4 Ways To Improve Performance: Cool New Science On Motivation – Forbes

Great performance is the result of the right motivation.
Performing well, getting things done and constantly improving are part of the human experience. People have an instinct to matter—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 reengage your efforts.
Science has discovered new ways to get motivated and improve performance—and certain tactics work better than others. The research is well-timed: Performance is top-of-mind for the majority of people. According to a study by Monster, a third of workers regularly think about quitting their jobs, and research from Fidelity reveals 61% already have.
Whether you’re thinking about your performance in light of quitting, staying or starting something new, it’s all about feeling like you matter, knowing you’re valued and craving to make a contribution—it’s about motivating performance.
Interestingly, the penchant to perform well is also linked with the desire for good times. A study by Queens University found those who had an ambition for “legacy”—the goal to make a mark and make a difference, also had a significant drive for “leisure”—a desire to enjoy all life has to offer.
But you can also take determination too far, as studies from the University of Essex showed. Too much focus on failure, mistakes or self-criticism motivated by a desire for perfect performance can cause the conditions for burnout and disengagement—actually undermining performance and motivation. But it’s possible to focus on performing well in a way which serves your goals and enhances outcomes.
According to a multiple studies, motivation and performance are driven by a few primary approaches—all of which have proven results.

Curiosity also motivates performance.

While these were the things that worked best to enhance performance, there was one approach which was less successful in the experiment published by Frontiers, and that was scenario planning—imagining a situation and determining how to deal with it ahead of time. While other research has demonstrated effectiveness with this method, this study suggested this wasn’t, in fact, the best approach.
Whether you’re seeking to perform well in today’s role or the job you’re looking for tomorrow, performance is ultimately individual. What works for others may not be what works best for you. But in the spirit of striving to be better, experimenting and improving, learning what’s new and what’s proven can be a great way to move toward the future in which you have the greatest impact.


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