How to Create a Workplace That Helps You Feel More Motivated
The right culture and environment can help you and your team feel motivated more often.
Your heart is beating faster, and you’re full of energy. You feel you could move mountains. The future looks promising, and your head is buzzing with ideas. There’s no doubt in your mind that you’re heading in the right direction.
This is roughly what most of us experience when highly motivated. We’re exceptionally focused and productive, and we often create our best work in this state.
But even if you love what you do, moments of motivation often come and go.
You may feel unstoppable after talking with an inspiring person, setting an exciting goal or hitting a milestone. But these moments are fragile and can be easily crushed by disappointing news, dismissive comments, unfair decisions, or haphazard communication and management.
By creating the right culture, work practices and physical space, you can ensure that these moments more frequently occur and that they don’t evaporate too soon.
1. Nurture trusting, caring relationships.
Ask your teams what makes them look forward to work, and the chances are that spending time with the peers they trust and respect will be high on their list. This makes sense. When you know you’re going to collaborate with people who mean a lot to you, you naturally feel more motivated.
A supportive team can give you the confidence that you’ll achieve your individual and collective goals. Moreover, they can inspire you to think big and to believe in yourself, which is hugely important at a day and age when Imposter Syndrome is rampant, especially among highly qualified and capable professionals.
I recommend that you spend enough time with your team to maintain strong bonds. Be there for them when they feel lost or detached, and build a culture where members also look after each other. They too will be there for you, lifting your energy and spirit on those days when you just can’t feel the passion.
2. Pursue meaningful goals.
When you see yourself getting closer to achieving a meaningful goal, you won’t want to stop working. Even little steps can give you a sense of progress, as long as you’re clear and excited about where you’re heading.
I recommend that you make every bit of progress tangible and visible. Write your tasks on a list and cross them out as you complete them, for example. Track the progress of your projects on a colourful board. Or stick important numbers on the wall – perhaps the number of calls you’ve made, sales you’ve closed, or words you’ve written for your next publication.
You don’t need to turn the world upside down. You’re likely to find a goal meaningful if it challenges you, builds on your skills and strength, and makes a difference in other people’s lives.
It always helps to celebrate achievements, small and large, and to remind yourself and your team how everyone’s efforts contribute to the greater vision. This will help you and your team feel motivated more often.
3. Build an inspiring workspace.
Sometimes you just need to see some affirmation that you’re actually making the world a better place. And a work environment that resonates with your goals and dreams can galvanise you to take action and grow.
What qualities do you wish to bring to your work? Perhaps being artistic, playful, friendly and adventurous? And what about being flexible, versatile, smart and reliable?
In a workspace that reflects the best version of yourself, you’ll feel more inspired to reach high standards and to keep moving forward. On the other hand, if your workspace says ‘why bother’, or ‘you don’t belong here’, that negative vibe will inevitably rub off on you.
So put some thought and effort into creating a workspace that feels like a true home for your business. Give it a personality. Plaster the walls with thank you letters from happy clients, along with photos and images reflecting your vision and contributions. Use your workspace to recognise efforts, celebrate the difference you make, and keep your purpose in sight.
4. Create some healthy discomfort.
While your workspace should be inspiring, you might not want to make it too comfortable. If your space is too nice and convenient, you may be inclined to take things a little slower. Whereas a slightly uncomfortable environment can give you a sense of urgency, making you feel more motivated to get things done.
Studies suggest that a perfectly comfortable environment can make you complacent and reduce productivity. However, a little bit of discomfort can actually stimulate you to focus more intently and work more productively.
How can you create some healthy discomfort in your workplace? Maybe start by holding standing meetings – they are often shorter and more focused than traditional sit-down meetings.
Create workshop areas designed for people to stand, move around and work with their hands. Change things around or reassign desks in your workplace once in a while to shake people out of their routines. Here’s an opportunity for you to be a bit mischievous.
Creating and maintaining motivation is like alchemy
Motivation is so elusive! You can never know for sure when motivation will strike – it’s beyond logic. It can arise unexpectedly and can be easily destroyed.
But you do have the power to make yourself and your team feel more motivated. Try out some of these suggestions, play around with the ideas, and find what works for you.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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