Ask The Experts: Motivation with Kate Turner (abridged)
Kate Turner, from Motivational Leadership, joined us recently for a live online Motivational Surgery, where she fielded questions about the subject in support of the everywomanNetwork Challenge: Harnessing Your Personal Motivators.
This is an abridged version of a longer article available to everywomanNetwork Members, which includes thirteen more questions and responses about motivation.
How do you motivate yourself to get work done after trying many things and failing?
The first thing to do is stop. Stop and think about what it is you are really trying to achieve. Make sure you have articulated the thing you want to do in positive terms (and ideally it is measurable) i.e. "I want to win three more clients by the end of December 2011", rather than what you don't want i.e. "I don't want to feel concerned about where my next client is coming from".
In order for your brain to know what opportunities to seek out and take advantage of, you need to tell it. Unfortunately, if you tell the brain things in a negative way i.e. don't do x, then it needs to think of x before it doesn't do it - and all of your energy gets focussed on the wrong area. Example: don't think of a pink elephant. How many of you are thinking of a pink elephant?!
The next thing to do is remind yourself WHY you are doing it. What positive outcomes will achieving this aim bring to you? How does it align to your motivators? Keep in mind WHY you are doing something and you are more likely to be motivated to achieve it.
Sometimes I find myself getting overwhelmed by other priorities, how do I stay motivated and focused to achieve my goal?
In an all too busy world it is easy to start feeling overwhelmed by other priorities and become less focussed on achieving our goals than we would like. So how do you keep motivated? Firstly make sure you have a positively stated, measurable goal or target. Next, make sure you understand WHY you are setting out to achieve this task.
Set aside time to focus on your task. I find putting diary appointments in my calendar a really useful way of making sure I get on with actions for bigger tasks - rather than fire-fighting all day. Make sure you keep your appointments with yourself - YOU are a priority!
If there are other things you need to do that are important, then allow yourself specific time slots throughout the day to action these priorities - but set the stop watch. The human brain is most effective when it works for a maximum of 45 minutes at a time. Allow yourself one, two or three 45 minute slots per day to deal with these ‘other’ priorities
I work from home and sometimes find it hard to focus on my work, especially knowing I’m my own boss. Have you got any motivational tips to help me stay focused?
This is a great question! It goes back to knowing what your motivators are. If you are motivated by freedom and have a low need for having a sense of belonging, then chances are you will relish working from home. You will see people as a distraction! However, many people coming out of companies to work for themselves have a motivation for that sense of belonging (Motivational Maps calls it 'Friend'). In this case, you will need to find your grouping elsewhere.
You could do this in a number of ways including:
going to networking sessions, not just to find business but to be around people you like
setting up a SKYPE network with people so you can chat to them (for free!) about work related stuff. This could be as formal as an action learning set, or as informal as a weekly chat; the point is you have someone to talk to!
if you are motivated by 'Friend', then it will be even more important to work with people you like i.e. your clients. Bear this in mind when you are targeting companies
some people just aren't suited to working from home as their need to belong to a group is too high - and yet they are just a team of one. There are a number of companies who rent office space in a communal area so you can feel like part of something, even though you all work for yourselves
one of the reasons why people say they don't like working from home is because they don't feel like they get much done. I guess this is because they get distracted. So, make sure you have clear deliverables to be achieved. Make sure you have a work space that feels like an office rather than camping out in the dining room. Give yourself a reward of being sociable at lunchtime or after work through networks, meeting friends or hobbies.
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