A sleeping cat

Or “Never put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after” – Oscar Wilde

We all have days when we feel like putting something off. But when we are in business, we don’t have the luxury of following Oscar’s advice.

Menial tasks may be a in indication of a broader picture. Tasks such as tidying up when you realise you can’t see your desk or mind-numbing grocery shopping, necessary but unappealing. (We’ll discuss outsourcing in a future post). If this feeling transfers to our work, we are probably lacking in motivation.

I’m guessing most of you would agree, motivation is essential for achieving goals for without it you’d struggle to maintain any momentum. It’s why employers award bonuses for performance, (even if some top earners appear to be rewarded for failure) and organisations pay investors dividends as an incentive to invest.

There are basically two types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation refers to the drive to do something for external rewards or to avoid pain, whereas intrinsic motivation refers to the drive to do something because it is inherently interesting, enjoyable, or satisfying. I.e. to experience pleasure.

Goal-setting, feedback, rewards, and social support can enhance motivation. For example, setting specific, challenging, and achievable goals can enhance motivation by providing individuals with a sense of direction and purpose.

Personal factors can affect motivation such as personality traits, values, and beliefs, as well as situational factors such as the task, the social context, the level of autonomy and control.

Be honest, do you always feel energised for your work or do you too often feel lacking in motivation?

Next time: Motivation in the workplace.