Can motivation be hacked?

Can motivation be hacked?

Staying motivated can be hard, even if you love your job. Work can sometimes feel like an endless cycle of struggling and demotivation can spiral. The less motivated you are, the harder tasks become which makes us even less, you guessed it, motivated.

So how are you going to fight the slump and stay psyched for the day ahead? Follow these tips of course!

Positive language

We’re not going to tell you to stand in front of a mirror and give yourself compliments. That might work for some people but the rest of us just stare with evil eyes at people who act like normal conversation is just quoting a series of motivational memes. We don’t need you telling us “setbacks are halfway to comebacks”, Sandra! Send cat memes, they make us happy.

Positive language comes from you. You can’t train yourself not to have pessimistic thoughts or complain about crappy things but you can train yourself to counteract these things with positive language (in a less annoying way than “Sandra”). For example, when you complain about it raining you can finish it with “it’ll be good for the flowers though”.

This helps create a balance in our subconscious and stop negative thoughts and feelings from taking over.

Get away from it all

Demotivation can be a sign you need a change. Lots of motivational tips suggest that you “see things through to the end” or “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re finished” – this is a really bad idea.

Your body and mind are telling you they need to recharge and you should listen to them.  You’re not stopping, you’re pausing. What’s the point of forcing yourself to work at half-speed? A well-rested body and mind will be better equipped to accomplish more, which will naturally motivate you.

90/20 your way to success

You’re probably working way too hard/much and this is affecting your productivity which then affects your motivation. Sleep studies have discovered something called the ultradian rhythm which is essentially the cycle of activity our brains go through in REM sleep. Scientists have found this 90 minute cycle of brain activity is relevant to our conscious selves too. The finding was that our brains function best in 90 minutes bursts.

The take away from this is we should all be working for 90 minutes and then resting for 20 minutes to be at our most productive. Productivity and motivation go hand in hand. If you feel like you’re pushing an elephant up the stairs (see what we did there?) and hardly getting anywhere you’ll be less motivated.

Tidy up

Random tip but stick with us. The old idiom that a tidy desk equals a tidy mind rings true for some people but we’re not saying a messy desk is why you have a lack of motivation.  In fact, some studies suggest that a little disorder is good for creativity.

Something as simple as getting your desk organised or polishing the kitchen taps if you work from home can be a great motivator. It’s a simple task that requires little brainpower (so it gives us a chance to power down and recharge) and you get results that you can actually see.

Small achievements trick your brain into releasing endorphins and dopamine which will help pump you up for the next task.


Exercise is great for getting the right chemical balance in your brain so get up from your desk as often as possible and go for a walk or a run. Lift some weights, do some yoga or just shake off the desk cramps.

We’re not designed to work practically sedentary jobs and gluing ourselves to desks and screens all day actually impedes our productivity and what does productivity mean? PRIZES! Sorry, wrong blog. It means motivation. The more productive you are the more motivated you feel.

Reward yourself!

When you set yourself tasks assign rewards to them. It doesn’t have to be big but it has to be meaningful. A bite of chocolate for 3 hours of hard graft isn’t much to get excited about but treating yourself to a new book or putting $10 towards an expensive piece of clothing you really want is.

Get some green

Green is a motivational colour because it reminds us of the outdoors. It’s also a colour that symbolises creativity. Get a plant for your desk if possible or get plants put all around the office. If you can’t do that then decorate your desk with more green things.

Most importantly – go outside! Get away from the desk at least once a day (leaving to go home doesn’t count you workaholic cheaters!) and just go for a walk in the park. Breathe in some air that hasn’t been through the office filter 20 times already and psyche yourself up for the next 90 minutes.

Motivation isn’t really something that can be hacked as it is deeply personal, but by following these practical tips you will at least find your energy levels have improved and that is key to being your best, most motivated self.

Maria Bellissimo-Magrin

Attitude helps. Maria Bellissimo-Magrin wouldn’t have become the CEO of full-service creative marketing agency Belgrin without it. While you’ll never hear her claiming to be a creative genius, with such a fantastic team at Belgrin backing her, it doesn’t take long for her clients to start throwing this term around. She started out in the industry 15 years ago and was quickly head hunted by Saatchi & Saatchi. In that time, she’s worked in Sydney, England and Bahrain and for the last eight years she’s been at the helm of Belgrin. She enjoys every aspect of her job, but what she loves is exceeding her client’s wildest expectations. And yes, it doesn’t happen every day, but with her it’s a hell of a lot more common than with anybody else out there.


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