About a year ago I was down in a slump, I couldn’t go another day worrying so much and working 12 hours a day. It was taking a toll in both my personal and professional life. I needed to find a balance, I needed to get back my motivation.
I started by doing a little bit of soul searching to find where I had left my motivation, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t find it! That’s odd – I told myself – since I am normally a very happy individual. It was then when I realized I was approaching the whole thing wrong: it’s not about trying to find that magic motivation pill, it’s changing what you can control, those things that affect you negatively.
Here’s what I did:
1. Start and end your day with things that you love doing
I was checking email first thing in the morning and started my day off by worrying or trying to solve that client’s problem sitting in my inbox. I thought about email all the way from bed to breakfast to getting in the office. By the time I got there, I was mentally burned down.
It was clear that I needed to change my routine, and so I did. No email before breakfast, no email after I’m home with my family (unless utterly necessary- like when I’m closing a big contract).
Once I got email out of the way, I had opened up time slots in my mornings and late evenings for reading books, writing or self improvement..
2. You don’t have bad days, just crappy moments
It’s easy to drag that crappy moment (every day we have at least one) throughout your day. It starts by thinking about it, then obsessing about it and by the time you realize you’ve bitched about it so long that you come to the conclusion: this is the worst day ever.
No, it’s not. You just decided to drag a moment along with you and ruin your day. Stop. NOW. Dust it off, get back on your feet, find something fun to do, and move on.
3. Set goals for your day
Experts say the feeling of accomplishment is tied directly to our happiness and well-being. Start your day by setting a few goals and write them down. Get that report done, finish testing that code, touch base with your clients, etc. By the time you’ve done 2-3 of your daily goals you will feel like you’ve accomplished something. And you have.
Nothing worse than ending your day feeling like you did nothing. On the other hand, finished goals will provide you with a great satisfaction.
Just remember that not everyday is a great day, but you have the power and control to make it better and shape the reality around you, everyday.