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How can I get motivated in an uncertain world?

Whether you are burnt out from working from home, or actively job hunting after furlough or redundancy, I think it is safe to say that a lot of us are struggling with motivation. In normal times, many people find November a challenging month to get motivated. Christmas is just around the corner; the evenings get darker by the day and the weather gets colder by the hour. Throw in a pandemic, and a second (or third) lockdown into the mix, and it is hardly surprising that motivation is something more and more of us are struggling with.

Whatever your goal, Meraki Talent have put seven tips together on staying motivated during these challenging times.


 1.Start each day with a task completed.

Make your bed. Yes, really. There was a reason that Admiral William H. McRaven  opened up his speech with the words "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed." In the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas in May 2014, he explained that making your bed every morning means you will have accomplished the first task of the day. The aim is that by the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. 


 2.Write it down

Whether you write a to-do list, a shopping list or a list of pros and cons about an impending decision, the act of putting thoughts down on paper is beneficial. Making a list decreases stress, increases productivity, keeps you organised, and when you get to tick each item off, you will have a sense of accomplishment.


3.   How to ignite that lost spark

The problem is our brains are programmed to procrastinate. We might plan to complete a task, but inevitably find countless reasons to defer it.  We often prioritise things we can readily tick off our to-do list - for example answering an email - while leaving the large, complex chores untouched for another week. It is not uncommon to look and feel busy, while skilfully avoiding essential priorities. And when we review those rolling, untouched items that remain for months on our to-do lists, we can’t help but feel disillusioned in ourselves.


4. How to change procrastination into motivation

In the book Getting Things Done by David Allen, he states, “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.” This two-minute rule can get us started when motivation is lacking.

If the plan is to read before bed each night, simply read one page. If fitness is your thing, and you plan to do half an hour of Pilates daily, this becomes ‘take out the Pilates mat’. These simple steps can turn our procrastination into motivation.

Often procrastination stems from not actually knowing where to start, and in this ‘new normal’, it is hardly surprising. Breaking down tasks into bite-sized chunks can help us on our way to identifying what we need to focus on.


5.Bite-sized chunks

Break your goal down into smaller pieces with set intermediary targets. Most people have heard of the motivational speaker and personal development coach, Tony Robbins. He demonstrated the process of breaking tasks and projects down when he says; “A major source of stress in our lives comes from the feeling that we have an impossible number of things to do. If you take on a project and try to do the whole thing all at once, you’re going to be overwhelmed.”


6.What are your SMART goals?

Set small, measurable goals from now until the new year. This can be a useful tactic for job hunters. An example goal from one of our current candidates is: ‘My goal is to get a job as an Accounts Assistant in Edinburgh by January 2021, because it's a job I enjoy. Working in the city centre will mean I can walk to work from where I live and be able to save money on public transport. I can keep my fitness levels up now my gym has shut.’

Goal setting is a powerful way to keep motivation levels up. It helps direct energy to things that make the most difference in work and life. The SMART technique can help to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.


 7. What is your SMART objective?

After a goal has been established, it is time to look at objectives. The main difference between objectives and goals is that objectives are exact actions or measurable steps to move closer to the goal. SMART objectives can also be useful for job seekers. So, in the case of our candidate who is looking to work in Edinburgh, an objective could include updating a CV within 24 hours.


The new normal isn’t normal

The cultural changes we are facing in the UK and across the globe, are unlike anything anyone has experienced before. Accepting that it’s OK to not feel as inspired as you did a year ago can help us adjust to this new way of life. Whether you are a home-worker wanting to be more productive, or looking for your next role, these motivation tips should help you on your way.

To find out more about Meraki Talent call us on +44 (0) 131 297 2700

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