Lockdown leadership lessons: motivation

This time last year, the reality was sinking in that my life was now limited to my home. Rather than my usual schedule involving flights to various countries, I was marooned in my bedroom!

My work still had to be done, but that sudden sea-change hit me quite hard. One of the main effects was the impact on motivation.

I don’t mind admitting that there were times when my mojo got up and left. I felt I had lost my motivation. Those moments were a warning sign that my life and work were not in a sustainable rhythm.

Motivation is essential, especially if you are a leader or you own your business. Without your motivation you, your team and your business are in trouble.

Keeping my motivation high is very important. But it can easily melt away. Maintaining motivation is critical, so here is my advice.

Be kind to yourself

The first thing to remember when you feel your motivation slipping is to be kind to yourself. Don’t start to beat yourself up or become frustrated simply because you are struggling to motivate yourself.

I am an early riser and when the lockdowns began I continued to get up at dawn. Waking at 5:30am was pretty normal for me. I would normally prepare for my day ahead and then get out and do my work.

After several months of not having the opportunity to travel, those early starts lost their shine. I decided to be kinder to myself and began to get up half an hour later.

If you don’t find a sustainable pace and rhythm, there’s a danger of you working flat out. Like a car’s engine, if you over-rev it, a disastrous event will take place. Whether it blows a piston or boils over, it will eventually break. Stop, pause and be kind yourself. Regroup and raise your game!

Start with the end in mind

Sometimes you attack a new project with aplomb. And then there are times when it feels daunting. If you are struggling to motivate yourself, then you are more likely to have trepidation.

Instead, think about what the end result will look like. Break up the task into steps and set goals of achievement. I have written a lot about goal-setting and accountability, so ask someone to hold you accountable.

If you know you have to reach and end goal, your motivation will wane less.

Know your ‘why’

As part of the Relationology 'Writing My Book' course, I ask participants to define their ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is very personal but if you don’t have a clear one, then it will be difficult to be motivated.

Not knowing why you are in business or working will result in a lack of motivation. Even if it is to make a living, it is your ‘why’ so don’t lose sight of it.

What is your greater purpose?

Once you know your ‘why’ and why you are really doing whatever it is you’re doing, then look at the greater purpose.

Elevating your purpose is a great way of refreshing your motivation. While I’ve been working on Relationology Academy courses and heading up teams in various organisations I am part of, I think about the purpose.

One of my purposes is to coach business owners so they reach goals. It is that purpose that drives me. I have to remind myself from time to time, as does anyone, but once I think about the greater purpose my motivation returns.

Remember, if you are struggling for motivation today, think about tomorrow. Give yourself a break today because it will help you uncover your mojo tomorrow.

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