One Author, Dan Pink, wrote the book Drive which explores the subject of motivation. In the book, Pink states that monetary incentives hardly lead to better performance especially for cognitive tasks. This is evident from studies like the one carried out by psychologist Edward Deci who demonstrated that incentivizing students with money leads to poor performances.
You are more likely to be motivated if you are working for something that you deeply care about. Purpose is pursuing a cause that is larger than yourself. Some managers have tapped into the purpose and passion factor to get record breaking results from their employees.
In South Africa, at the end of the apartheid era the Daimler Benz operations manager in the country started a project that involved building a car for Nelson Mandela. He had just been released from prison. Even though the company had been plagued by low productivity for years, employees got to work and built the car in record time. This implies that you can boost your motivation levels by focusing on something you have a deep emotional connection to.
We work better when we are self directed. Self direction follows our natural cognitive pathways. Pink, the author of Drive, points out that this is evident in children who play, explore and even create interesting scenarios for the games they are playing when left alone with their toys. Some studies have also shown that when employees are left to decide on different aspects of their jobs, it leads to better job performance.
Your level of skill can make you feel more or less motivated. When your level of mastery is high your interest and passions swells immensely. On the other hand, when your level of skill is low, it leads to frustrations that can compel you to give up on a project. Work on improving your skills to eliminate these frustrations that can affect your job performance.