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How to get Motivated When You’re Running on Empty

The world is a lot. You are right to be drained. And yet, if we’re so fortunate, we wake up every day with work to be done.  Grasping for ways to boost my own motivation after the marathon of the past few months, I polled our 40-person team of strategists, project managers, media planners, PR […]

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The world is a lot. You are right to be drained. And yet, if we’re so fortunate, we wake up every day with work to be done. 

Grasping for ways to boost my own motivation after the marathon of the past few months, I polled our 40-person team of strategists, project managers, media planners, PR mavens and creatives to ask them how they break out. 

SRW Agency is a diverse group, to be sure, and among our different disciplines, ages, races and backgrounds, we uncovered more than a few universal truths. Hear what our ragtag bunch of hooligans had to say, and let it lift you (and perhaps lift your teams, while you’re at it):   

Everything’s better with music. “It  keeps me motivated. I like listening to an album from start to finish. It always makes me think of the people who thought about what song should be where, and helps tell a story that helps me get lost in my flow when I am working.” 

Look for the good. “Positivity at work keeps me motivated. The kind of positivity that boosts morale and makes you feel accomplished. Not just positivity towards myself, but seeing others be grateful and supportive of each other really makes a world of a difference.”

Just do it. Easier said than done? For sure. But sometimes just putting one foot  in front of the other is the key to  the whole thing. One employee said: “I find if I think “oh I should do that” and nothing major is impeding me, I just do it. Everything gets better.” 

Practice gratitude. “It’s so silly, but a compliment or note of appreciation on my work or even something non-work related puts a major pep in my step (sometimes for a few weeks!). Actively taking a minute to tell others how much you appreciate them creates a really amazing ripple effect of people who just feel good about the work they’re doing and the people they’re surrounded with.”

Find your high energy windows, and plan around them. “Knowing when my brain works hardest, and trying to maximize that time is key! The quality of my work is significantly better in the early morning, between 7-10a, so I try and get as much thought-provoking work done then.”

Move your body. It’s a cliche because it’s TRUE! Whether it’s the elusive walking meeting, a quick bike ride, an early-morning workout or my personal favorite, Dance Church, it’s hard to stay in a funk when your endorphins take over.

We can all put these skills into practice to better ourselves, but I also appreciated the insights into what motivates my team so I could do my own part in helping keep them motivated. Practicing what I preach on the “just do it” mentality, giving my time to my team members in my high energy windows, and practicing gratitude are just a few actions I’ve taken this week to keep the good energy flowing. If you lead a team, consider actioning some of these ideas, or poll your own to better understand what moves them. 

After all, there’s one final item missing from the list above: lean on each other. When the world feels like too much, share how you’re feeling with someone. We’re all here to lift each other up.

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