We all have bad days. It’s a fact. But when you feel like you are being engulfed by a giant dark cloud of de-motivation, it can be draining as it not only effects your career but it can have a serious impact on your mental health. It’s time to take some stepping stones to staying motivated and become a giant in the workplace.
Focus on your impact
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do make a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Ever feel that no one notices the work that you do? Do you feel like you are just a hamster on a huge wheel with no impact? YOU ARE WRONG! You need to explore the impact that you have and do it before you really believe your work is pointless. Get out and speak to colleagues in different departments and ask them what impact you have and what you can do better.
Have a proper think about what you bring to the table. So, you work in IT in a furniture retailer. What impact can you possibly have? Well think of the lost days the company would suffer without you. Think of the frustrations employees feel if they are struggling to open up the company database. Knowing what impact you have and how people rely on you makes it that little bit easier to get out of bed in the morning.
It can be really effective to take 5 minutes each day to reflect on what impact you had today. We generally take it for granted, so the discipline of noticing each day can really help you see what wouldn’t happen if you weren’t there!
Consider your why
“He who has a why can endure any how.”
Why are you doing what you are doing? What led you to this point and how much effort did it take? Finding your sense of purpose can keep you motivated through the toughest of days. What makes you come alive and what would your perfect workday look like? Think of what your passions are and steer your work in that direction. Consider your strengths (the things you’re good at AND make you feel strong), and ask yourself, how can I do more of this? Where can I add the most value?
Another approach is to imagine it’s your retirement party – what will I be proud to say I’ve achieved? What am I doing to make this happen now? These are all huge questions to ask ourselves, and when you unpack the answers you will stay motivated more often.
Remember the end game
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer”
What would your dream job be? If you’re struggling with that, consider what you would do with yourself if you didn’t have to work. If you could wave a magic wand and be in your ideal role what would that be? Now ask yourself….what do I need to do to get there? Or how can I build some of this into my day/ week/ month? This alone can keep you motivated when you may previously have felt drained. It undoubtedly involves learning new skills (either inside or outside the workplace). So go do it. It will involve increasing your networking and paying attention to your personal brand and reputation. If you can identify where you want to be not only Is it easier to get there but it’s infinitely easier to get out of bed in the mornings when you know why YOU are doing so .
Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines
“Goals are dreams with deadlines”
Breaking your goals down into time specific bite size targets can give you a sense of achievement and keep you pushing in the right direction on a daily basis. Sure you can have a target of “I want to be CEO in 5 years time” but you won’t get there unless you have daily, weekly and monthly targets to hit. Daily to do lists are a must to keep motivated!
Consider using a digital platform/app to do it. Ticking off tasks as you complete them gives a real sense of satisfaction and you will find it easy to track your.
Leave the comfort zone
“The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.”
You are unlikely stay motivated if you have been doing the same thing each day for a decade. And why should you? You have opportunities to volunteer for projects/tasks in the workplace that have the ability to broaden your skills, increase your profile and break up the monotony of your role. Look out for challenges and as long as they fit into your beliefs and help you to achieve your goals then go for it. Seek out new challenges by speaking to colleagues from other parts of the business. What can you learn from them? What can you help them with?
“Taking care of yourself, taking time for yourself & rewarding yourself is NOT selfish.”
Finally it’s important to reward yourself when things go well (and also when things don’t to help you clear your mind). Referring back to your to do list think about what you have done this week. Allow yourself to keep the laptop in its bag and open a bottle of Prosecco and binge watch your latest obsession. You deserve it. Book a holiday. Visit friends. Skip up and down your favourite beach with your dog. Whatever it is…..make time for yourself. Incentivising your to do list can be the key to achieving your goals.
Remember that the most successful people in the world have to work at staying motivated. There are very few people who naturally have drive and determination 100% of the time. A combination of smaller deadline driven goals with gigantic life changing goals can be the difference that make success a reality.