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Inside Inspiration

March 16, 2011

Staying inspired at work can be, to put it lightly, trying. Perhaps we’ve had a slow week or month, maybe we’ve been working on the same tasks for some time. Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean were not good or committed to what we do, we might just need a little boost. Though the quick response is often to look to your management for inspiration, there are things we can do individually for a jolt of lasting inspiration.

Find your Inspiration

Even if you’re not anywhere near a senior position you should still feel a personal connection to yourwork. To feel more than just a cog in a wheel, try talking to your manager to understand their outlookand priorities in their position. For example how do they effectively manage employees while also meeting the needs of their superiors? How do they stay connected to their position? For you to be inspired to commit to this task you must find that greater responsibility that supersedes your job description. (David Silverman, Is “Employee Motivation” an Oxymoron?, HBR, Sept. 2, 2008)

Push Yourself

One of the best motivational tools I’ve come across is also the simplest: push yourself harder . When you feel like things are getting slow or too routine, push yourself just a little more. Perhaps the task you’ve come so accustomed to always takes you an hour to complete. Instead of dreading the thought of another mundane report, try and do it in half the time. By giving yourself an added goal besides merelycompleting the task, you’ll test your skill, speed and accuracy (all while impressing your boss). Further,once you succeed in cutting your time, that success will fuel a positive attitude, and, in turn, motivate and inspire you further.

Focus on your Personal Story, Not a Paid Goal

Instead of focusing on goals that revolve around advances in title and compensation, focus onyour personal story . Ask yourself, what type of person am I? What type of person do I want to be? Consciously deciding what type of person you want to be and working toward that is a fantastic motivator when it comes to our daily actions. Staying at work just because you’re getting paid will probably not garner much enthusiasm. However, staying at work because you want to help and assist in the growth of the company, or helping a co-worker overcome an obstacle adds to your social capital andworks to fulfill your personal story.

Looking for more Tips and Tricks? Try these great books:

achieve HBR Reinvent

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