Good performance, doing things and constantly improving are part of the human experience. People have an instinct for importance – and you want to do great things in your work and in your personal life. And now is the perfect time to reset your motivation and re-engage your efforts.
Science has discovered new ways to motivate and improve performance – and certain tactics work better than others. The research is timely: the performance is top notch for most people. According to a study conducted by Monster, a third of workers regularly consider leaving work, and a Fidelity survey reveals that 61% already have them.
Whether you’re thinking about your performance in light of giving up, staying, or starting something new, it’s all about feeling important, knowing you’re valued, and wanting to contribute – it’s about motivating performance.
Work hard, play
It is interesting that the tendency to perform well is also connected with the desire for a good time. A Queens University study found that those who had an ambition for “heritage” – the goal of marking and making a difference – also had a significant drive for “free time” – a desire to enjoy all that life has to offer.
But you can also go too far with determination, as studies from the University of Essex have shown. Too much focus on failure, mistakes, or self-criticism motivated by a desire for perfect performance can cause burnout conditions and disengagement — actually undermining performance and motivation. But it is possible to focus on good performance in a way that serves your goals and improves results.
According to multiple studies, motivation and performance are driven by several primary approaches – all of which have proven results.
Talk to yourself
- Talk to yourself about the outcomes – based on a study of 44,000 people he published Limits in psychologyone of the best ways to improve performance over time has been to teach and provide narrative, especially related to outcome. An example is saying to yourself, “I can beat my best score.” Focus on the result you want. Faster performance, higher productivity, better customer feedback or more rewarding team experience are all outcomes you can strive for — and telling yourself you can, proves to be very motivating and very good for performance.
- Talk to yourself about the process – The Borders The study also found that you are guided and give yourself the right kind of messages about procedure are effective. In this case, you refine your speech about yourself according to the ways you perform the task. For example, “This time I can react faster.” Think about the elements of the process that contribute to excellent performance: preparing an impressive report, making a great presentation, including effective team members, or seeking support throughout the organization. Tell yourself that you will be better at these steps of the process and that you will experience a payoff in motivation and performance.
- Ask questions – A University of Illinois study has found another method that works to motivate performance: ask yourself if you want to perform the way you want to. For example, the question, “Will I exercise today?” or, “Will I give a brilliant presentation?” Asking yourself questions obviously forces the brain to imagine the process and success — and encourages self-talk and visualization that work so well to inspire successful performance.
Use your imagination
- Imagine success – The Borders the study also showed the power of visualizing success. It was also related to the outcome and the process – you imagine yourself winning your best result or you imagine yourself reacting faster. Either way, you include mirror neurons in which your brain experiences success and strengthens pathways to behaviors that support success.
- In addition, general curiosity is significantly associated with motivating excellent performance, according to a study published in Views on psychology. So read widely, seek different opinions, travel and explore new experiences to build your repository of information that will be the raw material you will use as you perform brilliantly.
Focus on the process
- Focus on Behaviors – And finally, a study published in Journal of Consumer Psychology the motivation found tends to shift when you are early or late in your performance. Early in the process of achieving your goals, you will be most effective if you consider actions to be taken in reaching them – for example, by focusing on building your network or improving your technical skills. As you move towards achieving your goals, you will be better off focus on what you need to avoid– for example, focusing on avoiding errors in your analysis or avoiding inaccuracies in your report. This approach to “motivation to promote” and “motivation to prevent” can help ensure that your motivation doesn’t go away. Adopt two ways of thinking to keep the focuses that are most motivating as your process progresses.
Which doesn’t work
While these were the things that worked best to improve performance, there was one approach that was less successful in the experiment he published Borders, and that was planning the scenario – imagining the situation and determining how to deal with it ahead of time. While other research has shown the effectiveness of this method, this study suggests that it is not actually the best approach.
Whether you want to behave well in today’s role or the job you’re looking for tomorrow, the effect is ultimately individual. What works for others may not work best for you. But in the spirit of striving to be better, experimenting and improving, learning what’s new and proven can be a great way to move toward a future where you have the most impact.