You arrive at work on a rainy Monday morning to find your team grumpy and unenthusiastic. You put on your sunniest smile and invite them to discuss the workload for the upcoming week, but to no avail: the general negativity remains. Finally, everybody goes to his or her cubicle and gets to work. You enter your office, close the door behind you… and suddenly, you feel completely drained of energy and motivation.
Scenarios like this happen all too often when you’re a manager. As the team leader, you have to be the one person who’s always motivated and energized—no matter how routine the work; how bad the weather; or how uncertain a project’s future. Your team looks to you to set an example, so you need to know how to put your game face on every day. What follows are our top seven tips for staying motivated and energized at work.
- Don’t wear a mask. People can always sense when you’re not being genuine—and it tends to drive them away. The power of motivating others lies first in feeling true motivation within yourself. Step into your office or another quiet room, and find your motivation before attempting to motivate your team members.
- Plan ahead. In her Forbes article “How to Stay Motivated and Accomplish Anything,” Suzanne Gerber advises planning ahead. She emphasizes the necessity to create plans in minute detail so you know exactly which steps need to be accomplished. That minimizes the risk of you feeling overwhelmed or unprepared, and allows you to feel good about your and your team’s progress.
- Know when and how to ask for help. Even the most competent manager needs help or advice now and then. And that’s perfectly fine, since you can learn a lot from other people. When you’re spreading yourself too thin or when you’re handling something you’re not (yet) skilled at, ask for help in an appropriate manner. This can involve handing off some of your duties to one of your team or asking your supervisor for support.
- Stay connected to what you’re doing. In the Reliable Plant article “Lead and motivate—not just your team, but yourself, too,” Joelie Jay points out that it’s much easier to stay motivated when you truly enjoy what you’re doing. This means that whenever you’re faced with a career move, you should evaluate whether you’d be doing it out of passion for the job or for some other reason, such as money or a title. It’s also a good idea to have reminders of why you love your job around your workspace. For example, if you’re a marketing manager, you could hang up images from some of your more successful campaigns.
- Reward yourself for achievements. In her article “10 Ways to Stay Motivated When Negativity Seems to Be All Around,” Stacia Pierce, writing for the Huffington Post, recommends rewarding yourself for achievements. It can be as big as taking a day off after completing a long project or as small as getting a cup of coffee for finalizing the monthly reports, just so long as it reinforces your sense of accomplishment.
- Reward your team for their efforts and achievements. Likewise, you should make your team feel that their efforts are noticed and appreciated. Making them feel better about themselves can have a reciprocal effect and energize you even more.
- Make sure you get enough exercise during the day. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day saps you of energy, which in turn can drain you of motivation. Build regular bursts of exercise into your day, such as taking the stairs up to your floor; walking around the office park at lunch, or if possible, even breaking for a quick workout. Incorporating more exercise into your daily routine energizes you, and that in turn makes you feel better equipped to handle everything.
Even the most optimistic of us have days when it’s difficult to be motivated and energized. Keep practicing motivating and energizing yourself with these tips, and before you know it, it will be second nature.