You know the type. They “go through the motions” day after day, seeming almost unresponsive to any and all requests. No matter what, work is always the last place they would ever want to be, and they constantly eyeball the clock, counting down the seconds until they can leave. If you experienced this type of worker in your leadership experience before, than you are already familiar with the dreaded Workplace Zombie. Instead of sucking brains, Workplace Zombies suck profitability, production, and morale out of the office.
While it does seem daunting, there are ways motivate your workforce without having to worry about having the resources for bonuses. Here are a few tips to use leadership in order to make your Workplace Zombies more effective employees:
Use a System of Recognition
Even the laziest, least responsive worker responds well to being told they are doing a good job. Try and develop a merit or recognition system that would work well for your workplace; this system should be inclusive enough that everyone can be a part of it, and visible enough that employees can receive acknowledgement of their successes by their peers.
Examples of recognition systems include Employee of the Week/Month or competitions centered around an integral workplace task, such as sales. Recognizing the hard work of an employee does not even have to be formal- something as little as a small compliment to a Workplace Zombie lets them know that you care about the work they do and that they are appreciated.
Set a Good Example
Many managers’ response to a disinterested staff is to become disinterested themselves. Don’t fall into this vicious cycle! If your work habits noticeably regress, this will be noticed by your staff and the Workplace Zombie virus will only spread further. Instead of finding reasons to be discouraged with your work, strive even more to be a hard-working example of consistency and reliability. Demonstrating your skills as an employee will establish to your staff the value of hard work and will inspire them to mold themselves in an image similar to yours.
One type of work or a particular, rigid routine does not necessarily work for all employees. Younger, more sociable employees may find a weekly 8-to-5 schedule daunting and draining because of the activities they have outside of work. Simply being too tired or being unable to adjust to a particular schedule can cause even the most well-intentioned employee to become a Workplace Zombie, simply by virtue of how they spend their time and at what points of the day they have the most energy.
The answer for these types of employees is to find different routines based on the type of worker they are and what they respond best to. Some individuals may appreciate coming in to work later and staying later, while commuters from long distances may prefer to work 4 ten hour days as opposed to 5 eight hour days, in order to save on travel time and the expenses that come along with it. Getting to know your staff, understanding their different needs and wishes, and having the ability to account for these differences is an integral part of both being an effective leader and motivating your employees.
Regardless of the other techniques you use, your staff will not respond to you well if you cannot communicate with them using methods they respond to. Leading effectively involves having strong communication skills with your subordinates; gives them the resources that they need in order to succeed allows you to work towards tangible goals and deadlines reasonably and cooperatively with your staff. In addition to being constantly available to talk to promptly, encourage your staff to provide their feedback on goals or tasks, and ask for their input from time to time; this will make sure they know that their opinions are appreciated and that they have a legitimate say in how business is conducted.
Along with allowing for feedback on their own work, make sure that you are able to communicate your long-term visions and goals either for a particular task, goal, or the business in general to your employees. Some individuals respond better to working towards long term goals, rather than the monotony and repetition of daily tasks; using this method is sure to remind your Workplace Zombies that the work they are doing right now will have a tangible impact in the long run.
Motivate Your Workforce: Conclusion
Consider your life figuratively saved from the horrors of the dreaded Workplace Zombie! Through the recognition of hard work and accomplished goals, serving as an appropriate example to your staff, offering flexibility and variability in your practice, and maintaining an open line of communication, your Workplace Zombies should diminished and disappear entirely in no time!
By Alisha Webb. Alisha is a British writer working out of Barcelona and content developer for The Gap partnership HK – negotiation experts. This video is a great resource on how to motivate your workforce and enhance your communication skills.
Writing a novel is a long, difficult process that can be both exhilarating and frustrating. You may learn how to outline, how to make a writing to do list, or how to compose great dialogue, but daily discouragement can be tough to battle throughout the complex task of piecing together a novel.
Thankfully, there are plenty of writers who have battled the same struggles we face and who share the wisdom they picked up along the way. Here are eleven inspirational quotes for writers from published authors to help you work through the challenges of writing each day.
The Top 11 Inspirational Quotes for Writers
1. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
2. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”
3. “Don’t leave your hero alone very long. Have at least two characters on stage whenever possible and let the conflict spark between them. There can be conflict with nature and your hero can struggle against storm or flood, but use discretion. … You could write a gripping story about a struggle between a lone trapper and a huge, clever wolf. But the wolf is practically humanized in such a story and fills every role of villain. The wolf too wants something and does something about it. A storm doesn’t want anything and that’s why its conflict with man is generally unsatisfactory. It doesn’t produce the rivalry which is the basis of good conflict.”
4. “If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully, with snake’s blood in his veins, the reader’s reaction may be, ‘Oh, yeah!’ But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!”
5. “Loving your subject, you will write about it with the spontaneity and enthusiasm that will transmit itself to your reader. Loving your reader, you will respect him and want to please him. You will not write down to him. You will take infinite pains with your work. You will write well. And if you write well, you will get published.”
—Lee Wyndham, November 1962
6. “Authors of so-called ‘literary’ fiction insist that action, like plot, is vulgar and unworthy of a true artist. Don’t pay any attention to misguided advice of that sort. If you do, you will very likely starve trying to live on your writing income. Besides, the only writers who survive the ages are those who understand the need for action in a novel.”
—Dean R. Koontz
7. “We writers are apt to forget that, as the gun smoke fogs and the hero rides wildly to the rescue, although the background of this furious action is fixed indelibly in our own minds, it is not fixed in the mind of the reader. He won’t see or feel it unless you make him—bearing always in mind that you can’t stop the gunfight or the racing horse to do the job.”
8. “It’s like making a movie: All sorts of accidental things will happen after you’ve set up the cameras. So you get lucky. Something will happen at the edge of the set and perhaps you start to go with that; you get some footage of that. You come into it accidentally. You set the story in motion and as you’re watching this thing begin, all these opportunities will show up.
So, in order to exploit one thing or another, you may have to do research. You may have to find out more about Chinese immigrants, or you may have to find out about Halley’s Comet, or whatever, where you didn’t realize that you were going to have Chinese or Halley’s Comet in the story. So you do research on that, and it implies more, and the deeper you get into the story, the more it implies, the more suggestions it makes on the plot. Toward the end, the ending becomes inevitable.”
9. “The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.”
10. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”
11. “You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.”
—Orson Scott Card
What are your favorite inspirational quotes by famous writers?
This post is written by Lior Levin – a marketing consultant to a start-ups that created a shopping cart abandonment tool for ecommerce business. Lior also advises to a company that developed a Passbook app to monitor credit charges.
We have all started down the path to a goal at one time or another with the best of intentions. We were highly motivated and virtually shot out of the gate, intent on not only meeting, but exceeding, our goals. At some point, we lost our fire. That motivation that we had at the beginning was simply lost. But where did it go? How is it that we can begin a new project with motivation to spare, only to find it peter out before we’re finished?
The key to staying motivated is to understand that motivation is a state of mind. Though we may have external motivators, ultimately, our motivation lies within. Once you understand that simple fact, you’ll be able to not only get motivated but stay motivated well through the completion of your project or the realization of your goal. Here are five tips to staying motivated:
Motivation Tip #1: One Goal, Not Many
One of the biggest hurdles to maintaining your motivation is biting off more than you can chew. If you discover that your motivation is lagging, look to what you are trying to accomplish and decide if it’s simply too much. If you are getting overwhelmed with all of the things you are trying to accomplish, sit down and prioritize your goals.
Trying to accomplish too many things at once will quickly sap your energy. Concentrate your focus on one goal, moving on to the next when the first is accomplished. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, break your weight loss goals into smaller chunks. Make it your first goal to lose ten pounds and then move on to the next ten. Doing so will help you maintain your energy and motivation.
Motivation Tip #2: Find Your Inspiration
How will you stay motivated to meet your goals? Look for varied sources of inspiration! If you want to start your own business, read blogs, articles and books written by successful entrepreneurs. If you want to lose weight, look for others who have achieved their weight loss goals. Don’t expect inspiration to come knocking on your door; get out there and look for it! Finding other people who have not only met their goals, but surpassed them, can be a tremendous source of inspiration and motivation.
Motivation Tip #3: Keep a Journal
Once you’ve decided on what you want to accomplish, keep a journal to track the feelings you experience along the journey. Be sure to keep track of the negatives as well as the positives. Making note of your moods and feelings along the way can help you establish a pattern and help you discover what is sapping your motivation. When you’re feeling particularly underwhelmed, read over your journal and make note of your progress. Reading your journal is a simple activity that can reignite the fire you felt when you started on your journey.
Motivation Tip #4:Surround Yourself with Positive
Believe it or not, one of the quickest ways to lose your motivation is by surrounding yourself with negative people. Whether it’s in real life or on social networking sites, remove the people around you who aren’t 100 percent supportive of your goals. There will always be those people in your life who don’t want to see you succeed, whether they are conscious of that fact or not. You don’t have to ditch these people forever, but you do need to rid yourself of them while you are trying to maintain motivation to realize your dreams.
Motivation Tip #5: Reward Yourself
No matter if it’s our pets, our kids or our spouses, when the beings in our life do something great, we reward them. Do the same for yourself! When you reach milestones along the way to your ultimate goal, do something nice for yourself. Whether you buy yourself a new outfit, give yourself a day at the spa or even spend a day fishing on the lake, do something to reward yourself. Treating yourself for a job well done is a great way to stay motivated enough to meet your goal.
Many people find it helpful to write down the rewards they will give themselves for each milestone. Writing down the ways in which you will reward yourself can keep you motivated when times get tough. If you feel yourself losing motivation, open your journal and see what you’ve promised yourself for the next milestone that you reach. If you’ve made your rewards meaningful, they’ll be enough to get you over any hurdles that you find in your path.
It’s not enough to be motivated; you’ve got to stay motivated! By following these five tips, you can find the motivation that you need to see your goals and dreams to fruition. Set a goal, surround yourself with positive people, find inspiration, keep a journal and reward yourself! You’ll soon find that you’re ready to move on to goal number two!
Jessica Alan is a guidance counselor earning an online masters degree in school counseling while helping children with motivational exercises to prepare them for college.
How many times have you heard that procrastination is simple laziness, and that if you would just gut off your butt, you wouldn’t have a problem? I’ve heard it, too, more times than I can count. And as a successfully recovered procrastinator, and now a mentor to people who want to recover from procrastination, let me tell you something.
Procrastination is not about laziness, and anyone who tells you that it is, should be ignored. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They may be very intelligent. They may have a lot of knowledge in other areas. But when it comes to procrastination, they simply do not have the knowledge and understanding to have a valid, informed opinion, and you shouldn’t take their advice. They are not going to be helpful to you.
This is the same principle that says you wouldn’t ask a computer programmer to unplug your bathroom drains, and you wouldn’t ask a plumber to clean the viruses off of your computer. If someone doesn’t know the field they’re giving advice in, you don’t want their advice. And anyone who tells you that procrastination is about laziness, can’t help you because they’re not informed and knowledgeable when it comes to procrastination—no matter what else they may be very good at.
Yeah, I’ve heard it, too.
Now, I think that the people who say “procrastination is laziness” mean well, generally. They honestly think that they’re saying the truth. But they don’t struggle with procrastination, and they have not studied procrastination. So they simply do not understand how debilitating chronic procrastination is; they can’t.
They really don’t understand that relating procrastination to laziness hurts people; they’re trying to help. But their lack of malice doesn’t make what they’re saying any less damaging.
I used to suffer from chronic procrastination myself, and I understand what you’re going through. I know how painful it can be to feel so incredibly paralyzed that you simply cannot do what you need to do. I lost not one, but two businesses because of my procrastination. I have been exactly where you are, and I have overcome it.
As I started reaching out to others to help them overcome chronic procrastination, I realized that almost every chronic procrastinator suffers because of this “laziness” myth.
The problem, of course, is that if you’re convinced that you are the problem, then you cannot solve the problem.
The good news is that you are not the problem. You have a problem with procrastination, but you are not personally the problem. You are just fine, and you can overcome this challenge. You don’t even have to believe what I’m saying right now, but it is true.
And here’s why.
You have done things in your life, like finish school, get a job, make a living, maintain your home well enough that you can live in it, feed and clothe yourself and maintain your personal hygiene, maintain your car if you have one, take care of your children or pets.
The problem is not that you don’t do anything. If that were true, you would have been hospitalized by now. You do things. But right now, and maybe for quite some time, you have not been doing some things (even many things) that you need to do. You haven’t been doing them even though you know there are serious consequences for not doing them. That’s the real problem.
And that’s a problem you can overcome.
I think it’s great, extremely exciting, that laziness is not the problem. Because “laziness” is a nebulous concept that you just can’t really do anything about. How do you “stop being lazy?” You can’t, because it’s impossible to define, isolate and conquer.
But procrastination is a very specific, very easily identifiable problem, and you can face it head-on and deal with it. Because it’s not about you, it’s about a mental block, a habit that has gotten into your head and started controlling your life. You are not the problem; procrastination is the problem, and you can tackle it and overcome it.
You’re not lazy. That is not the problem. You may well have a chronic procrastination problem. You may not be getting everything done, or even close to everything, but that’s not because you’re lazy or bad. It’s because you have a problem with procrastination. And yes, you will have to take some actions to overcome that problem, but I’ve found that one of the first and most important steps is getting over this idea that you are lazy and that you are somehow the problem.
Because you’re not. And not only are you not the problem, you’re actually the solution. And that is the really exciting part. Because once you grasp that concept and put it to work, watch out.
Angie Dixon is the author of the Procrastinate Later Program, the real person’s guide to overcoming procrastination and becoming more effective. Get a free 7-part quick-start course by email and get immediate relief from your procrastination at http://www.helpforprocrastination.net.
Motivation is a psychological feature which arouses you to take a step forward to your goals. It’s easier to be motivated when you have freedom to choose your goal. But there are also times that your goals are identified by someone else.
Your personal goals are the products of your desires so you have one of the best motivator; your desire.
When it comes to the goals identified by someone else, it can be more difficult to be motivated. You always have something to be done every day. You have to be motivated to finish your job that is identified by your boss. You have to be motivated to help your friends. You have to be motivated to answer your family’s needs. There can be more goals in your life which are identified by others. In that case, you need more help to get motivated.
When you cannot have all things done on time, don’t worry. You are not alone. A day only has 24 hours for each of us. I know there are super moms, workers, students, business owners who seem to have more time than us. Don’t judge yourself and never be in a bad mood. There is always a solution. I can give you some tips to follow and I know they will empower your motivation.
The first thing you should keep in mind is, not to force yourself to get motivated. Forcing yourself only makes you bored, angry, upset and finally, give up. There are better ways for motivation. You can motivate yourself internally or externally.
How to Get Motivated: Internal Factors
1. When you try to get motivated on a subject, there are always interruptions. Instead of getting angry, you should try to find out, if there are opportunities in these interruptions. Actually, interruptions add too much to your motivation. When you lose motivation, your mind has some time to organize your thoughts, your problems and your goals. Finally, you come up with a bright idea which you were searching for and this will help you to get motivated again.
2. In order to get motivated, you must have self confidence. Unless you have self confidence your mind will be busy with your previous failures, the problems that can occur and even with others’ thoughts about you if you fail. You must have self confidence and change your focus from your failures to your success.
3. When you feel powerful, your confidence will rise. The best way to feel powerful comes from your experiences. Try to remember the times which you most feel yourself powerful and successful. Remember a trouble you have solved successfully. Now, come back to the moment and think; you had that power before, you could handle worse before. Why not now?
4. As you know, body posture is important on others’ thoughts but, do you know that you can also empower your self confidence with your posture. When you have the right posture, you will convince yourself that you can get motivated for your success.
5. Do whatever you need to be happy. Happiness helps you to be open to novelty and you can be more motivated to learn and investigate new opportunities. This way you will be more successful.
6. You can also use your anger for motivation. Anger can motivate you to succeed. When using anger you must be careful not trying to prove yourself to others. If you do so, you’ll always keep in mind your failures and that will break down your motivation.
How to Get Motivated: External Factors
7. Music is too much effective on the mood. There are some melodies or lyrics which make you feel something powerful is rising inside you. You feel confident, happy and like you have everything to succeed. Music is a good motivator to help you take steps.
8. Inspirational movies are also like music. When you lose your motivation don’t force anymore and give some time to yourself to relax. Watch a movie which can make you happy or inspired. Don’t think that it is a waste of time. Actually it is a kind of time management. If you don’t watch a movie or do anything else which will inspire you, you will spend the same time trying to find some inspiration to be motivated.
9. You can also use inspirational quotes to motivate. Some quotes, work like a magic. They can empower your motivation.
10. When you feel locked up, the best thing to do is to socialize. Spend some time with friends. Turn your focus to something new and clear your mind for new ideas. Besides, support of friends will add more than you think to your success and motivation. Also, some friends can be more motivational than anything else.
11. Change the place you are working if possible. Even if you don’t notice that, changing your point of view, will help you to change your thoughts and discover something new for your motivation.
Those are not the only motivators you can use. There are also some techniques you can use. You can benefit from meditation, NLP techniques, affirmations and subliminal recordings to motivate yourself.
I hope you won’t have difficulties any more to motivate yourself.
Nil Celen is an investigator for the proofs of “Mind Power” based on scientific resources.
Self-help starts with improving mind power. Researches from Worldwide universities on neuroscience, psychology and much more topics can give you a new perspective about “Mind Power” and how to improve it. Scientific Proofs of Mind Power
I’ve always been very thin, and not very strong.
I remember being at a meeting of some kind, years ago. One of the organising ladies drafted me to move furniture, presumably because I was almost the only male under 50 in the room. But when she saw me struggling with a heavy table, she apologised and found someone else. That’s embarassing for a young guy, and I’ve never forgotten it.
So you wouldn’t expect me to set myself a challenge of being able to do 100 pushups, would you?
I’m doing that challenge right now, though.
I believe everyone should have a challenge to help them feel really alive. A challenge is different from stress, because you feel more in control. And in fact, it’s one of the things that helps you to deal with your stress in other areas of life.
Here are five steps towards taking on a challenge for yourself.
1. Have a desire for change
I want to be fitter and stronger. I’ve taken up kayaking, and I want to be able to paddle strongly and for a long period, and still be able to lift the boat onto the roof of the car when I finish. I also just want to feel better physically, to take up more residence in my body. I want those things enough that I’m willing to put some effort in to get them.
What’s your motivation for taking on a new challenge?
2. Believe you can change
I believe I can change. I believe I can rise to challenges. I believe this because I’ve done it before.
I’ve passed exams, learned languages, started businesses, built relationships. I’ve also done a similar challenge to the 100 Pushups, namely 200 Situps. I went from 26 situps to 200. I know it can be done and I know I can do it.
What’s more, I know that when I am successful at a challenge like this, it does more for me than just whatever I get out of the goal itself. When I complete the 100 Pushups challenge, I won’t just have stronger muscles. I’ll have greater mental strength, a sense of achievement – and further confirmation for myself that I can rise to challenges like this and complete them. Completing a challenge changes who you are in your own eyes. And each success you have builds your confidence.
What successes can you look back to in order to support your belief that you can take on a challenge?
3. Find a destination
A challenge, by definition, is a little bit above and beyond what you can do right now. It’s not more than you ever could do, though. I don’t have the body type to win a bodybuilding contest or a weightlifting competition (nor does that interest me, actually). But there’s a wide space in between “I can’t do this now” and “I can definitely never achieve this”. Wider than you think, sometimes.
Somewhere in that space – up towards the scary end – is your challenge. As the wonderful Catherine Caine says, “You should always try anything that makes you uncomfortable, and nothing that makes you uneasy.”
What is your challenge going to be? Can you double it?
4. Get a plan
Sometimes “get a plan” means “make your own plan”. Sometimes it means “find someone else with a plan and use theirs”. For exercise, because I’m no expert, I consult people who are experts and use their plans. The 100 Pushups challenge comes from a website (hundredpushups.com). It tells you, based on how many pushups you can do when you start, how many to do in each of five sets, in each of three exercise days per week, for six weeks. It builds you up gradually to the point where you are capable of 100 consecutive pushups.
That’s a great model for a plan. My fellow New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary didn’t suddenly get up one morning and climb Mt Everest. He built up to it over years of mountaineering.
Your plan needs to start where you are, end where you want to be, and fill in the middle with steps in which you improve achievably. This means the steps need to be close enough together that you can get to each one from the one before. It’s like stepping stones across a river – if they’re too far apart, you’ll get wet.
Who might be able to help you make a plan to meet your challenge?
5. Implement, implement, implement
Carrying out the plan is, in many ways, the hard part. I don’t enjoy middles nearly as much as beginnings or ends. You’re neither here nor there. You have the work, but you don’t yet have the triumph.
Yet this is where every person succeeded who ever succeeded in any challenge. As I’m huffing and puffing with sore arms, partway through set 3 of 5, I’m not just building my arm muscles. I’m building my perseverance muscles, my determination muscles. Between the exciting moment of taking on a challenge and the exhilirating moment of completing a challenge are the thousand unglamourous moments of deciding, again and again, to keep going.
And yet, looked at another way, each one of those moments is another small victory. Every time I keep going instead of stopping, every time I push past the resistance and focus on the goal, I’m winning.
How are you going to win moment by moment on your path to your goal?
Mike Reeves-McMillan blogs on health and personal development, stress and success, at Living Skillfully: Your Mind and Health. He plans to make 2011 a great year for challenges.
You’ve had points in your life when you were incredibly motivated. Times when you started a new diet, looked seriously at changing career, began exercising again, got going on a big project, and so on.
Inevitably, though, you found that your motivation petered out. Maybe after a couple of weeks, maybe after just a day or two.
What happened? Why did it all go wrong?
Motivation is an emotion – and it doesn’t last forever. Like being in love, the initial high-energy rush quickly fades. Or, as Zig Ziglar puts it:
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
But how do you motivate – or re-motivate – yourself on a daily basis?
#1: Look at the Big Picture
If you get up and rush straight into chores or your to-do list, you’ll inevitably find your motivation waning. You might wonder what the point is, or whether you’re really working on the most important tasks.
I find that my day always goes more smoothly when I take ten minutes in the morning to plan what I’m doing: to look at the days ahead, and to think through the most effective use of my time.
You might try:
- Getting up fifteen minutes earlier, so that you don’t feel so rushed first thing in the morning
- Looking at your calendar and planning your day before you open your inbox
- Making time to sit down and eat breakfast, instead of grabbing food on the run
- Meditating or praying for five minutes before work each morning
A calm start to the day can really set the tone for productive, meaningful work – instead of a rush through lots of little, unimportant tasks.
#2: Make Time For Yourself
How often have you started out feeling really motivated – about your diet, your work, your financial turn around – only to get more and more drained by daily life?
If you feel zonked out every evening, you’re probably not taking much time to rest and recharge during the day. However much you love your work, you do need down time – in the long run, this makes you much more productive, and more motivated.
Making time for yourself means taking a proper lunch break so that you come back refreshed in the afternoon. It means getting up from your desk and walking around to re-energise yourself physically. It means giving yourself permission to read a novel, take a long bath, or do something purely fun in the evening.
This week, find time to recharge each day – and notice what a difference it makes to your mood and your motivation levels.
#3: Work Efficiently
When you’re starting to feel a motivation lag, what do you typically do? I know that I get tempted to stop working – I’ll suddenly feel like chatting on Twitter or reading webcomics. It’s easy to convince myself that this is “taking a break”.
Really, though, it’s just procrastination. I know that I should be working – I even want to be working – so I’m not really relaxing at all.
If you’re starting to feel de-motivated, one of the best ways to get your energy back is to get on with your work. Make a checklist of what needs to be done, and tackle some of the major tasks. Yes, it’s hard to get started, but you’ll find that it’s easier and easier to carry on once you get going. Motivation is like momentum – once you’ve built it up, it doesn’t take much extra energy to maintain it.
I’m sure you’ve got plenty of your own tips and tricks for re-motivating yourself on a daily basis. Let’s hear them in the comments!
We all can be motivated, self-starting dynamos – when we feel like it. But, let’s face it: sometimes starting or finishing a job can be excruciatingly difficult, especially when we are our own boss. These tips might help you get your body and mind synchronized and working together to get you off the couch and into active productivity.
Just start moving
You know the two sides to the Law of Inertia: A body at rest will remain at rest; a body in motion will remain in motion. Get the ball rolling. Go ahead and gas up the lawn mower. Fill the sink with soapy water. Open the can of paint and start stirring it. Open the book, turn on the calculator, put on your work clothes. Whatever your task might be, you probably know what Step 1 is. Do it.
Break it into pieces
Sometimes a task just seems so large and daunting that we just don’t know where to begin, and that can cause paralysis. You can’t climb Everest in one run, and you can’t paint a house in a day. Plan your work, and then work your plan. If you have to write a 20-page paper, make a list of the research you’ll need; do your research; outline the points you want to make based on your research; write the first half; write the second half; edit and polish it. The sooner you settle down and get to it, the more time you will have for each section of the project and the better your result will be.
Plan a treat for yourself at each milestone
Don’t let yourself have that carton of peach yogurt until you get completely done with the first piece of your project. Challenge yourself to complete the next phase of the task in time to watch Survivor or Grey’s Anatomy. Treat yourself to a Facebook break when you finish the next milestone (unless you’re a Facebook addict, then go for a scoop of ice cream). You get the idea. Give yourself the little perks you deserve to keep yourself motivated. And no cheating!
Figure out what’s holding you back, and then fix it
Is it a job you hate? Are you lacking the knowledge or instructions you need to proceed? Is your mind cluttered with other concerns that are making it impossible to focus? Are you physically too tired or too filled with toxins that are making you lethargic and lazy? Motivate yourself with the relief you’ll feel when the job is behind you and off your mind. Talk to your boss or client, or go online and get the information you need. Clear your mind and cleanse your body with some rigorous physical exercise, and then get right to work.
Have a little talk with the man or woman in the mirror
There is no better motivator than self-affirmation, self-confidence, and positive thinking. Look yourself in the eye and tell yourself that you can do it and that you have to do it. Visualize yourself as the master of your task, and visualize your task from start to finish. This part is like the huddle in a football game: You set up and design the play, and then you break with a shout of affirmation, leaving no room for doubt as to your ability and resolve to move the ball ahead. It may take several plays and a few first downs, but soon you will cross the goal line. Nothing succeeds like success, and each move ahead inspires the next and the next.
Jim DeBellis is a staff writer for Criminal Justice Degree Schools, a resource site providing information on criminal justice degrees, schools, and careers.
by Dr. Joe James
in Self Help (submitted 2010-09-06)
In my experience, anger management problems are almost like an addiction in that people are very creative in finding all sorts of rationales for why they don’t need an anger management class. At times, it can almost appear as if they are in denial about their anger management issues. Part of the reason for this is that the way our behavior looks to us on the inside can look a whole lot different to someone on the receiving end of things.
I was in denial about my anger management problem, thinking that other people were too sensitive and that it was more their problem than mine. Sometimes people are too sensitive, but when you think that pretty much everyone in your life is too sensitive (as I did), you may be in denial about the need for anger management classes.
Two things happened that shook me out of my blindness to my anger management problem. The first occurred about 15 years ago when I was doing marriage counseling and all of a sudden the wife just went off on her husband. It was just like looking at myself – she used the same tone of voice, the same language, had the same look in her eyes and the same body language that I used and I was absolutely shocked at how forceful and frightening her reaction was. But that wasn’t enough for me to realize that I had an anger management problem.
A couple of days later I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine and I raised my voice, not because I was upset, but just because of the story I was telling him. All of a sudden my dog jumped down off the chair and ran under the bed. It was then that I realized I had an anger management problem. I mean if your own dog is scared of you things are pretty bad.
So, with that in mind, lets quickly review some of the stories people with anger management problems tell themselves to minimize or justify their anger.
Anger Management Myths
1) Venting, or taking it out on others, decreases rage. This actually reinforces the neural networks associated with the anger response. Becoming angry actually makes one more likely to get angry again.
2) Strong words are necessary to get people to listen to me. Do you like it when others treat you with contempt? While someone may go along with you in the short term just to get you off their back in the long run anger management problems breed resentment and rebellion.
3) If I don’t get angry, I don’t care. Becoming upset certainly shows that you are paying attention. But does enraged really get the job done any quicker or make someone else feel like you care about them? Care can be shown with patient, disciplined attention as well as by firmness and giving of time. You can be firm without having anger management issues.
4) Someone who makes me angry is worthless and deserves what they have coming to them. When you make mistakes do you feel like you deserve to get both barrels? Dehumanizing someone just makes it easier for you not to feel bad about hurting someone’s feelings.
5) Showing less annoyance means I think the other person is right. Or, using anger management means that you are learning ways to deal with offenders more coolly, effectively, and constructively. Again, who do you respect more – someone who blasts you or someone who treats you with respect?
6) Every day brings all sorts of problems for me to deal with. This is true for all of us. Every day also brings a lot of good things too. The problem is not as much the world’s imperfections as it is what we focus on and what we tell ourselves about it that causes anger management problems.
7) Depression is anger turned inward. Actually for many depression is anger turned outward. Depressed people often show higher levels of anger and anxiety. They often struggle with anger management because its just so uncomfortable to be in their skin or because their coping resources are so depleted all they are capable of doing when stressed is lash out in anger. People struggling with anger management issues are two to three times more likely to have a psychiatric illness such as depression than those who do not struggle with anger management.
For more free anger management info check out http://angermanagement.net/denial-in-anger-management-problems
About the Author
Dr. Joe James is a nationally recognized expert who has taught anger management for over 15 years.
Nothing describes parenting better than stress! As far as I can tell, there are no stress-free ages or stages in raising children. Oh, some might be a little less challenging but they all have their ups and downs. Experts tell us that some stress, in moderate doses, actually increases performance. It is supposed to keep us sharp and ready for action. Too much stress and it will destroy our health and relationships.
Stress is defined as any physical or emotional demand that you feel unable to handle. These demands encompass all of the little hassles you experience every day, from the moment you try to get children up for school to the moment you finally get them to bed, at night. What makes daily hassles so dangerous is that they are too often considered trivial. Simply because they do occur every day, we disregard just how serious they can be to our overall wellbeing. Over time, these hassles of modern parenting add up, building in pressure, until we have an explosion of anger and frustration. In the aftermath, our family members stare at us in bewilderment or retaliate in defense.
In contrast, we take more seriously life’s major hassles. The big three are major illness, death, or a divorce.
No one questions us when we react strangely when these hassles rear their ugly head. We even get lots of sympathy cards and support in our time of need. But what happens when a major hassle is a cause of celebration or even desired. For example, when we get married, move to a bigger house, get a promotion, or have a baby, these are all joyous events, right? Yes, but they are also stressful!
Remember our definition: Stress is any demand you feel unable to manage. Can a marriage or new home be difficult to manage? Of course it can. If you do not have the management skills needed to cope with a particular problem and/or you are experiencing so many demands that no amount of skills are adequate to prevent you from being weighed down, you will experience stress. To help you better manage stress or prevent it altogether, here are six steps to stress-free (well, almost) parenting.
Managing Stress Skill #1: Be aware of stress.
Sounds obvious don’t it? You would be surprised at the number of parents who are unable to recognize the early warning signs of stress. For some parents, these signs include feeling over tired, irritable, or restless. For others, they observe family members attack or withdraw from others more quickly. Make a list, as a family, of how each person feels when under a lot of stress. Use recent examples to clearly identify the early warning signs. Have members describe what was going on in their body when under stress. Talk about how devastating stress can be on us physically and emotionally. Post this list on the refrigerator and remind each other of the telltale symptoms rather than blow up at one another.
Managing Stress Skill #2: Take a time out.
Don’t stop with just labeling your stressful feeling. Take some action. When recognizing stressful symptoms, announce: “I am going to take a time out.” Time out allows family members to cool down when over heated. It also prevents family members from saying or doing things, when stressed, that they may later regret. Of course, your family members might not like you taking a time out and follow you into the time out room. Politely ask them for a specific number of minutes and reassure them that you will come back out to discuss the situation that is causing you stress. If that doesn’t work, lock the door and tell you will be out soon!
Managing Stress Skill #3: Create a self-care plan.
You knew I was going to mention this one, didn’t you. If you are guilty of putting other family members first all of the time and neglecting yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, then you need a self-care plan. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise two to three times a week. In addition, meditate, pray, or spend time in a relaxing activity every day, even if it is for just a few minutes at a time.
Managing Stress Skill #4: Buy a time management planner.
You wouldn’t run a company or start a complex project without making plans and prioritizing your time. So don’t run a home that way. Of course, we’re not talking obsessive-compulsive behavior here. Just learn to use some simple time management principles. Go to your local stationary or office supply store and buy a basic time management planner. It has priority lists, contact names, project planners, calendars, and to do list already for you to better manage your life.
Managing Stress Skill #5: Solve problems together.
As parents, we think we have to have all the answers. Well, we don’t. Trying to act like you do will increase stress for you and the kids. Helping to solve family problems increases your child’s sense of ownership for the problem. Set up a regular time each week to talk about problems family members are experiencing and come up with working solutions. Set ground rules for the meeting, with basic courtesies being considered and allow everyone to contribute, no matter how ridiculous or self-serving the suggestion. And remember, while a family is indeed a democratic organization, the parents have veto power! Use it wisely.
Managing Stress Skill #6: Find support.
Find other adults, preferably parents, who will validate your feelings and support you when need it. They could be a relative who baby-sits for a couple of hours or close friends to sit who sit and have coffee together while the kids are in school. If you don’t have a close friend or relative, join a group or enroll in a class. Start browsing in the phone book under social services or recreation or crazed-parents (just kidding). It doesn’t even have to be parenting related. Just socialize and develop a strong social support network. This network will be there for you when the stress gets out of control. Or, when your child does.
These aren’t the only ways to minimize stress in your life. They won’t make your life stress-free. Expert’s claim that living stress- free isn’t be good for us anyway (although I would like to try it for a while). The reality is it isn’t gonna happen! So, pick one skill and start managing you and your families stress.
Ron Huxley is the creator of The Parenting Toolbox, including 400+ power parenting tools and offers parents to better manage stress which means stress-reduced parents! Get 300 strategies for managing stress today. Sign up here.