How to Motivate Yourself to Work Harder

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Do you ever have days where you are motivated, focused, alert and get large amounts of work done but on other days you just stare at your computer screen and find yourself simply going through the motions? We all need to be inspired to do our best. Developing self motivation can help give you the push you may need to accomplish a difficult task and to get your spark back at work. Use these real and practical solutions to dig up your lost motivation and get the job done with a sense of passion.

Here are some strategies to motivate yourself to work harder:

Don’t Think About It As Hard Work

Think of your work as part of making yourself who you want to be.

Don’t think of a project as drudgery but rather as a piece of the puzzle that is helping you along your career path.

Create Small, Bite-Sized Goals

You should have a really big goal to focus your career goals but break down that goal into smaller bites to digest one at a time.

Smaller goals will give you a sense of accomplishment as you complete each one.

Read Daily

Read for at least an hour a day or start small and get into a habit of reading twenty minutes a day to inspire you in all areas of your life.

The most successful people in the world attribute their success to reading a lot of books.

Challenge Yourself to Learn New Things

Your brain may become motivated more easily if you are constantly challenging it.

Reading current events and online articles can strengthen your skill set and help you achieve more goals.

Stop Caring About The Things That Don’t Matter

Doing things that don’t mean anything cost a lot of mental energy.

Look at your to-do list, find things you know have little relevance, and get rid of as many of these activities as possible. You will stay more consistently motivated if you’re working on activities that are inherently meaningful or are part of a larger mission.

Surround Yourself With Other Motivated People

It is easier to be motivated when you see it exhibited in other people.

Spend time with people who are highly motivated and constantly working to accomplish new goals.  Their attitudes and drive can be contagious and help you achieve your own goals.

Find A Mentor

A great mentor will have actionable advice on how to propel your career forward.

Push Yourself Outside Your Comfort Zone

Make plans to accomplish goals that are more difficult than what you’re used to.

Tackle a highly challenging project at work or try to learn a new skill to enhance your work performance.

Make a Passion Diagram

Create a visual representation of what you love to do, what you do at work, and the places where the two might intersect.

Find ways to infuse your job with more of what you love e.g., writing, giving presentations.

Celebrate Wins

Acknowledge all the good that you are doing and don’t discount the little things.

The more wins in your life the more they will motivate and encourage you to do more.

Treat yourself with small things to recognize tiny advancements.

Self motivation can provide a sense of achievement and the determination to complete more tasks. Strong self-motivation at work and the drive to achieve can lead to promotions, strong and trusting relationships with team members and the opportunity to work on more projects that you enjoy and are passionate about.


  1. Stacey Lastoe. The Muse. 7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Hard When You’re Really Not in the Mood.
  2. Indeed. How to Apply Self Motivation in the Workplace.
  3. Career Contessa. 13 Ways to Motivate Yourself at Work.
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