Of course, this makes it difficult when I’m doing good things for less-than-good people. And, Revolutionary though an assistant may be, when she is told that she’s just the gum on the bottom of someone’s shoe, not “really” a member of her team, or otherwise, that motivation tends to go away, and a stronger “screw you” attitude moves in and takes motivation’s place.
So, how does one keep motivation at a high when one’s attitude is rock bottom?
Remember some of the good reasons why you’re doing what you do – And some of those good reasons may not even be work related! Whether it’s a cute little mouth to feed at home or putting up with the bad because you get to work on a team that makes charitable contributions to children’s education, there are a couple of good things about your job. Connect your tasks back to your values.
Find a cheerleader – Even in the darkest situations, you can probably find someone who will cheer you on. Perhaps it’s a spouse, a fellow co-worker…just someone who doesn’t ignore you and recognizes the value of your contribution. Talk to that person when you’re convinced your contribution has no value.
Ask yourself how you can make a task more enjoyable – Sometimes, even the most menial of tasks can be something to look forward to. Perhaps alphabetizing files is absolutely mind-numbing, but doesn’t it also give you a chance to think? Can you practice your singing while you’re locked in the file room? If you start thinking about the tasks you hate, I bet you can think of a way to make them fun. Give it a try!
Reward yourself – If you wreck your whole to-do list today, treat yourself to some Famous Amos cookies out of the machine, or sneak out of the office ten minutes early to get a jump on traffic. Rewards don’t need to come from someone else – you can step in and reward yourself for a job well done.
Split big goals into smaller ones – This makes so much sense! If you’re on a diet and you need to lose twenty pounds, are you only accomplishing your task when you’re twenty pounds lighter? No, you’re doing all kinds of good work along the way! Setting goals of five pounds at a time will help the end of the road seem closer. The same holds true for big projects. Try to see it in bite-sized chunks, and tackle those chunks one at a time, celebrating each time you get to the end of that smaller path.
Be positive with other people – Even if you’re being treated poorly, putting good stuff out there means that good stuff will come back to you. If your manager is treating you like a slave, or a group of co-workers are being particularly unkind in their words or expectations, you’ll still be able to find some happiness by smiling at others, complimenting good work and cheering people on.
Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes, and there’s some out there that you can tap into! The day goes so much better when you’re wired to accomplish great things!
Next post: Wednesday, September 10