As I meet with people and talk and try to get to know them beyond just the surface, it seems there is one common thread in discussion. It is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the pace of life. Along with this overwhelmed feeling comes a loss of motivation. We feel like the hamster running in the wheel and our motivation wains. By the end of a week, we are often spent.
Most of us do have a plan and a purpose, and started out ready to conquer at least our corner of the world. I have found myself coming back to a few simple things over and over again, as I look to keep smiling and motivated.
How do we get our motivation back?
1. Remind Yourself of Your Purpose
We all have a purpose whether we realize it or not. If your purpose is something you have spent time clarifying, remind yourself of why you do what you do. Even if the purpose of your work is as simple as earning money to support your family, reminding yourself of this can give you the energy to push through that boring or difficult task. And, if you find an intrinsic purpose in your job, like helping others, remind yourself of that goal, and that you are really good at it!
2. Carve Out Time To Think
This world moves so quickly, and we are so good at filling up our time, that often we don’t think. John Maxwell, in one of his many books, talks about scheduling time to think. It sounds strange, but it is that important. If you don’t spend time thinking, you make bad decisions, overlook opportunities, and lose motivation. We need time to think “big picture”, and taking time to do this keeps us motivated and purposeful in our daily work.
3. Ground Yourself.
Not everyone is grounded by faith, so maybe not all can relate to this one. I believe in God who is sovereign and yet personal. I find that if I have lost motivation, it often means I have lost my connection to God. Spending time reading the Bible, praying, or worshipping puts me in a position of trust and faith. With faith comes a positive outlook and motivation returns.
4. Knock Out That Roadblock.
Sometimes lack of motivation is directly related to a specific de-motivator. So often I find that though I don’t recognize it, it is one specific thing that is killing motivation. I often ask my wife what is bothering me. It is kind of crazy that most of the time she knows what it is, even though I haven’t recognized it. Often it is a situation that needs to be dealt with or sometimes it is a frustration I feel like I can’t fix. Sometimes it is a looming task that I have procrastinated on, or something I don’t want to confront. Whatever it is, motivation comes back by identifying it and getting it out of the way.
5. Put Yourself In A Place To Learn.
Learning something new through a book, article, video, or through a mentor can change your whole outlook. Sometimes it is just not knowing what to do in a particular situation that can kill motivation. Learning gives us hope. I can do this thing. I just need to make these adjustments and I will get there!
6. Stop the Multi-Tasking Focus Killers.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with another adult when your kid is interrupting you continuously. For some reason I try to tune out the interruption until about the 42nd “Dad” and by that time I am feeling like I might do or say something that just wouldn’t be good. So often we do the same thing with other distractions. We put up with our mobile buzzing, humming, beeping and interrupting us continuously. Our email is incessantly asking us for attention. People stop in, phones ring, and we think we can do it all. We need time to focus and time to accomplish. Close your email, turn off the alarms, put up your do not disturb, get something done, and motivation comes back.
7. Get Away.
Time away can be that much needed recharge. Sometimes we need that perspective, and sometimes we need to realize that we are not so important that we can’t leave. I am a big fan of truly disconnecting. I know that fewer people disconnect than ever, but truly letting go of work and not doing anything work related is huge. Take that weekend drive. Surprise someone. Find that new vacation spot!
8. Help Someone.
Sometimes we just need to get our minds off our own stuff and help someone else.Time spent helping someone else can change your perspective. Reminding you that you have something to offer, your life is truly blessed compared to theirs, and you have really helped them out. Volunteer, help a friend or neighbor, do a fundraising run/walk. It is good for the soul!
Staying motivated and positive can be a challenge in this fast paced world. If you are looking to find center and motivation, take a hold on a couple of these and see if they put you back on track. And, let me know if you have a secret to recharging and gaining motivation! Leave me a comment!