How often do you find your mind drifting when you’re at work?
And how many times have you put off doing a task because you just can’t bear to face it?
Believe me – you are not alone!
Finding and maintaining motivation is often a daily battle for many of us. But with appraisal month not so far away (in January for most people), now is the perfect time to fire up your energy and enthusiasm and put some extra umph into your projects.
With that in mind, I contacted a few of our Citrix friends and asked them the question ‘What do you do to keep yourself motivated at work?‘
I hope the following responses are both helpful and inspiring.
“This may seem strange, but I feel like it’s best to wake up earlier than most people and get a great workout in to feel motivated. I feel energised when I walk into my office that I’m ready to tackle mental tasks, as I had challenging physical tasks minutes before. After that, I keep a checklist of things that I want to accomplish and do my best to complete it. It’s almost like playing a game out of my work. I try and complete as much as possible in order to win; and every day I give “more than yesterday, less than tomorrow.”
“It’s simple. I love what we do. We love doing a great job for our clients and our clients trust us to do a great job because they know their success is our success. It’s challenging and not easy but then we wouldn’t do it if it was easy. One day I am walking the factory floor watching our technologies help launch a new product, ship tea, or deliver spare parts faster, and the next day I will be down a mine or in the boardroom of a city bank. It isn’t easy because our achievements depend on everyone working together in a very high profile way that shapes careers for life. We have the privilege of working with incredibly talented people who care and want to make a difference in fixing a show stopping problem or designing a new programme. I guess in business speak we’d say our passion and desire to do a great job in challenging circumstances are what motivate us… we like making a visible difference.”
Founder, Pivot plc
“A very interesting question.
#1. I keep my goals in plain view… anyone who walks into my office can’t
miss the poster size blow-ups of what I’m trying to accomplish.
#2. I keep my progress against my goals in plain view… it’s not hard to
come up with goals… but it’s mandatory that I keep my progress in front of
me. If you’re trying to lose 5 pounds before August 1st, you can’t lose all
of the weight on July 31st.”
Sales trainers, keynote speaker and executive presentation coach
“I am always excited and motivated by the potential in my work. I thinking raising your sights and having a vision is critical as it gives your day to day work meaning and context. Personally I also like to work in different places, I find this inspires me to look afresh at things and generate new ideas, whether I am in a new coffee shop or a new city.”
“It’s what I do out of work that keeps me motivated at work! I have clear goals and objectives for all that I do and I break those down into monthly and weekly tasks. So whenever I am at work I am very motivated at all times because I have direction and purpose. Add that to the fact that I love my job then the two combined make the time fly (and I get paid to do it as well! Bonus!)”
Managing Director, MTD Sales Training
“In terms of motivation, I’ve been blessed to be working in the sector I do – things are changing at such a pace that it’s almost impossible not be driven by the new ideas and approaches people are taking. That said, there are times when the motivation levels take a natural dip, either due to exhaustion (!) or getting dragged into the more mundane elements of running a business. When this hits, I book a day or two out of my diary and go walking (ideally a decent hike of 15 miles or so). Sometimes it’s with a member of the team, sometimes just on my own – however it’s arranged, the simple act of walking, thinking and talking allows me to declutter the brain, prioritise what we need to be doing and, to date, I’ve always come back buzzing with ideas and energy (I’m sure the pub lunch is a contributory factor!).”
Managing Director, Eyeful Presentations Ltd
“In order to stay motivated throughout the day, I don’t do things like read inspiring quotes, listen to music, or check to-do’s off of lists. Instead, I think about our customers. I try, every day, to internalise their pain points, relate to the challenges they face, and imagine what it is that keeps them up at night. Then I focus all my energy on doing what I can to make work and life better for them. Without customers there is no business. That’s what drives me. The idea is that if I’m not doing my very best work, I’m not serving my customers. And if I’m not serving my customers, they’re going to find someone else who can.”
CEO, When I Work
“I’ve got a number of tactics to keep me motivated at work, and they tend to work on different timelines. On my sign-in screen on my computer, I’ve got the (statistically accurate) date of my death: September 15, 2043. I know it takes about 5 years for each Big Project … so I’ve got limited time to have impact. On a poster near my desk, I’ve got a framed poster, a quote from the poet Charles Bukowski: “If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.” And finally, I start each week figuring out what the three crucial things are to accomplish, and keep that hand written note somewhere visible.”
Michael Bungay Stanier
Senior Partner, Box of Crayons
“I spend time with people… lots of people in different parts of the organisation which allows me to remain engaged and connected to our larger purpose. I also thank my lucky stars every day for being able to work in such a great environment and for the opportunities that have been provided along the way.”
Area Vice President of Sales – EMEA, Citrix
“I’ve been self-employed and I’ve worked at Microsoft, and the answer in all cases is the same: regularity of tapping into “the source.” It’s one thing to have a vision that’s compelling, but it’s another to consistently reflect on the “what it means to me” stuff in a way that makes it real. Whatever your “source”, designate the time to reflect and keep it sacrosanct. This will keep your motivation in check.”
Author, The Virtual Presenter’s Playbook
“I’m a classic extrovert on two fronts:
1. I prefer to learn through trial and error (act-learn-act vs learn-act-learn)
2. Spending time with people gives me energy vs. spending time with people use up my energy.
Knowing that I’m an extrovert helps me stay motivated at work because every day I make sure I talk to at least 5 different people exchanging ideas. So at the end of each day I’ve either learned something new or helped someone else and I can’t wait to get up in the morning and do it all again!”
Creator of Trigger Event Selling™
Chief Catalyst, Shift Selling, Inc.
For a few more ideas, check out this infographic courtesy of PROEssayWriter.