When deadlines are being missed at work, it’s easy to question your level of motivation among other things. You might ask, what’s changed? Your performance was at its best 6 months ago, yet somehow over the recent months, performance has fallen flat, so what do you attribute the decline to in your work?
For many, the pandemic has influenced nearly everyone’s level of productivity and quality of performance. Between productivity hacks (guilty of offering some myself), stress management techniques and time management tricks, all have been tried and tested to well, help stay motivated.
Those who are accustomed to working from home or had a remote set up pre-COVID, may not have felt the pinch as much. Your adjustments to ways of working and connecting with others may have been minor in comparison to someone who transitioned to working from home for the first time and for a much longer period than they may have been used to.
No matter the impact on you personally, we’ve all experienced the effects of this pandemic differently and when it impacts your motivation, in most cases, it’s also impacting both your quality of performance and productivity.
So, what’s missing?
Identifying the missing X factor can be a bit of a guessing game when you’re trying to find out what’s going to help you get your za za zoom back in your work.
Important to note that being motivated to do your work is not the same as being inspired to do your work and can easily come and go. I find motivation and inspiration are often confused in leadership and there’s an expectation that a leader should be able to motivate you.
Intrinsic motivation comes from an internal source that only you can access and tap into.
Extrinsic motivation can be in the form of motivators that an external source has influence over you. In the workplace, things like compensation, benefits, incentives and so on can be considered external motivators.
Your leader can inspire you and certainly help remind you of your intrinsic motivators that you might tie to your work. In the way of motivation, however, external motivators are often short-lived.
They’ll likely fall off since they’re not tied to anything more meaningful than a bump in pay or an extra week of vacation.
We need to be able to identify our own source of motivation. The deeper we can connect to something with more meaning, perhaps sheer joy and satisfaction to name a few intrinsic motivators, the easier it is for us to identify what’s going to motivate us. To hopefully work smarter, not harder.
That’s what one client did that resulted in some aha moments with his team. They were reminded of what’s important about the work they’re doing.
While he was confident that he felt he and his team did a good job of holding one another accountable, there were some challenges that in this case, affected productivity.
Inspired by an article he read on accountability; he reminded the team of the ‘bigger Why’ behind a specific product launch they were working on. Like with anything in life, somehow the deeper meaning got lost in translation and as you can imagine, with the stresses COVID has brought, they needed to be reminded why their work and this product is important.
Interestingly enough, their customers were aware of the importance of this product, yet the team lost steam and understanding and needed to be reminded.
It was a timely reminder for him that was so valuable and reinvigorated the team. It was also a sound reminder that can easily be applied to other areas of the business and in his own life.
The next time you’re questioning where your motivation’s gone and what’s put a wrench in your performance and productivity levels consider:
- where your motivation is tied to and
- how can you find the bigger ‘Why’ behind your work?
If you want to identify the bigger purpose tied to the work you do, here are a few questions to consider:
- Can you identify an area of your work that connects to the broader organization? You may have to do a little digging and connect the dots!
2. How does your specific contribution and skill set impact the organization/your internal and external customers?
3. Consider the bigger purpose behind your organization as a whole? How does your company impact your community at large? Is there a deeper purpose beyond just making money that you can identify and resonate with?
Motivators are great, intrinsic will always outlast extrinsic motivators and having a connection to a bigger Why is even better.
I’d love to hear from you!!
Have you ever experienced losing your za za zoom in a job or in your career and were reignited by identifying a bigger purpose behind your work?
Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Make Your Connection 3-months group coaching program is where it’s at for the driven leader who’s looking to SOAR in their business, career and in life!! This program is for you if you identify with being an ambitious woman who’s looking to grab your role as the leader of your life and take bold action in your business, career and in life. Message me for more details and learn more here!! The group is capped at 6 women.
With so much appreciation,
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Absolutely, I lost my za za zoom in my first business teaching kids ESL. I wanted to make a bigger impact than teaching just grammar and sentence structure which was what I was hired to do. When I tuned in and asked the question about how I could make this job more meaningful and impactful, that’s when I became inspired to do what I could to connect to the kids on a deeper level –and tie in the writing and spelling and grammar into topics that held greater meaning. That switch in perspective allowed me to continue on with that business for over twenty years. My za za zoom was knowing I was making a difference and once I realized that, that changed everything!!
What a great shift you had Jenn!! So many teachers I know of lose their za za zoom with all the politics surrounding education and can get discouraged. I love how you found a way to make it more meaningful for you and of course you tied it into writing because you’re so damn good at it!! 😉 I’d be smiling from ear to ear knowing my kids had YOU as their teacher. Thanks for sharing as always sweet Jenn. 💖