What do you do to motivate yourself? Are you a list-maker? Are you a “big picture” person who sets large goals and then breaks down the steps needed to accomplish them? Do you just get to the office a few minutes early to see what new adventure awaits and structure your day by what appears in your inbox?
For years I struggled (and sometimes still do) to feel uber-productive because I saw myself as always putting out fires…Patty the Problem-Solver. While I seemed to thrive and perform optimally under pressure, it is a very stressful way to navigate one’s career. Admittedly, it is a hard habit to break and I still find myself doing this at times.
On my best days, I wake up at 5:00 a.m., feed and walk the dog, check my personal emails (I don’t want to be distracted or tempted to check them while at the office), if time allows – work a bit on one of my side gigs, eat breakfast, then get ready for work and wake up my son to get him ready for school. I try (not always successfully) to stay off social media because I totally lose track of time once I start sharing memes. 😊 Today’s side gig activity was to frost two dozen cupcakes (I baked last night) for pick up at 7:30 a.m. before I left for the office. I average 2 to 4 dozen cupcake sales a week.
Once in the car and “on the road again”, I have 90 minutes to listen to a book on cd, return business calls or catch up with friends so I feel like I have accomplished quite a bit before I sit down at my desk. As I boot up the computer, I get settled in. Next it is time to open Pandora’s box…my email… to see what is needed, check the calendars to see who is coming in, who is working remotely, who needs to be prepped for a meeting, etc. THEN I can prioritize tasks and dig in.
By noon, I am not only hungry, but also anxious to again be productive working on one of MY personal projects/gigs during my lunch hour. That may mean searching Indeed for a client, drafting a resume or cover letter, website maintenance for my son’s website, handling tenant issues for our rental unit, etc…There is always much to do.
Yesterday, while listening to a random podcast, the speaker (wish I knew who she was) queried the listeners what they were doing to further their personal business or career “when you get home at night”. She explained that she often hears how when people get home, they collapse on the couch because they are tired. Her retort, “You’re not really tired. You’re uninspired.” Whoa………right? That hits the nail on the head. When we are inspired, we are motivated and energized to accomplish more. Clearly, we all need to be seeking out more inspiration then to achieve our goals.
What inspires you? Music? Art? A mission or cause? Your children? Your spouse? Nature? How do you mentally and emotionally recharge? Go for a walk or run? Draw, paint or create? Read? We need to replenish ourselves to do more, enjoy life, be better – better partners, better friends, better parents, better employees, better siblings, daughters or sons.
Definitely food for thought.