Are You Feeling Unmotivated at Work?

May 22th, 2023
7 mins to read
Are You Feeling Unmotivated at Work?

Explore common causes of workplace demotivation and effective strategies to mitigate them. Reclaim your motivation with actionable tips and insights.

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, “How are they so motivated and happy all the time?” Well, we’re here to tell you that your cheery, enthusiastic coworkers have bad days too. It is unhealthy and unrealistic to constantly expect ourselves to be at our highest. In fact, we should acknowledge our struggles and start to understand why we might be feeling this way.

Here are some reasons why you might be feeling unmotivated at work and how you can overcome them.

Lack of purpose

A lack of purpose or sense of direction often leads to the feeling of low motivation. When this happens, you may find it affecting not just your job performance, but all aspects of your life. Our overall mental well-being is heavily reliant on having a purpose and meaning, as it can help us live a more fulfilled and content life!

Ask yourself: 

  • What are you doing this for? 
  • Who are you doing it for? 
  • Why are you here and what are your goals? 
  • What is your purpose?

Emotional Exhaustion

You might’ve heard of, or are even experiencing burnout, a work slump, or a creative rut. These are all common effects of emotional exhaustion. Common symptoms such as negative thoughts, daydreaming or constantly falling asleep, easily irritated, and light headaches can be signs of emotional exhaustion. 89% of workers have experienced burnout within the past year. If you believe you are part of the 89%, that might just be the reason why you are feeling unmotivated. 

Sometimes, all you really need is to step away from the desk and take a break. A little walk outside your neighbourhood or a quick chat with an old friend can help you recover from emotional exhaustion and gain some of your motivation back.

Losing interest

Losing interest in something that once gave you enjoyment, like your job, is more common than you think. As humans, we revolve our lives around the things we find pleasure in, but it is normal to lose interest over time. When this happens, you can either:

  1. Force yourself to “get back into it” and pretend to enjoy what you’re doing (Spoiler: this leads to you being unmotivated), or
  2. Reconnect and rediscover your love for what you do
  3. If that doesn’t work, it is completely okay to step away and explore new interests

Your motivation highly depends on whether you’re actually interested in what you do. So once you disengaged at work or show no enthusiasm for your projects, that could be a sign to try something new.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Rise and grind! I mean, shine. Many of us are victims of hustle culture, getting sucked into the belief that we should always be working (hustling), focusing on our productivity, and being in a constant “go-go-go” mindset. This work culture has been romanticized in recent years where we look up to people who are at work 24/7 because we associate that with success. Whether you participate in hustle culture or are surrounded by people who are, it can be very overwhelming. 

When everyone else around you is busy and “productive” all the time, it could motivate you to want to do the same. However, this nature of motivation is not sustainable and will only lead to a burnout. An intense working schedule might work for some, but not all. This feeling of being overwhelmed at work often results in losing motivation.

So, how can I feel motivated again?

There are many ways to win your motivation back and get back in the groove. Perhaps you’re feeling unmotivated because you lack a purpose at your job, you are emotionally exhausted, you’re starting to lose interest in your career, or you’re simply feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry, this feeling does not last forever. 

Some ways to stay motivated are:

  • Setting clear, SMART goals
  • Developing better habits
  • Focus on the “Why” -- remind yourself why you started 
  • Celebrate big and small wins
Erica Lim
Erica Lim

Erica is a Marketing Content Analyst at Litespace with a passion to help companies foster stronger corporate culture and better employee engagement in the hybrid work environment. Specializing in marketing and communications, Erica is eager to share her knowledge and research on hybrid work. 

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