Other than war, it’s hard to think of an occupation tougher than business. Anyone aiming high in the corporate arena is almost incessantly hit by obstacles, disappointments and failures. It can be hard on the mind.
In the future, I believe that every executive will work on their mental fitness every bit as much as their physical fitness.
After all, we know that when our mind is sharp, focused and motivated our performance is usually superb.
With that in mind I’d like to present you with 3 ways to uplift your motivation. If you’re feeling a little depleted or defeated, use these techniques to lift your mood and your inspiration.
1. Remember where you came from
Ambitious people all seem to have the same problem: they only think of where they’re going, not where they’ve come from. While this keeps them moving forward it often makes them also feel they have not achieved much - there’s always so much more to be done.
So take a moment every evening to look back on what you’ve achieved during the day. It’s almost always more than you thought. Then spend a minute remembering how far you’ve come in your career – what you’ve learnt, how much wiser you’ve become, and all the progress you’ve made financially since you left school.
Just reminding yourself of your achievements lifts your morale and your self image, two critical components of high performance. Giving yourself a little pat on the back won’t make you soft, it will make you strong. You’ll feel ready to take on the world again.
2. Think about your bigger vision
It’s easy to get immersed and bogged down in the endless deadlines we all have each day. But concentrating on the immediate and urgent in our lives all the time can be disheartening. Not to mention exhausting.
Yes we need to address the here and now, but we also must balance short term action with long term visioning. If you feel inundated with life’s activities the answer is almost always to take a step back and re-focus on your vision for your life.
What kind of person do you aspire to being? What kind of life do you want to have lived? What do you want your legacy to be?
Thinking about these big picture issues re-plants your mind in solid ground. It centres you, relaxes you, increases your confidence and sense of self. Each and every day we should devote at least a few minutes to remembering and clarifying our ultimate life vision.
It’s one of the most motivating exercises you can do.
3. Shorten your deadlines
If you’re feeling unmotivated, it’s usually because you feel you’re not making enough progress on your key goals.
Yes, you’re working hard, who isn’t, but the results aren’t coming as fast as you’d like.
When I’m coaching executives in situations like this I urge them to make the deadlines on all their tasks much shorter.
Instead of taking an hour to do something, aim to do it in 20 minutes. Instead of taking 5 days to finish that report, see if you can knock it over in one. As esteemed Harvard professor John Kotter has clearly showed, a lack of urgency is often at the heart of low achievement. Reducing the time you have to work on jobs engenders that urgency – you quickly break any feelings of lethargy. Short deadlines energise, inspire, captivate and get you back to working at your full capacity.
Pretty soon you start to see momentum and tangible results, which motivates you even further. Try it today. Cut the time you allocate to every task at least in half.
You’ll be surprised what an effect just this one technique has on your life.
Each of these techniques is easy to do, but can make a real difference to your motivation.
Together they can improve both how you feel and how you perform. If you do them once you’ll feel a bit better, but if you make them into a daily ritual you’ll find your confidence and effectiveness sky rockets.
This article was originally written by website The Fortune Institute.