It’s September. Fall has started. Soon it will start to get cooler in the mornings. We will want to stay in bed sipping on cider or hot chocolate. It’s been a long year and we want to take a 3-month vacation. However, this is unrealistic (for most of us at least) and we know that deadlines are approaching and work is as busy as ever. What do you do when you don’t want to, but have to? Here are a couple reasons people become unmotivated and how to overcome them.
You’re only seeing the bad/negative
When someone is only seeing negative scenarios around them or the bad things that may have happened this week, it’s easy to lack motivation. Okay, you didn’t seal the deal with the large corporation you were hoping for. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other large corporations who you can go after. Okay, you didn’t get that job you were hoping for. That doesn’t mean there isn’t another job that could be even better. Don’t give up just because one scenario didn’t work out; life has endless opportunities.
You’ve set unrealistic goals
When life is not happening the way you expected or planned for, it’s easy to get discouraged. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate your goals and consider if they are realistic for the current state of your business or personal being. When setting goals it is important to stay SMART… Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented. By doing so, you will be able to work towards a specific end result and will be able to measure whether or not you achieved the goal at the end of a designated time period. Modifying a goal will make it achievable and keeping the goal realistic will motivate you to continue pushing after the designated time period when you see positive results.
You are impatient
It feels like you’ve been waiting… and waiting… and waiting. You’re becoming annoyed and increasingly agitated. You’ve been at your current employer for 2 years and believe you deserve a promotion. You spoke to your boss a month ago and he still hasn’t gotten back to you. Maybe, your boss is still going through the necessary steps to follow through with the promotion. Or, it’s been a slow season at the boutique you own. Maybe, people are saving money in preparation for the holiday season and then sales will pick up again. Either way, patience is a virtue and most things don’t happen exactly how we hope or plan, but all things happen as they should.
You aren’t using your time wisely
This one hits close to home because I am constantly distracted. Look at that picture perfect photo-op. Who just texted me? I wonder what I’m going to eat tonight. All of these take my mind away from what I’m supposed to be doing. After a three minute or one-hour lunch break, five minute walk at the top of every hour, chit-chat with your coworker in the break room, occasional phone call from your partner, in-laws, or kids, instead of working 8 am – 4 pm, you’re really only working 8 am – 2:30 or 3 pm. Not to say you’re not being productive during your work day, but maybe you aren’t getting your work done because you aren’t actually concentrating on work. Instead of walking for five minutes, walk to the end of the hall and back to cut that time in half. Give your coworker the “Hey, I hate to do this, but I need to finish this project, let’s chat later.” Maybe even put your phone on do not disturb and disable non-work related notifications on your computer.
No matter who you are, where you work, or what you do, there’s always times we lack drive and motivation to finish projects, study for exams, or host that weekly conference call. During these times, it’s important to keep in mind why you started and continue to pull from your inspiration. You started a non-profit because you wanted to help people. You’re going to law school to pursue your dream of prosecuting criminals. You opened a small business because you love fashion and wanted to employ those from less fortunate neighborhoods. Remember that motivation comes from within and radiates from your core.
When you’re bored, change your routine. Instead of exercising after a busy work day, wake up 30 minutes earlier to exercise before work and go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Rearrange your desk. Add a plant. Incorporate a pop of color. Frame a picture of your dog or family.
When you’re overwhelmed, schedule down time. Who says you have to go home, check emails, cook dinner and clean the house before you even take your shoes off? Come home from work, unwind and change your clothes. Read a book, watch an episode of your favorite show, or go for a walk. Take time to forget about your responsibilities and do something fun for yourself.
When things don’t work out, don’t dwell on the “what-ifs”. What’s done is done. Maybe, you would’ve gotten the job if you had said this. Maybe, you would’ve gotten this client if you had done this. If you have to alter who you are or what you believe then it’s not good for you or your business anyway. You will only attract what’s best by staying true to your values. Stay optimistic. Revamp your pitch, practice your interview skills and you’ll get the next one!
And when you’re successful, treat yourself! You lost the weight… splurge on a new outfit you love. You got the promotion… go to the fancy restaurant you’ve been eyeing for a year. Your small business grew 200% percent in revenue and foot traffic… buy the designer purse you’ve gotten 100 promotion emails about. Then, redefine your goals, write them down and evaluate what’s next. Nobody is perfect or has it all figured out. But no matter where you’re at personally or in your business, we are here to help. We’re cheering for you!