Maintaining your motivation

We explore some simple steps to boost your motivation at work.
Alex Miller reports

Many trainees cite the reason for moving roles as having reached their ‘shelf life’ in their current role. Most PQs want the opportunity to improve themselves and respond well to shared knowledge and experience – even if they are not looking for formal training and development opportunities.

It is a mistake to assume that money is the primary motivator for most trainees; other factors can be just as, or even more, important.

As a result, trainees need to communicate with their line managers what inspires and influences them. This may be through a formal appraisal process or even joining them for a drink after work.

Being offered improved work-life balance, added benefits and routes for progression can all be great motivators, but it is simply not the case that all trainees are aiming for managerial responsibility and all the added pressures that come with these roles.

‘To help boost your own motivation at work, be sure to share your professional objectives with your line manager so that everyone is clear on what you are striving for,’ says Joss Collins, financial services specialist at Venn Group. ‘Set yourself hourly, daily, monthly and yearly goals so that you have a clear target to aim for.’

Chocolate and sleep

There are plenty of other simple and fun ways to independently increase your levels of motivation – including eating chocolate.

Chocolate stimulates dopamine levels in your brain, the chemical that plays a major role in pleasure and motivation.

Several recent studies have found that people who work hard tend to have higher levels of dopamine. Chocolate also increases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that promotes calm – and phenylethylamine, which promotes stimulation. White chocolate does so even more intensely.

Chocolate also has the effect of a mild antidepressant, literally because the brain responds to the stimulants by promoting blissful emotions.

Other key foods to ensure healthy motivation levels include a healthy diet consisting of dopamine-inducing foods like blueberries and fish high in Omega-3 fats.

Other studies have found that the colour green provides a big boost in motivation and energy. Researchers have found in studies that surrounding yourself with a bit of green provides a boost in motivation and also that a glimpse of the colour green sparks creativity.

The best and most practical ways to bring green into your work life is introduce plants into the office and to go outside for short walks or take lunch breaks in a park or wood – or anywhere with shrubs and greenery. At the very least, look to find a few patches of grass close to work.

It is not just the colour green, you will be a lot more motivated after a brief physical exertion and some fresh air. Likewise, regular exercise is proven to boost motivation and productivity, while good quality sleep and power naps are great ways to ensure a fresh state of mind.

"To help boost your own motivation at work, be sure to share your professional objectives with your line manager so that everyone is clear on what you are striving for"

Joss Collin - Venn Group