to be part of the dream team pushing towards the same goal. People want to make an impact and have some meaning in their work. But let´s be honest, there also are boring routines that need to be taken care of, distractions, and frustrating meetings. Sometimes motivation just disappears with no reason. Sometimes the root cause for the problem is that either yourself or your work design requires you to work against who you are. So the key is to work with who you are, not against.
Know your ways
Most knowledge work changes constantly and change requires learning. First you need to learn how you learn and when are you most productive in doing intellectual knowledge work. Often planning and writing are the tasks that should be done when you feel yourself brightest and most energetic. Sometimes planning and generating new ideas comes when your body is active doing something else. Therefore taking a walk might bring out the idea you are looking for.
If you are an early bird, you should embrace that and get up early to do your job. If you like to stay up late, then work in the evenings. However many work places require you to work at certain time at certain place, which reduces productivity in that sense. People can´t always make their best effort in 9-5 mode. In most work places, communication in person is needed whether that was in telco or in person. That makes some requirements and sets frameworks to the schedules. But within that framework it would be useful to explore your options. Listen to your mind and your body, listen to your closest colleagues and discuss what would work for you best.
You also need your colleagues support and companionship when the times are tough and when you need help. Affective and emotion based trust is manifested in goodwill and co-operation and in order for that to develop those relaxed coffee table discussions are needed.
Go have a walk outside or ride a bike. In my most productive times, I had a chance to cut my work day into 3 pieces: on a morning I did my most productive work at home, then I cycled to work to have lunch with colleagues and to have meetings, then I cycled back home to answer e-mails and to plan the next day or week. It was a brilliant way to have by brain that rest in the middle of the day and to avoid sitting for long periods or time.
Have breaks and learn discipline
Second motivation killer is losing focus to something irrelevant, like social media or a call from your friend or start making your third cup of tea. Sometimes it would be useful to turn off the device for few hours to make sure nothing bothers you. Set yourself a goal, which after you allow yourself to peek your Twitter or Instagram account. Social media easily leads you to a nice flow of links, interesting videos etc and you lose time and interest to do your actual work.
Some people have found it useful to use Pomodor tactique: work for 25minutes, have 5 minute break and then continue. You can set yourself a goal of 3 tomatoes for planning and 2 for writing for example. Making lists or using Kanban table. It is very useful to do broad lists and to visualize your tasks, schedule, what is under work and what still needs to be done.
There are annoying task to do and there will be failure. It is important to discuss them with your colleagues and boss. It is also important to just embrace the work done with rewarding ceremonies after. Even if the work wasn´t a success. Mark down the learned lessons and embrace them as an opportunity to do things differently next time .
It is important to select carefully the jobs you enter and the people you hang out with and to choose your friends. Stay with people who bring the best out of you and who make you feel good. It is equally important to choose your working strategies and methods in a way that you are the most productive at.
It usually comes down to knowing who you are and embracing your personality as it is. There comes your internal motivation, which leads you through the bad times to have those days where you are thankful to be in right place with the right people.
Article pic: Valentin Antonini