So you started the new year with a bang, all your plans in place to achieve the goals you set out for yourself at the end of last year. On paper it looks perfect. But one morning you wake up and feel stuck in a rut. Now what?
One of the most important jobs you have as a leader is to energise the team. You set the example, and you can influence the energy levels in the office. The last thing you want to do is to pass that lacklustre feeling on to your team.
Here are a few things you can do to get yourself back on track and boost your work metabolism.
- Identify the reason why you feel like you feel.
If you can identify the origin of your feelings, you can isolate and rectify them.
Are you irritated because things are not happening the way you planned, and, therefore, you are so paralysed by frustration that you can’t move on?
Is there perhaps a physical reason for your feelings? It might be a good idea to go for a physical check-up just to make sure you are healthy and fit to be as productive as you can be. If you struggle to get into action because of the size of a project, break it up into smaller, achievable pieces.
- Shift your focus.
Don’t procrastinate about all the things you have to do or that one big project that is going to take up a lot of your time. Your to do-list will not shrink if you just keep on staring at it. Work through the list and identify two or three smaller tasks that you can complete within 15 minutes – and then just do it!
The moment you start with something and finish it, you will experience a feeling of accomplishment and your energy levels will rise.
- Take a break from social media.
Do not underestimate the impact of FOMO on your productivity levels. Monitor your use of social media and, if necessary, take some time out.
Make a deliberate decision to attend to a task from start to finish without giving into the urge to check your Twitter account every few minutes. According to an article on Leadership Forces, FOMO “can lead to indecisiveness and a lack of commitment and focus.”
- Go back to your roots.
Why did you choose this industry in the first place? Perhaps you were a star reporter who got promoted to editor, or a highly successful sales person who now manages an advertising team. Rekindle that love by writing an article or clinching a sale. It will give you a renewed sense of purpose and help you to understand, once again, how your past fits into your future.
- Choose to be active.
You have the power in your hands to decide what to do with your energy and time. You have to make a deliberate decision to take action. It has nothing to do with strategy or management. It has everything to do with attitude. Choose to be positive. Otherwise, you will drag yourself and your team down into a negative spiral.
In his book Developing the Leaders Around You, John Maxwell writes: “A positive attitude is one of the most valuable assets a person can have in life.” A leader with a bad attitude can have a destructive effect on the team. Remember: People don’t leave organisations; they leave bad managers.
- Create an inspirational environment.
You grow and change, so why should your environment stay the same? Take a look at your work space and make sure it is functional and inspirational. An uplifting quote, a splash of bright colour, a photo of your loved ones, or a picture of a beautiful nature scene can improve your mood. Do not underestimate the impact of your surroundings on your mood.
- Start your day with a ritual.
How you spend the first hour at work can have a huge impact on what the rest of your day is going to look like. Anchor your day in a ritual. Sit down with a cup of coffee and read for an hour. If you read on a screen, make sure all notifications are turned off so you don’t get distracted by a news feed or an incoming e-mail.
“The power of ritual is profound and under-appreciated,” according to Peter Bregman’s article, “The value of ritual in your workday.”
- Do something good.
Stop wasting time. Invest in someone else. Be useful and do something meaningful by organising a coaching session, following up on a mentorship opportunity, or volunteering.