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Tag Archives: motivation

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to motivation.

The Hardest Person to Motivate is Yourself — Here’s What to Do About It

The Hardest Person to Motivate is Yourself -- Here's What to Do About ItIf you’ve ever led a team, then you’re all too familiar with the challenges in motivating others who just aren’t feeling it. If you’ve ever had to search for a job, then you’re all too familiar with the challenges in motivating yourself!

Self-motivation is no easy task. Some days you wake up and you can take on the world and be the most productive person ever. Other days, you’d prefer to watch Netflix or play video games rather than to continue with the job search, complete the grid or do your accounting. Lack of self-motivation isn’t just limited to tasks you dislike. You could be working on the most interesting project for your client and getting paid a fair rate, but some days, you’d still rather chat with your colleagues.

Motivating yourself extends beyond time management. Even the most organized and productive IT contractors fall into a slump. That’s because motivation is emotional. It ignores rational thinking and if you’re not in the proper headspace, it’s just not there. So how can you overcome your temporary lack of drive and push yourself to do what needs to be done? Here are a few hacks to get you started:

Get Yourself in a Positive Mindset

You’re more likely to procrastinate when you’re in a bad mood, so the logical first step is to make sure you’re in a good mood. There are various ways to do that, including:

  • Remaining optimistic by tracking your progress and celebrating success
  • Setting the right environment with a clean workspace and happy music
  • Getting plenty of sleep and exercise
  • Taking breaks as necessary

Set Meaningful Goals

Obviously you have goals: “Update my resume by the end of today”, “Complete the project on time and on budget”, “Do my taxes before the deadline”. Now you need to take those goals and make them more meaningful:

  • Make your goals mean something to you that’s deeper than “If I don’t succeed I’ll get fired.”
  • Keep reminding yourself of that goal AND its benefits and why you’re truly trying to achieve it
  • Don’t punish yourself for not achieving a goal, rather be constructive to understand what happened and move on.

Don’t Go It Alone

Even if you prefer to work alone, it still helps to have somebody on the sidelines who knows your goals. This will help to keep you motivated. When there are other people involved, you make yourself accountable and suddenly there’s extra pressure to get the work done.

  • Find others who are as motivated as you are (or more) and bring them into your circle
  • Expand your network with other IT contractors to share challenges and mentor each other
  • Don’t be afraid to get a little competitive to help drive your motivation
  • In times you really need motivation, try a commitment device. Give a friend (or even better, a foe) $100. If you don’t succeed, they keep the money. stickK will help you create a commitment contract, set stakes and manage the entire process online.

Get Moving

At some point you might have to fake it ’til you make them. If it takes a cold shower or jolt of coffee to wake you up so be it, but if you don’t start somewhere, you’ll never start at all.

  • Reduce all possible distractions so you have no choice but to work
  • Set routines that will let you know where to start — and change up those routines occasionally to keep it interesting.
  • Take baby steps with small simple tasks. Often just working 5 minutes will get you into the flow.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, everybody falls into unmotivated slumps. The most successful people are those that know how to deal with it. How do you motivate yourself to get moving? Are there are any specific tasks you find are harder to get started than others?

Get into the “Zone”

Picture this: You’re at work and all of a sudden a wave of motivation hits you and it feels like within the span of a couple of hours, you’ve completed a number of tasks off your to-do list. This is what it means to “get in the zone.”

Getting in the zone can be challenging. But according to NetCredit, with the right environment and attitude you can begin to maximize your productivity on a regular basis and complete what before seemed like an impossible task!

Motivational Quotes to Kick-Off Your Monday

Regardless of how much we love our jobs, let’s face it, Mondays can suck! Weekends are often busier than the week itself, taking away all motivation to wake up that first day of the week to drag yourself into a client meeting. It’s times like these to remember Benjamin Franklin’s quote “Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of” or perhaps the words of Dee Dee Artner “If you have time to whine then you have time to find a solution.”

History has provided us with numerous quotes to help motivate IT contractors throughout their career and get them over any hurdle. Recently, international recruitment agency Armstrong Appointments put together this infographic showcasing 96 of their favourite motivational quotes. It contains some classics and some you may not have heard of, but we guarantee, there will be something in here that will help kick-off your Monday the right way!

96 Motivational Quotes To Keep You Going
Please include attribution to Armstrong Appointments with this graphic.

The Easiest Way to Stay Motivated Every Day

Henry Stanley was a famous explorer who mapped out the Congo River. Despite running into a multitude of problems, he stayed motivated by shaving every day. Can doing something so simple really create motivation?

This video by the Improvement Pill suggests creating a cue, which is something that triggers an emotion or habit, is in fact the solution. It’s common to go through times when you feel unmotivated to get your tasks done at work and in your personal life. So, it could be worth a try to find something you do on your successful days and repeat it every day.

8 Clever Energy Hacks to Help You Stay Motivated

This post was originally published by Chelsei Henderson on the Freshbooks Blog on November 3, 2015.

8 Clever Energy Hacks to Help You Stay Motivated All Day The work day is often full of very high highs and very low lows. If you’re anything like me, your motivation level is directly correlated to the energy you have.

If you want to build a successful business, you’ve got to learn how to hack motivation.

Otherwise, you’ll constantly struggle with getting things accomplished, remaining consistent and inspiring your team or others around you. And that’s no way to spend your day. In fact, if you wanted to waste away your time feeling depressed and miserable, you would have probably chosen a more traditional career path.

But instead, you’re working on your own. You’ve got the opportunity to make your career as awesome as you want. Don’t miss out on that because of a lack of motivation.

These clever methods can instantly bring you back from wherever you’re zoning out, giving you that extra boost you need to reach your goals. You’ll be better off and more productive, which will ultimately lead to greater success.

  1. Start Your Day With Visualization

Begin your day with a bit of visualization.

What I love about visualization is that you can do it for your big-picture goals, as well as your mundane, day-to-day tasks. It’s quite a powerful motivator that gives you a boost first thing in the morning.

Get centered for the day ahead by imagining yourself being productive on everything you need to accomplish. Matt Mayberry from Entrepreneur said picturing yourself succeeding can pay off in all sorts of ways, even if it’s seeing yourself staying focused and on your game.

For a step-by-step visualization guide visit Jack Canfield.

  1. Get Pumped With Inspiring Music

Music can get you mentally pumped to do your best or mellow you out and smooth the rough edges. And it’s a great way to block out distracting background noise or chatter.

I’ve found that a good playlist can make dull, repetitive tasks more bearable and help establish rhythms for the day.

Aaron Lynn from Asian Efficiency suggests getting your pulse going with movie soundtracks – these can trigger good memories of a favorite film, or get you excited to do something larger than life, much like a big-screen hero.

Video game music or streaming music services where you can adjust the tempo or style during the day can also be helpful.

  1. Go On a Walk to Clear Your Head

Get the blood flowing by taking a stroll.

It doesn’t matter how long it is. You could go for several blocks, or even just to the other side of the building. The simple act of walking gives you the chance to stretch your legs, releases some endorphins and stimulates your brain so that you can regain alertness.

You can even find a study to back this up. And it can bring some additional benefits as well – those who take regular 30 minutes lunchtime walks reported better health and better moods than those who didn’t do this regularly, according to the study.

  1. Take Breaks on a Regular Basis

Stepping away from a rough project can help you find clarity, regain motivation and even find some inspiration. And – perhaps most importantly – it’s a way to break up the monotony.

You don’t have to take breaks for hours at a time. In fact, they don’t even need to last 30 minutes.

Sometimes, even a 5 minutes breather is enough to help you get back into the flow of things. Try a tactic like the Pomodoro Technique if you’re looking for a more structured way to break your day into shorter intervals.

  1. Lie Down for a Quick Power Nap

I don’t know why we hated naps so much in kindergarten. These days, I love the idea of laying down for a few minutes in the middle of the day.

And it seems like I’m not alone in that mindset.

Workplace studies have found that a nap as short as 15 or 20 minutes can have surprising benefits for mental and physical focus, including boosting memory and lowering blood pressure. Some (awesome) companies even provide nap rooms for employees who want to catch a few zzzs and wake up rejuvenated.

Prevention said naps can reduce cortisol, that pesky stress hormone trying to ruin your day. And it also zaps some effects of insomnia or poor nighttime sleeping habits. Keep in mind, though, a siesta lasting more than 30 minutes could actually reverse some of these benefits.

  1. Cut Back on the Caffeine

Coffee, soda or energy drinks cause a spike in alertness, and many rely on them to stay motivated and energized throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the high is always followed by an bigger low.

Consider switching to something with less caffeine like tea. And if you’ve just got to have your coffee or soda, make the switch to caffeine-free versions.

  1. Do a Quick Workout Routine

Did you know that there are a variety of stretches and low-impact exercises that you can do right at your desk? These brief routines can get your blood pumping, while helping you burn a few calories in the process.

And if you’re not for any elaborate routines, simply drop to the floor and do a few pushups.

  1. Don’t Put Too Many Things on Your To-Do List

Have you ever looked at your long to-do list and felt instantly unmotivated?

I know I have. In fact, it’s left me paralyzed in unmotivation for days at a time. The sheer volume of things on my to-do list overwhelmed my mind to the point that I couldn’t accomplish any of it.

And that creates a vicious cycle. You get further behind, which leads to more tasks, which creates a larger to-do list, which creates even more overwhelm.

Instead, try consolidating your list to only the most important items.

These days, I start my day out with only 3 things on my to-do list. They’re often larger projects that will take me at least 1-2 hours to complete. Once I cross off those priority items, I reevaluate my day and take on a few medium-priority tasks.