09 January 2009

Running out of steam? Here’s how to stay fired up

No matter how fired up you are about your job or what your job is, at some point your motivation will take a dive. Here are 10 ways to cope.

No matter how fired up you are about your job or what your job is, at some point your motivation will take a dive.

Here are 10 ways to cope:

Start early: Getting into the office at the crack of dawn may sound like medieval torture, but if you do it each day for a week, or each Monday for a month, you may be able to wade through that backlog of work that’s been weighing on you..

Draw up a schedule: If you have a mountain of catching-up to do, compile a plan on how to chip away at it. Watching the backlog shrink is a powerful motivation.

Be the best: There’s no greater drain on motivation than mediocrity, especially when it’s your own. Giving your best each day will help you maintain momentum, especially when you get results.

Upset your routine: If the job has become routine, find a way to disrupt the monotony. Try the new time-management software, swop your morning and afternoon tasks around or have a large-scale revamp of your office.

Expand your arsenal: Ongoing education will nurture your talents, keep you challenged intellectually and improve your prospects in the long term. Many institutions offer evening classes in subjects such as communications skills, business administration and programming. Many firms reimburse their employees when they complete courses, or offer interest-free loans or other incentives.

Take a break: Ask yourself when you last took a proper holiday. Make sure to schedule time off to recharge after an especially intense period of peak activity.

Seek feedback: If you feel you could improve your performance, ask for constructive criticism from supervisors. Make sure you follow up on those suggestions. And avoid being too critical of your work, especially if you know you’ve put in your best effort.

Find a new challenge: Volunteer to tackle a difficult project, even it’s not part of your job description. Be prepared to make a fairly major move like getting transferred to another department.

Get moving: Vigorous exercise has immediate physical and long-term mental benefits. Take a brisk walk during your lunch hour, go for a run before work, or spend half an hour in the pool. It’ll boost your energy levels and increase your concentration span. The extra oxygen fizzing around your bloodstream will give you a fresh perspective on your life and career.

- (William Smook, Health24, updated January 2009)


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