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How to stay motivated at work and avoid burnout in 2024

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional and physical exhaustion when an individual experiences long-term stress, for instance, working in a stressful job.

Jo Foster
16 Jan 2024

The most common consequence of burnout at work is a loss of motivation and productivity, which translates into 13.7 million working days and £28.3 billion lost every year in the UK, according to Champion Health.

75% of people have experienced burnout at work, according to a survey conducted by Flexjobs, with more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents claiming that workplace stress affects their mental health.

After working in large corporate companies for two decades and experiencing burnout, Gina Buckney decided enough was enough and took the bold step to start her own company, Your People Power, which looks at how companies can take the mental wellbeing of their employees into their own hands to help improve productivity at work.

Many of the techniques used are based upon the findings from studies Gina and her team has conducted with various universities such as Harvard university, the university of California, and the university of Cambridge, making them effective for employees at work.

Gina has been kind enough to feature in this blog post providing us with helpful insights to avoiding burnout and staying motivated at work in 2024.

Practice Mindfulness

Gina is a big advocate of mindfulness, which is simply the ability to remain in the present moment.

She believes that yes, meditation is a great mindfulness practice to help employees stay motivated and avoid burnout at work but there are additional mindfulness actions such as going outside for a quick walk, going to get a quick coffee, or simply speaking to a colleague.

The purpose of these simple activities is to take a few minutes out of your busy workday to recharge by mindfully disconnecting from the thought of intense work, which helps refresh the brain and thus allows employees to work more effectively without feeling burnt out and unmotivated.

Many people know that they should be doing these mindfulness exercises to counteract some of the work-related stress and burnout however, they don’t do it. Gina worked at a large telecommunications company in central London where none of the employees were leaving the office until after 7pm. Leaving at 5pm made her feel as though she was not committed to her work and the company like the other employees, which forced her to also leave the office at 7pm.

At this point, Gina realised that it was more so a cultural issue at organisations where the solution is for you as a worker as well as the leaders at organisations to prioritise mindfulness practices, which will slowly change the culture.

Gina not only preaches for leaders to take accountability at work for their employees’ mental well-being but practices this herself. Out in the field as a senior operations manager in telecommunications a few years ago, she had six managers reporting to her with around 144 engineers who reported to them. Gina took it upon herself to reach out to every engineer, which had never been done at that workplace, and got to know them and their pain points in the job.

This selfless act allowed her to formulate a strategy that tackled the engineer’s problems, which caused a cultural shift at that workplace, helped improve employee motivation and reduce burnout, and thus increased productivity. This insight by Gina exemplifies the influence leaders have at companies and how they can cause real positive changes for the better of their workers.

Develop Self-Awareness

Gina alludes to the fact that self-awareness, a pillar of emotional intelligence, is key to staying motivated and avoid burnout at work.

Understanding that you will not be motivated everyday paired with self-awareness allows you to gracefully accept the times throughout the working week when you are feeling unmotivated as you know that it is a fleeting feeling, which in fact gives you motivation for the better days in the future.

Self-awareness not only allows you to recognise when you are feeling unmotivated but to also ask yourself why you are feeling like this, which will allow you to put together a strategy to help mitigate these feelings of no motivation.

Below is a list of reasons why you may be feeling unmotivated at work:

  • Mundane work: If your work is dull where you do not feel excited or eager to go to work then you will struggle with feeling motivated and driven.
  • Lack of encouragement: When you are not being pushed to achieve more and to become better every day then you become stagnant and unmotivated.
  • Reached your ceiling: Reaching the pinnacle at work means that you have outgrown the company with little to no room for growth, which can make you feel unmotivated to do better.
  • Poor manager or leadership: Managers or leaders that cannot motivate, direct, or even educate you on why you are doing certain tasks can make you feel unmotivated at work.
  • Personal issues: Having a lot going on in your personal life such as issues with the cost of living, relationship issues, or sick family members can distract you from your work leading to burnout and an inability to stay motivated and focused on work.
  • Poor pay: Not being paid enough for the value you bring to the company can make you feel unmotivated at work.
  • Wrong job: Sometimes being in the wrong job where you do not like what you do on a day-to-day basis can make you feel unmotivated and lead to burnout at work.

If any one of these reasons resonates with you then it is best to communicate it to a leader or manager at work to find the best solution for you, which will help prevent quiet quitting where you are doing the bare minimum as you are not motivated but never speak up about it.

Cultivate a Strategic Growth Mindset

In the previous section, we spoke about how not being pushed to achieve more and to become a better person by leaders at your organisation can cause you to feel stuck, which can make you feel unmotivated at work.

While it is important for leaders at organisations to take the initiative to help push employees, Gina believes that employees should also take responsibility for their own careers by cultivating a strategic growth mindset.

This growth mindset means that you are continuously seeking to improve your current skill set and embrace the thought of being the very best in your respected industry, which alone can help motivate you, increase productivity, and allow you to put your best foot forward in the world of work in 2024.

Gina has a degree in Computer Science and Change Transformation but took it upon herself to study the fundamentals of Neuroscience, which might seem a bit random. However, this is a true embodiment of strategic growth mindset as it improved her understanding of people and how our brains work allowing her to motivate herself and others easier and thus become a better work and leader at work. Therefore, demonstrating the power of adopting a strategic growth mindset to become more motivated and avoid burnout at work.

Master the Art of Effective Networking

Networking isn’t just about exchanging business cards; it’s about building meaningful and mutually beneficial connections says Gina.

It has been pivotal in her career, opening doors to new roles, opportunities and collaborations. This is one way you can become more motivated in your career but there is another mechanism by which this is done, which is dopamine the neurotransmitter within the brain that drives our sense of motivation and pursuit.

Building meaningful relationships built on trust and authenticity can increase the levels of dopamine increasing the feelings of well-being and motivation, which will allow you to be more productive at work.

This increase in overall levels of motivation and well-being has significant benefits in your personal life as well, highlighting the importance identifying valuable connections within your industry for long-term sustained success in both work and personal life.

We would like to thank Gina for taking time out of her busy day to provide her expertise on staying motivated and avoiding burnout at work going into 2024. She has given us some useful tips from practicing mindfulness to developing self-awareness and mastering the art of effective networking, which anyone can use to become the best version of themselves at work and in their personal life.

Gina Buckney is also a highly regarded keynote speaker who has a profound ability to captivate and resonate with audiences across the globe with her speeches so if you would like to book her for your next event, contact Evolve today.

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