Where did those summer days go? They seemed to be here for ages yet disappeared in a flash! Much like motivation.
The novelty of working from home and chilling out in your joggers, or “leisure trousers” as my mum puts it, has started to wear off. The thought of another 6 months starring at a screen all day with little in the way of real human contact feels a little too much to contemplate. You feel it too? The nights are drawing in, the temperature has dropped and finding the motivation to exercise, let alone outdoors in the cold and dark, is even harder to muster! You can just cover it all up with a big woolly jumper, right? It’s no wonder motivation levels are waning and we’re finding it harder to keep focused.
There is a natural rhythm to motivation levels we need to pay attention to…
Motivation naturally ebbs and flows. The first thing to do is notice your natural rhythm and then what other things exacerbate it, either positively or negatively.
There is the daily rhythm – early bird or night owl or just get going at 4.30pm bird and then get interrupted by family who want feeding!
There is the weekly rhythm – eager to get started on a Monday, or in your groove by Wednesday, or ready to sleep by Friday.
There are hormonal cycles, business reporting cycles, monthly meeting cycles … blah blah blah.
Add to that the impact of the external influences on our drive and motivation; covid, school routines, the seasons, party political conferences, organisational strategic reviews … the list goes on!!
We are also human beings with wants and desires, things that naturally motivate us and change how we think and behave…
Reward and recognition, responsibility, accountability, interesting work, interesting people, loyalty, autonomy, respect, equality, a healthy balance, status, working with others, being part of something bigger, learning something new, being able to create, having an achievable to-do list, having a good nights sleep… and many more!
Understanding yourself better will help you to cope, manage and even thrive in these challenging times
- Create routines and structures in your life and work which pay attention to your natural rhythms
- Be honest with yourself about what really motivates you and how it impacts your behaviour. Apply this knowledge religiously.
- Find someone who can hold you to account, helping you to notice what’s happening and encouraging you to do what works best.
Some things that help to keep me motivated
- Doing work which positively impacts individual lives – It’s my why.
- A daily to-do list with only 3 things written on it – It’s achievable.
- An almost daily exercise regime that keeps the positive endorphins flowing – I like the buzz
- Taking a proper break at lunchtime to rest my brain – I feel more alert and positive
- Stopping tasks, switching tasks or taking a break when motivation wanes, knowing it will return when its good and ready – I want to do my best
- Being part of a team that inspires, supports and encourages me – I’m not alone
- Talking about how I feel and what’s on my mind – It helps me to keep it in perspective.
- Knowing at the end of the day, when work is done, I have a family I can cuddle up with on the sofa – It’s my everything.
It’s not just you that feels a little de-motivated
If you are, I guarantee most of those around you are having a degree of trouble staying focused and motivated. Your teams, your peers, your boss, your partner, your kids, your running mate….
- How might you be able to help each other?
- What do you need to know and understand about each other to be able to help?
- How might you pay attention to the natural rhythms of motivation of those around you, to work smarter together, enable greater focus and feel fully engaged and present?
Changing the way we think, feel, and behave and consequently keep motivated, isn’t always easy. But it is totally possible! It takes an enormous amount of self-awareness, discipline, and courage. If you would like some help getting to grips with this, then please get in touch. Talking about it, is a great way to motivate yourself to do something about it 😊