Sunday, September 24

Dealing with and riding above demotivation


IF you have been working for awhile, you will definitely have gone through times when you felt demotivated and unable to drag yourself out of bed to head to the office.

This sense of not wanting to do anything or feeling like giving up is not uncommon and could arise from dealing with a difficult colleague, or perhaps working so hard on a project proposal only to be shot down by those in power.

For those in the private sector, it could be receiving one’s pay late due to financial constrains in the company.

Many working in small companies also feel demotivated following the recent reduction in fuel subsidies and the rising cost of living; thinking that no matter how much they put in, their pay will not go up and they would still face an uphill battle keeping up with rising costs.

Those who like to be challenged will find themselves demotivated if they feel that they are caught up in mundane tasks. Others are driven to demotivation when they feel unappreciated or stressed.

Whatever the reasons for feeling down, we should never let the feeling drive us to make rash decisions about our jobs or our lives. Many are often driven to quit or simply give up, only to regret it later.

In most times when dealing with feeling demotivated, we have to understand that there are things that happen beyond our control. And while we cannot always control what happens around us, we can control how we respond to different situations.

Experts and psychologists who help people deal with demotivation recommend that we should take control of what we can, and stop worrying about circumstances that are beyond our control.

The key to this advice is that while things may not work out perfectly all the time, we should get over them quickly and move on to achieving our next target.

Another way to overcome demotivation is by applying what our parents have always taught us. To be grateful. When we are grateful for the little things around us, we are less likely to feel down or demotivated.

Often people think that feeling grateful for the things that we have in life, stops us from trying to achieve greater heights. Feeling grateful does not necessarily mean that we can just stop where we are and not work harder to pursue our dreams.

On the contrary, being grateful should be used as a driving force for us to achieve our goals, realising that we are blessed with the ability to do so.

There is no perfect job. There are no ideal working conditions. We cannot expect to always have things go our way, so it is okay to bring down our expectations just a little bit.

That way, we realise that we actually have things going pretty good for us, and we can then strive to make things even better.

It is often said that we attract what we think and if we allow ourselves to think negative thoughts, that negativity is exactly what we will have coming our way.

Staying positive and surrounding ourselves with positive people during and after work will help us stay motivated in the workplace, no matter how tough the going gets.

If we surround ourself with co-workers who are negative and vent endlessly about how things are, or with people outside work who love adding fuel to fire, we will naturally find ourselves even more demotivated and even angry.

This does not mean that we should bottle up our feelings and not have an avenue to release our frustrations or to talk to someone about them.

According to experts, the trick to speaking to someone about our frustrations is to find someone with a rational mind who can assess our feelings and set us back on track with simple solutions.

Management gurus also encourage us to find some time to take a break from work when we start feeling demotivated.

For those of us who are not so lucky to have many vacation days, JD Meier, author of ‘Getting Results the Agile Way’, recommends starting out the day by making a list of three outcomes that we want to achieve each day. Meier calls this the Rule of Three.

Meier also emphasises that outcomes are not merely activities that we perform each day, but are results from these activities which we are satisfied with.

In a region where religion plays a guiding role in our lives, spending some time in prayer and reflecting according to our own beliefs can also help us get back into action should we feel our motivation level start to wane.

And finally, as ourselves why we feel the way we do. Ask whether we are setting the wrong goals. Perhaps we lack clarity in what we really want to achieve?

Are we demotivated by our own fears and insecurities? Do we lack challenge in the workplace or are we demotivated because of conflicts in values and circumstances in the workplace?

Understanding the true reasons why we feel demotivated will also help us get back on track at work.

Comments can reach the writer via [email protected].