Lastest news

How to stay motivated while feeling overwhelmed

Apr 24, 2020

Staying motivated during these extraordinary circumstances is hard, but Louise Molloy has good advice on how we can retain our drive during this trying time.

Working with professional clients at the moment, it appears as though we’ve been recast as the 80s hero MacGyver, expected to resourcefully apply our knowledge to ordinary items and extraordinary situations to save the day every day. We need to be professionals, leaders, carers, community support, teachers, an IT department and household expert all rolled into one. You’d need to be superhuman not to suffer motivation lags.

Motivation is the drive that puts you in motion. Here are some tips on motivation when the tasks around you seem overwhelming and the purpose is unclear.

Constant risk assessment

You are working in extraordinary circumstances. As a client observed: “Rarely in work when I’m completing a scenario analysis does someone shove Lego in my face.” Equally, being locked alone all day every day is not a normal human state. The stress of managing work and personal pressures with an absence of feedback can be emotionally draining. Recognise that and move to mitigate, involving others as necessary.

Put yourself in motion and keep moving

Whether you’re in control of your timetable or not, set the timer on your phone and rotate every time it goes off. 30 minutes is ideal. It takes the human brain 20 minutes uninterrupted time to get ‘into’ a task, so gift yourself that. Ignore emails; family etc and run to the deadline. After 30 minutes; rotate to another activity (on timer).

Tune in to your emotional landscape

Sometimes we just need other people – their voices and thoughts help turn off our own. If you’re stuck, get outside or go somewhere else and do something visible – weed, sweep the leaves, clean the shower – anything with a tangible output.

Learn to love lists

Lists are your friend. They’re the only way record? how productive you are and will help keep you motivated. No job is too small for a list.

Create symbols that represent your state of mind

Put on a work hat – a literal hat if it helps you feel like you are in a work mindset. It’s especially good if you have kids who can see your change in schedule: hat on means their parent is at work.

Be sure to shower, put on clean professional (-ish) clothes and shoes. These rituals trigger the associations with work.

Have fun and embrace your inner rebel

The brain is excited by difference. Walking a different route, doing tasks in a different order, – these changes ignites our interest and create energy and, in turn, ups our motivation.

I challenge you to play with some of these and watch the impact. Look for what works and what doesn’t. Make this time count because it will pass. Applying these steps helps to ensure? successes. Before you know it, you’ll be your own modern-day MacGyver, able to inspire and motivate others.

Louise Molloy is Director of Luminosity Consulting & Coaching.