Motivation: how to set yourself up for productive work?

Motivation: You can’t set yourself up for work, but you know what you want to achieve in general. Combine common sense, strategic goal-setting and the state of flow into a single motivation tool.

Personal Magic Pendell

It is no secret that the result of your work directly depends on personal motivation. And it’s not always close to someone whose words or actions (for example, “magic Pendell”) can quickly and easily bring you to your senses and set you up for work. And moreover, very often we ourselves do not want anyone to influence us in this way. That is why it is extremely important to be able to tune into productive work independently.

Being a strategic manager by education, I have repeatedly been convinced that this specialty gives me some advantages and sometimes allows me to see a thing a little wider. Like all living people, from time to time I experience problems with motivation. I decided to share a few ideas that I once brought together and realized that it was no coincidence.

Return to reality

Let’s go to the lack of motivation as a problem and find a solution together. What are the symptoms of not having a positive attitude? Are you tired of the monotonous job? Do you see any meaning in further actions? Or are you just too lazy?

In any case, in this state, you lose touch with reality and forget about what is important and necessary for you personally. Decisiveness is not enough, and there is simply no mood for work. Think about it, because in what you should do now, there is a significant result for you! And this is not always a direct product of your business. These may be hidden benefits, “by-products”.

Therefore, the first thing you must do at such moments is to return to reality! Spend 10-15 minutes on a cup of coffee or tea, a short conversation – in general, on something that can “switch” you from thoughts of “should” to thoughts of “want” for a short while. Only, if you are going to talk with colleagues or friends, do not try to “merge” them with your negativity in relation to the upcoming work. It’s much nicer to talk about abstract topics.


Now that you are back in reality, you should remind yourself of the goals that you set for yourself, and for which the upcoming work can help you. If you have not thought about your goals – it’s time to do it. And here lies another reason for the lack of motivation. Often your goals seem unattainable to you. Often they are. But you can verify this in only one reliable way. And more on that later.

Some people from childhood know how to go through the mazes. You think how? Labyrinths must be passed from the end! You can pass quite a decent amount of dead ends in this way. And knowing this trick, let’s get back to our goals. Start with your top-level goal and gradually go down one level, answering the questions – “What should I have for me to reach the goal?”, “Where should I be by the time I’m ready?”, “Who will be next with me? ”and so on. You will be surprised, but only such goal-setting will set you up for productive work!

Give anchor

So, we remembered the first two most important components of high motivation: a return to reality and a reminder to ourselves of our personal goals. And it remains for us to learn with you the last, no less important component. And the fact that everything we did before is aimed at getting positive emotions, first from enjoying the present, then from an inspiring perspective, will help us get to it. And we do not want to lose such important and strong emotions for us! After all, we cannot build a goal tree and go to coffee breaks every day and hour.

The third component is the pinning. As soon as you feel a surge of energy and positive emotions, associate this condition with something, with an object or image that you will definitely remember in a day, two or a week. And do not forget to repeat it every time you feel the same way, so that over time when you urgently need to tune in to a productive job, you just have to look at this subject so that your motivation soars to the skies!

Personal example

I will give an example from my being. I was developing the regulations for the process, which had not yet developed in my unit, but the need for the results of this process was already ripe. As you know, this activity in itself is not very motivating. And faced with the absolutely normal resistance of my colleagues, I was completely depressed. And even the thought that the management was expecting a result from me, rather made me think about how to miraculously justify the lack of meaning in this activity.

One morning, instead of the usual ritual with checking the mail and “tag” on the calendar, I did not even turn on the computer but went to drink coffee. Since I love cappuccino, I took a big one.

Returning to my workplace, I took a notebook and thought: what exactly does this regulation give me? What is my goal of which he is a part? And remembered! My goal is to perform a complex piece of turnkey work. And then I realized that it was not by chance that I chose to work on the regulations. This is really a piece of work that I am quite capable of doing, involving colleagues, applying my knowledge and skills, and delivering the finished product to the leader.

Moreover, everyone understands that the new process must go through an incubation period that does not set hard goals for its effectiveness. Therefore, the task, first of all, is to build the end-to-end process. I realized that I had already learned a lot while interrogating, describing, arguing and agreeing. And I will use this knowledge in order to find the most effective way to start the process and sign a document on it.

At that moment, thoughts began to come to me one by one. I made notes, and a picture from some article caught my eye. And since I was interested in the “flow state” at one time, I remembered that such a state needed to be “anchored”. So I decided to anchor this picture. I kept it for myself and decided to look at it every time I revise my goals and enter the same state that I had then in the history of the regulations.

I hope that the tips from this article will be useful to you and that you will be able to at least tame your personal motivation! And good luck in achieving your personal goals!