The three secrets to staying motivated: love the activity, love the result or love neither. But how do you put this into practice?

Motivation is rarely a problem when you love the activity. Some people love cooking, running, or making customers happy. Others love eating the things they cook, the way they feel after running, or the business that comes from happy customers. Motivation is also rarely a problem when you love the result.

Trouble arrives when you love neither the activity, nor the result. In that case, there are three choices:

1. Make the activity more lovable Find out what makes the activity annoying and then change how, when, where, or with whom it’s done. For example, run with a friend, eliminate unnecessary interruptions, or find a tool that makes the task easier.

2. Make the result more lovable Clarify the value – what’s in it for you or anyone else? Or enhance the value with a reward or recognition. For yourself, that might mean promising a break when an unpleasant task is finished. For employees, that might mean helping them understand the importance of, and showing appreciation for, their contribution.

3. Recognize and resolve the mismatch between job and employee

Misery is a lousy profession. If you or an employee loves neither the activity, nor the result for too many hours of the day, it’s time to find a better fit. That could be as simple as reassigning responsibilities or delegating tasks.

It could also mean changing jobs. No one wins when the fit is poor and neither the activity, nor the result is motivating.

Love the activity, love the result, or change directions.”

Ann Latham is the author of The Power of Clarity: Unleash the True Potential of Workplace Productivity, Confidence, and Empowerment and is the founder of US-based consulting firm Uncommon Clarity. Her clients represent over 40 industries and range from ... (Read More)

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