In the many opportunities I have had to coach someone in the workplace the number one challenge that gets in the way of one’s achievement of their goals is the roller coaster they experience in the motivational arena. And it’s not that they lack any or all motivation for that would be another issue. Rather it’s related to moving through our days, weeks and months wherein at any given time we realize that our motivation at work is, at best, inconsistent and thus a ride to be avoided.
Because there are so many different things that can take us down this road the question becomes what we can do about it? Just like the roller coaster, this kind of ride becomes uneven, distracting, definitely unproductive and, ultimately, just boring as in here I go again. The good news is once we acknowledge this is an issue for us at any given time, we can definitely do things that minimize this unwanted ride and help us to maintain motivation, enthusiasm and drive we want and need to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves.
Siimon Reynolds penned an article for Forbes that addressed this very challenge. One of the elements that contribute to one’s success is how well we do our work and to a great extent this requires that we maintain a high level of personal motivation to win. He identifies 3 techniques that can prove very helpful as follows:
- Make a Genuine Commitment To Personal Excellence.
By simply making the decision to do everything as well as you can (in the time available), you not only get better results but your self-respect, self-image and personal motivation skyrockets. This commitment to excellence must be adhered to regardless of the mediocrity of the people around you. You are choosing to be outstanding no matter what.
- Remind Yourself Daily Of Your Strong Points.
Ambitious people often have a major personality flaw. They beat themselves up for their weak points. You often feel defeated and not good enough. This has to stop. Today. And one of the best ways to do that is spend 2 minutes every morning reminding yourself of why you are (or can become) superb at your career. Get a pad and pen and just write all the reasons why you’re damn good – your experience, your training, any positive personality attributes, etc. Simply focusing on your strong points every day will forge a far more powerful sense of self, which will lead to dramatically higher motivation.
- See Yourself As Unstoppable.
Reynolds suggests that we begin to see ourselves as unstoppable rather than successful. Seeing ourselves as the latter creates a conflicting self-image when we experience some failure in the course of daily work. Viewing ourselves as ‘unstoppable’ allows us to remain positive and effective even when we experience real and inevitable obstacles that intercede in our daily lives. It’s worth a try. Write the word ‘Unstoppable’ on a Post It note and put it where you can see it every day, so that it remains in your conscious mind.
I see the above suggestions as providing direction that will impact and lessen the irratic sense of motivation. And yet there are some additional steps that will provide the support we need and that can make a difference. I have found that some see these things as wasted time that takes them away for the ‘work’ that they must do. However, where we allow ourselves to engage in them the impact is only positive as follows:
- Exercise: Whether it be in the morning prior to going to work or mid-day exercise tends to energize and awaken us to the work that follows.
- Mid-day break: What a shame that so many come to see their lunch time as one in which they ‘grab’ something at their desk rather than seeing it as a necessary break that serves to reinvigorate them so that their afternoon is as productive as the morning. It has little to do with how much you eat … or even if you eat. Rather it’s a recharge that serves to be anything but a luxury.
- Insisting on a balanced life: Looking at one’s evening or weekends as the opportunity to relax the mind and body by focusing on things other than ‘the job’ is considered to be among the best of ‘vitamins’. To the extent we can become as diligent at operating in a different venue brings the benefit of recharge and regeneration that can actually make the work effort easier and more rewarding.
Selling the concept of doing things to minimize the up and down as related to one’s motivation at work is not an easy sell. It seems that many of us are preconditioned to view anything other than an intense focus on the aspects of our jobs as a waste and a luxury that ‘serious’ people don’t do. And in most all cases, once someone does buy into the concept, they awaken to a job that enables them to be more productive and a bigger asset to the goals of their own and those of the organization. Willing to try it? Can’t wait to hear your results.